Mind your language or face the music
It’s tough being a banker these days, and not just because the mouth-watering pay cheques and bonuses that came with the job have been gradually drying up.
Bankers are constantly being given a rap on the knuckles for the smallest of slights, for the most insignificant of thoughts or opinions they may air, or — as my nephew recently found — for just some casual chitchat.
In his case, it happened on the messaging service offered by the ubiquitous Bloomberg terminals.
Over the years, scrutiny of emails and chats has increased, lest someone tries to concoct some nefarious plan to defraud a bank or its clients. That’s all well and good, but the clampdown has also taken the joy out of some pretty harmless banker banter.
My nephew was chatting with a rather green banking colleague at a US firm about his latest holiday adventure. All was going well, until he mentioned that he still had quite a lot of unused leave for the rest of the year.
His colleague responded with a comment of “you lucky bas****”. I have, of course, taught my nephew well, so he immediately closed the chat box and exited the terminal, figuring that was the end of it.
It certainly seemed so, until he bumped into his friend at the bar a couple of months later. The chap had obviously had a few, because he launched into a tirade, using plenty of four-letter expletives, blaming my nephew for getting him into a boatload of trouble for swearing on the chat system.
His rant continued until my nephew reminded him who had actually sworn in the first place. That stopped the chap in his tracks and he apologetically bought my nephew a drink.