Why banks need a rainy day fund
Hong Kong’s summer typhoon season was the bane of my existence during my working years. Running between meetings in torrential rain, having umbrella wars on crowded pavements, finding out a T8 signal has been raised only after you get to the office: none of it was much fun.
I did, however, find some respite in Hong Kong’s sprawling network of connected buildings and covered walkways, a kind of sewage system for the well-coiffed and overpaid. A banker visiting Hong Kong from Beijing recently was not so savvy.
The chap had a packed schedule of meetings while he was in town, and left himself little time to dash from conference room to conference room. Of course, he was bound to get caught in the rain.
In his haste to make a client meeting, the lad had carried his laptop loose in his arms, without the protection of a bag. One would think technology today could withstand some rain, but the utter downpour destroyed the chap’s computer. He was stuck on a business trip with no computer and no access to his work files.
The banker barely hesitated before running to the Apple Store in IFC to purchase a new laptop, never mind the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost him. With the swipe of his corporate card, the computer and hard drive transfer was complete.
I have plenty of thoughts on the errors of today’s youths and their impractical approaches to problem solving. In my day, the chap would have been straight back to the office to print out new meeting notes and pitch books, faxing his apologies, and bearing any cost from his own wallet.
This chap’s company didn’t even blink at the extra expense for his business trip. I can’t begrudge him this, but it does make me wonder why expensing a few drinks can be such a laborious endeavor. Perhaps Apple could start serving cider?