To do or not to do is the question
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To do or not to do is the question

The older I get, the more I realise that there’s absolutely no pleasing some of us — be it retired chaps like me or the young’uns still in the game.

Take this lad I know. He’s a born whiner, but otherwise a half-decent chap. I’ve known him since he was a rookie, fresh out of Ivy League. Back then he was enthused about the furious pace of the finance industry and told me of his ambition to be on top of the world and to make a difference.

But when I saw him in Hong Kong in the spring for a couple of pints, all he did was moan. He complained about working on multiple deals at the same time, forcing him to live by the golden rule of “banking nine to five” — that is, working from 9am to 5am. How he wished he could do nothing but lie on the sofa, flicking through TV channels, if only for a couple of days.

Reminded about how stressed I used to be back in the day, I told him to cheer up and dream of the summer when things quieten down.

Last weekend, when we met up again, I thought the summer slowdown would have wiped that miserable look off his face. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, the fellow told me how restless he felt because there was nothing going on. The summer lull, instead of calming him down, had totally freaked him out.

I could not help but feel glad that banking has changed very little since my time — it is still full of no-win situations.