Today I am writing the much awaited expose on s*x, lies and lust in investment banking after being asked repeatedly by people to shed some insight into the debauchery that takes places within those not so hallowed halls. Now, when you obviously spend so much time at work - at any job, mutual attraction between sexes cannot be avoided (sometime even between same sexes but who is judging...). Also, infidelity and cheating are rampant in any workplace so why single out investment banking? Well, I can speak about my experiences in the bank and have broadly type-cast the different kinds of men who cheat and ones I encountered in the M&A world. Then again as I switch careers - I keep an open mind, I am sure I wont be disappointed... .
- The Prolific Cheater - This guy cheats with absolutely no remorse and will cheat repeatedly simply because he cannot help it. The excuses will range from long - distance girl-friend, attractive blonde at work, long working hours, bad London weather and general frustrations of life provide him enough of a reason to spread his wings out of his fairly committed relationship and seek entertainment outside of that. Of course, they may be perfectly satisfied in their current relationship but hey, variety is the spice of life and who said human beings were supposed to be monogamous anyway. The only inconvenience to their lives would be to be caught with their pants down - so hence, even though they are guilt-free, they take careful steps to cover their tracks and the lies to their spouses are virtually fool-proof where they probably take time to nurture their holier-than-thou bf/husband image.
- The Creepy, Middle-Aged Cheater - This one will have a very established and settled family life - wife, kids - perhaps even 4 kids but will still be maintaining a mistress on the side - preferably much younger and hopefully prettier than his current partner. There is never any intention to leave this comfortable set-up for him so the other woman at an early stage is made to understand that " Three is not a crowd ". Here, unlike the above situation - there may be some declarations of love but this is hardly a situation where mutual respect is the order of the day. In some cases - the wife or the partner may actually know about the affair but chooses to either accept it with utter resignation or doesnt care as long as the money keeps rolling in.
- The Earnest Cheater - Oh, this one will break your heart. He is like the hero of an Emily Bronte novel - straight out of Wuthering Heights with all the drama that you can think of. He will win you over with stories of a love-less marriage or relationship, bad-tempered raging shrew of a wife where the lack of physical and emotional intimacy drive him to seek solace elsewhere. Of course - he is not the one to cheat and how could he? He believes that his circumstances have driven him to a point where the growing distance with his partner make his current relationship unbearable. BAAM - thats the trap !! Underneath the nice guy, cheerful exterior hides a cowardly, pathetic excuse of a man. Questions on why he remains committed or in some cases why they got married a short time ago are met with a blank, somewhat confused look before undying declarations of love and pure passion are made to you. Ofcourse, when further questioned about " isnt it just better to split up and put yourselves out of this misery" suddenly their wives/gf;s will contract some terrible life-threatening illness which demands that they stay close to them for comfort and support and only AFTER that - will he pursue a split. Finally, his inadequacies, inconsistencies and indecision will leave you so dry that even if he is gaming you, you dont know who to feel bad for anymore - the victim or the cheater. If he has a bad marriage - he has issues but worse, if he made all this up - then good lord - he has even bigger issues.
- The Hesitant Cheater - This one has mentally cheated with you already about a million times but lacks the courage to see it through. So he will test the waters like a child dipping a toe into the sea - as soon as the tides turn, he will run back and look with ever growing desire. Even though guilt could be a mild consideration - the hesitation is mostly due to lack of confidence. Once he overcomes this initial starting trouble - he can easily fall into any of the categories described above.
So while this list is not exhaustive - it is a start. Recently, I watched a documentary on Narcisstic Personality disorders and I spotted traits that most of my ex-colleagues exhibit in abundant quantities. One of the 9 traits which make a person a certified nut-job was Lack of Empathy and Remorse - where varying degrees of this determine the level of narcissism in a person. Looking at the above list - aside from the many other major character flaws (lack of integrity, honesty, self-lessness etc) a growing lack of senstivity,guilt and remorse is much too evident.
I come from the school of thought where the simple pursuit of happiness was the end goal and the purpose of life is to make it less complicated and not more - guess, thats not true for everyone.