Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Minor Musing That Reveals Me To Be Heartless And Cynical


I'm not sure what to make of this William D.Cohan article about Steven Ridley, a former investment banker.  I guess I'm a heartless ass, but I have no sympathy when Cohen writes:
He then explained why he was so unhappy. “Like everyone there, I worked my ass to the bone, working mind-numbingly boring work,” he continued. “15 hour days were a minimum, 16-17 were normal, 20+ were frequent and once or twice a month there would be the dreaded all-nighter. I worked around 2 out of every 4 weekends in some form. I was never free, I always had my blackberry with me, and thus I could never truly detach myself from the job.”
What about the perks, the lavish lifestyle? “These are the objective facts, contrary to what any ’baller’ wants to tell you,” writes Ridley. “The only models were Excel models, the only bottles were Coca Cola, which I drank a lot of to stay awake.”
Ridley after all made enough money "to pursue his passion for singing."

On the other hand, this conclusion resonates:
. . . . Wall Street is no longer a fun -- or necessarily lucrative -- place to work.
And guess what? This is the best news to come around in a generation. Now, instead of being sucked into Wall Street by default or after digesting a fantasy about fame and untold riches, maybe our best and brightest graduates will pursue their passions. If they do, we will all be better off.
I wish I had Cohan's confidence, but I suspect that greed and "he who dies with the most toys wins" mentality is so entrenched in the American psyche that future Ridleys will just look for the next "get rich fast" career and the cycle will repeat itself.

In addition to being heartless, I must be cynical.

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