Not so much to give thanks for this year
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Not so much to give thanks for this year


Gone are the days when the end of the year meant bankers could reward themselves for a year of hard graft with a bona fide working holiday. Back in the day, "working" in December was shorthand for making a brief, obligatory appearance at the office, before dashing out with the boys to drink ourselves silly.

But it seems the early onset of Christmas cheer is a thing of the past. Banks are now populated with managers who make Scrooge seem magnanimous. A dear friend of mine has the misfortune of being under one such killjoy’s command.

While most of us are planning tropical holidays, this poor fellow is all but surgically attached to his seat. You see, his division is struggling to meet its fee targets for this year, and for reasons unknown, his boss has decided my mild mannered chum is to blame for this shortfall.

I caught up with the hapless fellow on a balmy Sunday afternoon. One look at his bloodshot eyes told me something was wrong. I thought breezy conversation about a holiday would cheer him but that turned out to be a bad call. He took my innocuous question about a holiday as an invitation to reel off workplace woes. “Holiday?” he asked, “We aren’t even allowed to leave the office for lunch on most days.”

The chap will now spend the better part of December trading in the barely-there secondary loans market in the hope of collecting a quick fee before the year ends. Guess it’ll be drinks for one in the Captain’s Bar.