Rant

Today I’m living up to my “out loud” handle.

I’m seething. Not pissed, mad, or angry. Seething.

As in, you could probably see smoke coming out of my ears right now.

Today was one of those crappy days at work that left me thinking:

1. I’m INCREDIBLY grateful to only be in this hell hole for another 4 days

2. I really can’t believe the crap that goes down in this company – how was I blind to this for so long?

3. I’m holding back on just writing something and exposing this company – but then they’d have me put in a cave for life or something.

…Because they can really do that, I’m sure. It’s one of the biggest banks in the world. Everyone knows the name. So what would me writing something “exposing” this company actually accomplish? Probably nothing. If it got big enough, it would hopefully at least damage or dent the reputation. Which we all know ties directly to how much people trust you and their money. So less trust = less money. Now that, they would care about. Some girl whining? Not so much.

I know you’re thinking: it’s not like they physically abuse us or treat us like slaves (debatable); at least they provide a lot of jobs which helps the economy; get over your “middle class problem;” there are plenty of people looking for jobs and would gladly work for the firm regardless of the treatment; and again, please shut up about your “middle class problem” because there are real problems like KONY 2012 going on in the world.

I get it. Really, I do. I realize that I’m lucky enough to have it pretty good. But it doesn’t make it right. Some could argue that this is just my introduction to the corporate world. Like “Oh, dear. You’re so young with so much to learn – this is just the way things work, you’ll see. You’re making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is.”

Well, you see – I don’t think it’s that. It’s not the craziest idea in the world for well, someone to actually like their job and be treated fairly. And yes, I too would dismiss me as some whiny girl if I were only basing my opinion on my own shitty experience. However, the bad taste in my mouth has come as a result of 2.5 years of personal experience AND lots of observation. That’s just me – I observe everything, over-analyze it, and am crazy over details. I’m constantly listening, just what I do. So I take it all in and process it.

For example, the fuel behind this post (besides 4 customer service nuts and my manager driving me crazy) was a conversation I had with a lady in the elevator when leaving work. She’s about mid-fifties, and so, so sweet. We actually go to the same hair dresser (so you know she’s awesome). We both had that heavy feeling/tired look and sighed when talking about how our days had been. When she asked what area I’m in, I told her that I’m in blah blah but will be moving next week. Her eyes got big and she told me how she’s been applying there, wants out of the department she’s been in for 6 years, and how she got screwed over. This is where my ears perked up. She told me that she applied for another job internally, got the unofficial offer, and started saying her goodbyes. But when senior management had to sign the final paperwork, they snatched it away at the last second. Why? Because they were basically moving people over from another department that was being disassembled. Ok, whatever. But then the same thing happened again a few months ago with no valid explanation.

Now, just because I think she’s sweet, I’ve never worked with her. She could be the worst worker in the world and have a bad performance review/track record. I don’t know. But I doubt that since she’s been there so long, and they likely would’ve kicked her out by now. And she’s not the only one. Another woman in her late sixties in our department, has been applying to get out for literally 2.5 years – since I started in the department. She basically runs our area but isn’t a manager after 6 years. Again, she has a good review and I know she works hard because she never leaves her desk, knows the answer to everything, people always go to her, and she works from 7 to 7 every day. It’s nuts. But she’s been held back because they can’t afford to lose her. Some people think it’s because she may come off as a bull in interviews, but she knows her stuff and it’s sad to see someone sit at their desk and cry every day from being overwhelmed when they deserve better (like I did).

The point is that yes, everyone’s situation is different. But there’s a pattern. Those two ladies; my own struggle of applying for 10.5 months even being one of the most qualified and hard working people in the company (sry for tooting my horn); and my manager that just left. He was in our department for 6 years and never promoted. They kept promising it to him, and he got screwed. Again, worked harder than anyone with 12 hour days often. So he peaced out. Can’t blame him. It’s not just me. It’s not just my shitty department. It’s the firm as a whole. It’s a complete joke and it makes me ILL to see stuff published about “one of the top companies to work for.” Lies. Who did they poll for that? The bankers that make $238481019 a year but don’t know how spell or the basics of finance. That makes complete sense. We get calls asking the dumbest things and we sit there like “Really? You get paid all that money, and don’t know shit; I know a lot more than you (for the most part), and I make crap?” Totally makes sense.

I can’t begin to tell you how many people at this company are like that. People that are dumb as hell and have no business in finance, but they are because they know people. Mommy and daddy got you in with their friend. The banker got his job and does well in his job not because he’s qualified or knowledgeable, but because he’s good at schmoozing people and making promises that we have to then somehow deliver on. The same goes on the lower level. A number of guys got to leave our department before me but were complete idiots. I put them to shame. But LITERALLY the only way they were able to move was because they kissed some serious ass. I know because 1 told me and I witnessed it. It makes me sick. Why does anyone bother working hard then? All you have to do is sit back instead and make the right friends.

