16.3.12

Resigned

Have you read that resignation Op-Ed?  The one about leaving Goldman Sachs?  Go on. I'll wait here while you do.  I'll even wait while you read about Darth Vader's resignation... and the Slate versions.

Here's my problem with the parodies: they detract from the very real message in the original.  I've been around people who work in the financial industry for 25 years now (Thing One has worked in investment banks since the early 80s, and we met at one in 1987; we have friends who work at other houses than the one he works at, the one that went from Blech to Mediocre).  If you listened to them at any point during the past 20+ years you'd have heard the same complaints.

The thing is, the people I know aren't Big Important Executives.  They're the people who keep things ticking, ensuring that the Big Important Executives get their Big Huge Bonuses while hearing that they'll get no raise, profit sharing and that their bonus will be 50-70% of total (in other words, if you were supposed to get a $1,000 bonus, you'd actually be getting $500-750).  They've known that their employers - at some of the most important, oldest and well-known financial institutions in this country - care nothing for their clients, let alone the vast majority of their ground-level employees.

Truly, you'd be appalled at the way these Big Important Executives treat the people who work for them, and at how messed up things are (Senior Vice Presidents in charge of projects about which they know nothing, promise unrealistic deadlines and send all consequences from that ignorance down to the lowest possible level while avoiding them themselves).  And that money you've worked so hard for? That you're entrusting to them to help grow?  Good luck with that.  It's safer sewn into your mattress.

I'm not saying that this is the only industry that's got problems, or that has unhappy employees.  Far from it.  What I'm saying is, this guy has spoken truth to power and I worry that message is being lost in the parodies and in the idea that it's just Goldman.  It's not "just Goldman", it's an industry-wide mindset and it's time something was done about it.

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