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AsiaAsia CommentTaipan

Driving miss crazy: Uber and a bank gig

It can be rough living in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Tai Tai and I are fortunate enough to afford a lovely home with plenty of room for my Scotch collection, but I know most people in Hong Kong aren’t so lucky.

I recently became a convert to the ride sharing service Uber, as it requires so little effort for me to have door to door service. Last weekend my driver pulled up in a lovely, clean new car — much better than the dented sedans I’ve often found in New York I might add — and we immediately started chatting. Her service and deft ability to navigate the busy Hong Kong island traffic left me with the impression that she was a long time Uber driver, or perhaps had experience with other delivery driving.

But to my surprise, the young woman laughed and said that she was an analyst at my old firm! As I scrambled to pick my jaw off the ground, she explained that bank salaries just aren’t what they used to be, particularly if you are just starting out in your career.

I imagined she was just a big spender. Drinks at MO Bar every night? Non-stop lunches at the China Club? A swanky apartment on The Peak? None of the above, it turned out. She lived at home with her parents and was saving up to move in with her boyfriend.

Perhaps everything I’ve been taught about millennials is wrong. When we were young, my friends and I never would have finished a 60 hour working week and then thought to fill our free time with a job on the side. Imagine where I could be living now if I did!