Photo: Flickr/Rodrigo Accurcio
Many may remember the banking blog that launched last October by journalist-anthropologist Joris Luyendijk on The Guardian’s website. The online space provided candid, anonymous accounts of what life was like in the City for professionals in the financial sector—such as investment bankers, private equity guys, M&A lawyers, etc.The series is still continuing, and the latest account from Luyendijk falls a bit on the personal side—it’s essentially the confessions of a banker’s ex-girlfriend.
The anonymous female is self described as “in her mid-20s, and recently out of university with two graduate degrees,” and having formerly worked in the industry herself.
The whole account is very frank and candid, and the ex-girlfriend speaks about being lavished with gifts and money from her boyfriend, but being somewhat indifferent to the attention. What ultimately broke up the relationship seem to be a combination of his job and their differences in values.
“This is what wrecked our relationship in the end. He was married to his work, not to me. He was working for a big investment firm, running a kind of a hedge fund. I’d tell him, just quit. You have made enough for us to live on for years to come. What’s stopping you? We can travel. You are destroying your health, you can’t sleep without sleeping pills any more, then in the morning you need more pills to get going.
“And he’d say, I know you’re right, this job is taking over everything, I am losing you. Give me 10 more years and I’ll never have to work another day in my life, I’ll never have to go back.
“We both knew that he would never quit, He loves his job, it’s his life, his identity.
When the two went out for a meal—
“We’d go out for a meal, but sometimes restaurants would have closed already. I remember that time we ended up in a kebab shop. He was so uncomfortable! I was really hungry and I simply wanted a kebab sandwich. And there he was, in his very expensive suit, trying to get me to order salad, and rice, and a coke, and what have you. He just couldn’t handle the idea that we would simply have a very cheap kebab sandwich. Would get bossy and obnoxious to the owner. I swear, he would have been happier paying £400 for that sandwich than £4.