Time to be invisible in the office
Browsing through hundreds of pages of financial statements is one way to tell how a bank is doing. But a simpler way would be just to observe the trading floor.
When times are good, it is almost a given that bankers showcase their skills whenever their global bosses are in town.
The closer to bonus season it is, the louder you’ll hear them speak on the phone and more often than not the conversations will be about pitching to clients or being on the verge of closing a blockbuster trade.
If the annual pay cheque is not to their liking, the same group of people will almost be guaranteed to make their unhappiness known to the entire floor, threatening to leave, knowing full well they will never be shown the door.
But when times are bad, the opposite happens. My buddy Two Pints, for example, has been timing his client meetings for when his boss is in the office.
In fact, almost everyone in his team is constantly either out for meetings or business trips just so they can avoid seeing their superiors. The exceptions, of course, are the poor junior analysts and associates who are glued to the phones.
You can’t blame them for this invisible man tactic though. Why would anyone stick their necks out while knowing that the entire industry has gone into cost-cutting mode with redundancies the new trend? Hence Two Pints’ sound logic — his boss won't sack a person he doesn't even remember.