I have written many times in these pages about my love of the Captain’s Bar, but it bears repeating. I particularly admire the dress code — there are no torn jeans or gaudy flip-flops allowed in that hallowed place.
It was while enjoying a drink in the Captain’s recently that I met an equally well-dressed, middle-aged Chinese banker. He saluted me groggily, his burgundy waistcoat threatening to burst asunder under his considerable bulk.
He seemed eager to talk and told me he is an MD at a Chinese securities house. He recently saw a colleague leave banking to join a machine learning start-up. My rotund companion teared up as he recounted the story.
“My friend has to pretend he’s 10 years younger than he is,” he wailed. “They’re all so young. So horribly, horribly young.”
I immediately understood his frustration. Being forced to fake youth is an insult to experience.
I felt an urge to lay my hand on the poor chap’s shoulder, but somehow it couldn’t leave the Montrachet in front of me. Instead, I bestowed upon him the same forgiving smile I gave to my daughter on her wedding day and let him continue.
“He used to wear Harris tweed suits to work,” the man cried. “Sometimes even with a bow tie. Now he opts for Under Armour. Every day.”
I asked him whether Under Armour t-shirts were de rigueur for the whole company. “No, no, that’s only for management,” he said. “The rest of them wear Uniqlo.”