The previous head of my department used to preface delivering bad news by saying ‘the good news is we’re getting paid this month’ as if this was enough. Another personal favourite is ‘aren’t you lucky to have a job’ and yes, I am. I am very aware and glad of that.
I’m also lucky that I don’t have any major commitments, bar keeping a roof above my head, clothes on my back and, one that is very important to me, not starving. I’ve no mouths to feed, no debt that can’t be wiped with either savings or selling back what they paid for. So, all in all, I’m in a good position. Aren’t I lucky?
However, I [insert favoured expletive here] HATE my job at the moment! Even my manager agrees that no one really sets out to be a banker, it just happens. So when you realise that it’s absolutely, positively, not what you want to do with your life in the middle of a recession caused by people higher up and better paid in the very industry you work in, what do you do?
Many people blame ‘The Banks’ for what has happened to ‘Ireland Inc’ as it is currently, affectionately, or not as the case may be, known as.
I blame people, and also basic economics. To quote Superfresco by Graham & Brown, ‘what goes up, must come down’.
To talk about The Banks, let it be said, by me, that The Banks really refers to a few people. Those high up, long in the tooth and massively overpaid. I’m none of those people. During the boom years, I was a glorified typist. I’m not much more now.
In the last couple of years anyone working in a bank has gone through any number of the usual methods used to keep a company going through difficult times: a pay cut, a pay freeze, no bonuses, no overtime, redundancies, departments closed, merged, etc. The normal things you would expect and indeed accept.
What we’ve also seen is increased workload, stress and pressure, to bring in business while ensuring absolute compliance so that The Banks don’t mess up again, no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel, no prospects, just doom and gloom and fear of telling anyone, especially taxi drivers, what we do for a living.
I’m not asking for violins, I’m just venting, on yet another day when I’m doing the work of three, in an office for two, with just me in it.