A good twelve years ago, I worked at Bear Stearns. At Bear Stearn's I was a 'print lane manager.' Which meant: I printed documents for lackeys. Thus I was a lackey of lackeys, although I often had hours of peace and would write and trade jokes with my equally over-qualified fellow lackeys. I also made about twenty-five bucks an hour, no mean wage in 1996 but dot com was coming on strong.
On the window of my office where the first-year associates came to collect documents for the Masters of the Universe, I would post quotes such as 'Adversity makes men; prosperity makes monsters.' (Victor Hugo). Or, 'Everything belongs to me because I'm poor.' (Kerouac).
This confused the associates to no end. They were kids, just out of college. One out of ten probably made the cut there. Some of them still had values, god bless them.
'I work really hard,' one of them said after reading my 'quote of the day' pissing on the rich.
'I'm sure you do,' I said. 'But do the rich people you're trying to suck money out of work hard? Maybe, the ones who haven't inherited gazillions. And do they work harder than peasants in Bangladesh or drones in a poultry-processing plant in Louisiana? I don't think so.'
Would it surprise anyone if I admit that I did not keep that job for long?