News1130 - Celebration of Light - Team Britain
During my 12-year career as a stockbroker which strangely enough happened to coincide exactly with what Gordon Brown called "the age of irresponsibility"I received annual bonuses that grew from £14,000 to £500,000 in an almost perfect straight line.
During those boom times, I never once felt that what I was doing justified the cash my gormless bosses threw at me, and found it almost unbelievable that they kept doing so year in year out.
With hindsight, I suffered from something psychobabble aficionados refer to as "imposter syndrome" throughout my entire City career.
Rest assured I never revealed these insecurities to any of my colleagues.
Instead, every year on "B-day" I would give a bravura acting performance of such conviction that, had he witnessed it, De Niro would have taken notes.
As yet more bankers find out the size of their bonuses in the coming weeks — Goldman and Morgan Stanley staff in London are among those who already know — I thought it may be useful to explain some basic guidelines to help out any young City boy or girl who is about to face that most important day of the year No one gets any work done on B-day.
There is an air of nervous excitement similar to that experienced on exam results day at school.
However, this time new slot machine online gratis book of ra about to receive the all-important news is sitting next to each other in a huge open-plan office checking out their colleagues' every facial expression.
The other difference is that the stakes are huge.
As you sit there, pretending to work on a spreadsheet, please remember those people around you can no longer be classified as colleagues they're competitors for the firm's bonus pool.
Ethics, never particularly healthy in the City, tend to flatline completely in December and January.
A brief conversation with several ex-colleagues still working in banking suggested nothing about this bizarre ritual has changed since my day, especially as the size of the bonus pool, despite windfall taxes and desperate calls for restraint from politicians, remains in rude health perhaps £6 billion in respect of 2009 versus the previous year's £4 billion and 2007's £10 billion.
One stockbroker at a large European house even told me that back-stabbing and office politics are stronger than ever as bankers realise that 2009's bumper year may be difficult to repeat as fears grow about the political backlash against mega-bonuses.
Aspiring bankers should be aware that B-Day is essentially about pretending to those around you that you are feeling the exact opposite of your actual emotions.
First of all, on the morning of B-Day, all bankers strive to appear as cool as the Fonz on Mogadon despite the fact that their heart is racing because they know that another crap bonus may mean their wife can forget about little Tarquin going to Harrow.
If you are lucky enough to have a guaranteed bonus, then please make sure you don't seem too relaxed or everyone will know, and that can cause unnecessary resentment.
I managed to force my bosses to guarantee the size of my bonus for half of the 12 years I got one.
I achieved this through a razor-sharp ruthlessness — every few years I either moved bank or threatened to do so, and this approach was fairly common in the City.
Of course, guaranteed bonuses nullify the supposed incentivisation aspect of the remuneration visit web page, new slot machine online gratis book of ra multi-year guarantees have been a major target for irate politicians because they are deemed indicative of the City's excesses.
Strangely enough, despite that fact, guaranteed bonuses were exempt from the recently announced windfall tax.
This, ironically, was great news for Nomura, which used guarantees to persuade many bankers who were previously employed at Lehman to join after its collapse.
When it's finally your turn to trundle off into the little room and receive "the letter" from the boss, no matter what figure he gives you, you must act as if he's just recommended that you vigorously rub a cheese-grater on your genitals.
Any indication that the bonus is "satisfactory" will be interpreted to mean that you're actually delirious with joy, which will be duly noted, ensuring that next year's bonus is not increased dramatically.
Remember, these heartless toe-rags will only ever pay you the minimum they can get away with.
Interestingly, some City types refer to B-Day as the start of "bonus negotiation".
If the figure you're told is genuinely way too low and you are fairly invaluable to your firm, you could angrily explain to your boss that you'll be calling up head-hunters that very day unless he increases it.
I have uttered the words myself after having heard of bankers receiving 20%-30% more as a result of their complaints perhaps an extra £100K.
But it didn't work when Read article tried it.
As new slot machine online gratis book of ra leave the little room, all eyes will be following you on the "walk of shame" back to your desk.
The correct approach here is to reveal absolutely no emotion.
Showing anger will just suggest you've been shafted.
please click for source could eventually reach the ears of other banks or head-hunters, which may suggest you're not the "big swinging dick" you pretend to be.
However, unbridled joy merely annoys those around you and contradicts the act you gave your boss.
Finally, in the pub after work, I tended to buy a link bottles of champers while at the same time pretending to be annoyed.
This would test the skills of Larry Olivier himself but became second nature after 12 years in that soul-destroying job.
Of course, the final act you need to play is with your partner.
Revealing the true enormity of your award could condemn a good portion of its being spent on some pointless kitchen refurbishment, while underplaying it may mean her restless eyes wander towards one of those ever-so-wealthy Goldman boys.
When I worked in the City, conning colleagues was one thing but pulling the wool over my girlfriend's eyes was always an infinitely tougher challenge!
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