Hot and Bothered

Let me be honest here, the scenario here stinks.

People on the street are blaming those in Wallstreet for their problems. They think we must have sprouted horns or something. “It’s not our fault that the economy is sinking! It’s those $*#(@*#)@ bankers that’s at fault and they’ve gotten (*#@*&#@#@ millions of dollars in bonuses! Let us eat and let them go to hell!”

Yes, there are people like Citi’s price that had their cake and eat it too. Private club memberships, exquisite vacations, ridiculously priced hotels. I won’t deny it. The banking industry had its own excesses. Management grumbled loudly when our company had a policy ordering even the highest positioned people to take economy when flying for a business class (for trips under 4 hours). We cried foul when our thousand dollar-budgets got cut when some people have never even spent these much money.

However, coming from the Wallstreet perspective, I see myself as a little potato in a big organization. I know these freaking banks from the inside looking out. Like you, my salary doesn’t amount to millions but I have seen those whose salaries we can’t even dream of. My boss for example can easily make 4X my salary plus bonuses.  

Let me tell you something though–we worked our @ss off for every single penny we’ve made!

I can only speak for myself but my day starts at $*#($#( 7:30 am and we work till late in the evening when you miss the rush hour traffic because everybody else is in bed. Work released has been nothing short of stellar. Anything that comes out from us is top-notch work. Sure, we make mistakes sometimes, but they come far and between and even if they are lethal, we’re quick thinking enough to do something quick about it. Often times, when I look back at my experience and it’s just amazing on what we’ve accomplished!

Trust me, you’ll know just how much we deserve that freaking salary once you meet an incompetent incompoop who doesn’t know his head from the tail. For every hour we put in, we produce at least 1.2 hour of work. Add that all in and you’d realize that yes, though we get a little bit better than the average salaryman, we had paid for it a hundredfold.

For example, why do you think I’m in the office till late? Why I have to be strong? Why I am still single? Why I have half the life and fuck work-life balance?

Yes, we’ve paid for it and more.

My bosses who earn several times more than I do deserves his own salary too. As the Head of Asian Sales, he makes extremely critical decisions and have to manage more than a handful of A-Plus people who are nothing short of spectacular. Everyone works hard, and I can vouch that in general, bosses work hard. In Singapore for example, one boss is there before 7:00am not because he wants to set an example, but rather because he feels more comfortable on being on top of things. I can say that most likely, they’re also the people who work the latest.

So if you are one of those who cry about those who have created this crisis, well then fuck you.

Why are we stoning the finance industry to death? I’m sorry but let’s be fair here.

Regulators knew exactly what was happening but didn’t do a thing to stop it because they felt that there was little use for controlling the economy when it was still bubbling upwards. These were smart guys with multiple PH.Ds so don’t tell me that they had no clue. Trust me, they knew it was going to blow up in the end, but wished to God that it wouldn’t happen in their term.

Investors must take responsibility for their investment decision. For every investment you make, your advisor must have informed you of the risks and rewards, and if you weren’t listening, then you deserve to lose that money. People who don’t read the fine print of the investment agreement have no right to plead ignorance. You knew that most likely it was going to go bust but still went for it because they were greedy and didn’t want to miss the upside.

People who leveraged too much, spent too much and blew up their credit must take responsibility. If you borrow, you pay it back. Simple. You cannot buy a bigger house, a nicer car all from credit and I still find it silly that a person who have a constant habit of borrowing be it via a bank loan or via credit card have a better credit rating than me who have nothing but cash, and can access more money to splurge on totally useless things!

I am sorry.

I have no pity on people who do nothing but complain when they themselves were responsible. You do not have the right to clap with glee on other people’s misery because hey, “they’ve enjoyed far too much already. Let them pay for their sins now.”

We are all in this together. Anybody who can read knows the stark news out there. Everyday, earnings get cut, guidance gets lowered, people get laid off, companies are shutting down. It’s not just the bankers who are paying but everybody else, and it’s not just because of the financiers who were the root of the problem.

It’s every single one of us who couldn’t pay a debt. It was every single one of us who were stupid to buy financial products they couldn’t understand. It was people who invested because even though there were risks, we only focused on the rewards, thus wiping out what we’ve worked so hard for the last couple of years.

So I am hot and bothered.

This year, it would be terrific if we can even get some sort of a bonus. Ours have officially been significantly cut and I find myself starting to worry that I can even afford my lifestyle and trust me, I don’t spend that much. All the hours I’ve spent in the office and the work I’ve done, my god. I deserved to be rewarded for a job well done so don’t cry foul if I do get it (even though I know I won’t).

It bothers me when I see my colleagues nonchalantly thinking of jumping ship. “Bonita, you still have to worry about your number one–you,” my friend told me over desserts today. If all the super stars go to the competitor, then what sort of skeleton do you have left? It worries me that people I respect for their excellent work are starting to call headhunters (or receiving such calls) and being pirated away. With them gone, how can you keep the business going? People is all we have.

I am concerned because my boss doesn’t seem to have time for me. But heck, am just being insecure. Nonetheless, it does bother me that my boss doesn’t pay me and my ideas the attention they deserve, but then again, given that the sky is falling, I don’t really blame him.

I worry about an upcoming test that would decide the fate of my career.

My job and many others, I also am bothered about. They say that there will no longer be any significant cuts to the organization but who knows? Once people don’t get the bonuses they think they deserve and they start leaving, then business would suck even more and it’s hard to get profitable again. And it’s not just me who’s worried. Everybody is. From the non-officer to the Managing Director, people are worried about their jobs and future, and the people who are almost ready to stay are those who are:

* Too lazy to find a new job, and
* Too junior to actually be pirated to another job

The sky is falling indeed. My arrival in Hong Kong has not come at a more ideal time, and yet, I wonder, is this what life has held for me? So far, my life has been relatively rosy. I have such a kick-ass apartment, a work that I like, and though am exhausted of my time, I am far better off than where I was 6 years away which is probably meaning that am still growing.

It can be an exciting time as well. Though I wish it didn’t happen to me, I’m glad in a way it did. Recessions like these only come once in a lifetime.

But to those who keep on blaming the banks, fuck you truly. I’m always Miss Nice but if you’re one of those idiots who just generalize everything and never really see what’s going on, then am sorry. You can go screw yourselves.

And to the rest, sorry. You must understand, things aren’t really too rosy for me right now, but it angers me when there are self-righteous people judge and blame others for something they never understand. Put yourselves in my/our shoes and you’d get it.

Okay, it’s almost Friday. Yay. Gotta shower and sleep. Hope that everybody’s doing better than I am but then again, at this point, it’s not that hard.

Happy weekend everyone! 

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2 thoughts on “Hot and Bothered

  1. I agree fully, but it’s a travesty of epic proportion the bonuses paid to those houses which took bailout money.

  2. But you don’t bomb a country just to get rid of just one evil person…

    Wait, the US did that. Whoops.

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