Friday, 5 October 2012

On a Friday evening, when you get summoned back to office from a bar to "process" comments - rage knows no boundaries. So while I sat there working like a drone, plotting all sorts of evil to descend on my superiors and the banking industry at large,I was also typing away an email to my boss. The email was actually supposed to say " Please see updated presentation " instead I write " Please feel updated presentation " and hit send.

Note to self : NEVER send emails when livid.

I should have felt upset - but as I sent it and then read the complete absurdity of the message - I thought, well - wat the hell atleast I got a good laugh out of it and I do hope he feels the presentation ..right ...up.. his.. arse ... !

So last week - being extremely unwell, coughing and wheezing - I had to host a conference call so my ED comes online and says - Hi, How are You ...and I respond (sounding like Bane from the Batman series) - Awful, extremely unwell ... so he responds " Aaah, Good Good " ?!!! Why even bother with civilities in this business? Why pretend to even be concerned or remotely interested - why not start the conversation with " Lets get this out of the way and be done with it"  No need for thank yous, please, sorry ... so inefficient - why waste any time at all being ...UGGHH ..POLITE!?

So one would think its only bankers who are heartless - but I dont believe that is true. Anybody who is touched by this profession even remotely loses the ability to empathize and see employees as human beings.

If that wasnt bad enough a particular conversation with HR runs as follows. An employee goes to HR and requests them to switch divisions since this job is taking a toll on his/her health - frequently unwell, stress headaches etc and the person would like to make a move out of IBD.
The HR lady nods most sympathetically and asks " Yes, I understand, but do you have any severe symptoms? I mean anything terminal/ urgent or is this more of a long term plan .... "  As the person looks bewildered, she tries to cover up by mentioning - " No, I mean to ask how urgent this is ..... "
So basically, until you are about to die at work - it is not imperative to move just because you are dissatisfied and demotivated?
If that wasn't bad enough, she tried to figure out how many hours a typical employee works in IBD, she asks " Well, should I say you work from between 12 - 14 hours ..does that sound about right ?"
This is coming from the so-called Human Resource team of  a leading investment bank, who is uninformed about the kind of hours an M&A banker works - the very mainstay of this bank!!

So, while the entire corporate world re-organises itself across employee development, fostering and mentoring future leaders and HR students across the world write pages on retaining and motivating employees - the banking industry focuses on keeping its workforce barely alive.

The trade-off between money and lifestyle at one point of time could almost justify this callous indifference (inexcusable as it maybe) but as regulation clamps down and as the industry itself goes through tectonic shifts, perhaps now is a good time as any to start nurturing some talent OR hiring simians for the job at hand.




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