Again, this isn’t me completely coming from the angle of a disgruntled worker. I was actually nominated for a volunteer group organized to promote the fact that this bank is a great place to work because they encourage employees’ movement within their careers. What was I told by insiders? That we have to cover up the fact that a lot of moves are made by someone being tapped on the shoulder and moves being made on the low instead of the standard apply for a job, interview, etc. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

So yes, I’m jaded. And yes, you bet your ass that I’m still applying outside of the firm because I don’t want to work for such a company. I’m not naive enough to think that office politics aren’t in play at every firm. I get that. But I guess it blows my mind that one of the biggest banks in the world could be such a joke. I expected more. I was so enthusiastic when I started – like yes, I’m going to take this job to get my foot in the door, finish grad school and make moves because if anyone does, it’s going to be such a prominent bank that values my hard work and degrees. False. Instead I was told a number of times that I’m overqualified, and witnessed the crap referenced above.

But hey – I guess that’s the power of being so big. You have the luxury of an endless supply of labor because everyone wants in. Like the line at an exclusive night club – anxious party-goers have no idea what it looks like on the inside, they just know they want in. But once you’re in, you’re like “umm wow, this is corny and sucks; let’s bounce asap. I’d prefer a smaller, more intimate scene.” But my coworker pointed out – that’s the comfort people fall into. Although people aren’t treated well politically and pay-wise, they tolerate it because there’s stability in the firm. They keep dropping crazy earnings and everyone in the world trusts them, so they aren’t going anywhere soon. (2008 financial crisis, cough cough) But with some mom n pop place, you gotta worry a little. It’s much easier for them to go down. But it is interesting – in my job search, this and the other big banks pay less than the smaller places. My eyes were like $-$ when I saw the other places. Another misconception – I always thought bigger places paid you more because they can afford it. Not so much. Seems like the smaller places have a smaller budget, but less people to spread it over, so you get more. Again, people don’t mind it here because they’re just happy to be in the club – they don’t care if the dj is awful or the drinks suck – they’ll take it.

Ugh. I already have zero passion for finance so tolerating all of this corporate world crap on top of it is making me gag. And rethink life. Still trying to come up with alternatives. Now’s the time to figure it out; gotta love your twenties…

(And how much do you love my club analogies? Leave it to me…such a hot mess. But relevant/relatable, admit it.)

Something that has been bothering me for the past two months…

In a meeting at the end of December, I was complaining to my manager discussing my job search frustrations when she asked what the status of my search was.

I basically said something along the lines of: it’s complete CRAP that I’ve busted my ass the past 2 years not only working harder than anyone else here, but also finishing grad school while working 55-hour weeks at the same time; all while watching complete slackers and morons schmooze their way out of the department into better jobs. And to add insult to injury, all of you fools here have the audacity to say something about my new lack of enthusiasm (for obvious reasons) and its effect on my performance, while at the same time announcing that I have better stats than everyone else.

And this chick had the nerve to say: “Well, you know – you should be glad. You’ve accomplished a lot more than I had at your age. I didn’t even go to college.”

At the risk of sounding like a brat, it’s not my fault that you chose the life you chose. You could have done something else. I choose to strive for more – that’s me. It doesn’t make me better than ANYONE, I just chose to do the things I’ve done in an effort to avoid the crappy situation I’m in, so yes – it sucks when your hard work doesn’t pay off and others are rewarded for slacking. That’s a slap in the face. So don’t you dare sit here and try to make me feel better and say “Oh, well – you might not be where you want to be, but you’ve already done a lot!” Bitch, please.

This is something significant that I’ve realized in my last few years of maturing. It’s all relative. “Making it” for some people could be making $20,000 a year and being ok with not ever buying a house. Me – I’m shooting for six figures. And it’s important to me to own a home. (It happened about five years too soon, but whatever.) The point is that “good enough for you” isn’t good enough for me. I can’t measure you by my standards – that’s not fair. So for her to do that to me, just rubbed me the wrong way. I refuse to apologize for wanting what I want from life. And I damn sure won’t settle and say “oh, it’s ok. I can just stop now, I guess I have done a lot. I should be happy.” Not happening. No, financial achievements don’t equal happiness for me, but I believe in working hard and living the life you want as a result. That’s how my parents raised me. They did too good a job of enforcing the whole “you can be anything you want to be!” thing. Now they got me all ambitious. Why couldn’t you people just raise me to have lower standards?, geez. Giving me role models and such…

In conclusion: Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Don’t let the haters dull your shine. Ever.