As you might expect, I receive lots of fan emails. Many read like this one:
Dear Rotting Doofus,
What the hell do you actually do? I mean, besides your pathetic, stupid blog?
Thank you for asking. This post is for you!
The truth is, I have spent many years working for very large Wall Street companies. I have worked at the heart of the nerve-center of capitalism’s lifeblood. I have labored in its lower intestine. It is time for my searing expose.
As a mid-level manager, I had three primary responsibilities:
1) Delete Emails
Each day, the company generated way too many emails. When I came in in the morning, it was my responsibility to delete the emails that came to my particular inbox, assigned to me for deletion
2) Complete Diversity Training
Completing this online course was my second most important function. It came with a little test at the end, and you need to score 8 out of 10 or better to pass. Diversity training was not exactly Quantum Physics. Here is a typical question:
John’s Client Service Team consists of six males and no females. What should John do when evaluating new hires?
a) If two candidates are equally qualified, John should consider choosing the female candidate.
b) John should hire any female he can, regardless of qualifications
c) John should have his male employees draw lots, and whoever loses should be required to have a sex-change operation
d) John should hire a physically attractive female to improve retention of his all-male staff.
3) Attend Meetings
This was my third area of responsibility. These generally began with us going around the table, one by one, and introducing ourselves.
“I’m Josh Taylor. I’ve been with GinormoCorp for Seven Years and I’m a Product Director with our High Speed MoneyVac application that sucks in money from all corners of the universe.”
“And I’m Wellesley Weston. I’m part of the evaluation committee, ensuring all buzzwords are used with proper frequency.”
“I’m Rottington Post. I’ve been at GinormoCorp for two years and I delete emails for the Asset Servicing division.”
Then we would have a discussion, agree to continue the discussion, agree about what a productive meeting it was, shake hands, and forget the whole thing ever happened.
What is it that I have uncovered?
- Wall Street is Awash in Acronyms
My official title at GinormoCorp was Executive Director, which we all referred to conveniently as “ED”. I am the only one who is aware that ED also stands for Erectile Dysfunction? And of course most of us EDs just happen to be middle-aged men. Still, I was proud of my ED. Some men never achieve ED. Whereas I had it by age 45!
Question: What does “TP” mean to you? Shortly after my arrivial at GinormoCorp I received an urgent text message from the woman who headed up our division. The message read, “Make sure Jack and Steve are at the meeting. And I need TP!!!” What the hell?!!! Did she just send this from the women’s bathroom? Was she expecting me to fetch her a roll? It turned out that TP meant “telepresence.” Closed circuit video. For the meeting. Of course!
- Technology teams are really into technology.
A lot of what they produce doesn’t actually do anything. But it definitely contains amazing technology. I used to imagine what it would be like if a Wall Street Technology Team were instead put in charge of Property and Supplies.
“Hi. Is this Supplies?”
“I need a new chair. My old chair broke.”
“We’re pretty busy at the moment. But we’ll be happy to review your requirements and put together an estimate.”
“Requirements? An estimate? I just want a chair. Just like the old one.”
“Well, the old one was really old technology.”
“But I don’t care about the technology. It just need something to sit on.”
“But it was still using chair legs. That’s against our new standards.”
“New standards??? What’s wrong with chair legs?”
“The new chairs will levitate off the floor, hovering above a layer of compressed air.”
“What????? I just need a chair! I don’t want to hover over the floor. What will this cost?”
“We’ll need to study your requirements.”
“My what?? I just need to sit!”
“You need to put that in a written Business Requirement Document.”
“You really want me to write, ‘I need to sit’?”
“If that’s your requirement.”
As you can see, it’s really great here in capitalism’s lower GI tract, and a terrific place to witness all that trickle-down economics first-hand.
Time to go delete some emails!