Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wall Streeters Behaving Badly

Forget about the 1%. Forget all about the inequalities in the system.

Think about social skills. Think about the dating skills of Wall Street bankers. And let’s pray that the reports about these skills that are currently circulating are anomalies.

If they aren’t, Wall Street males have reached a level of moral degradation that is impossible to imagine.

I am not talking about the kinds of stories that make their way into New York Magazine’s Sex Diaries.

I am talking about the utter and complete lack of social skills. Some of us have been highly critical of the fact that American college students no longer know how to date. These students, we imagine, have no real sense of courtesy or courtship, of respect or self-discipline, of dignity or shame.

Many men in a generation that was spoon fed therapy culture values suffer from bloated self-esteem and seem unable to stop embarrassing itself in front of women.

If these stories bear even a faint resemblance to the truth, young Wall Street professionals are socially inept at a level that is impossible to grasp.

It’s about dating. It’s about how these All-American men conduct themselves on dates and in relationships.

Their behavior is so bad, so implausible, so incomprehensible that the depictions are probably true.

A couple of days ago the New York Observer published an email written by a rejected suitor named Mike. I guarantee that he is not the first man who has not been deemed worthy of a second date.

Yet, Mike acts as though he has suffered some kind of abuse. His email offers an amazing mix of whininess and overt hostility.

After not receiving a reply to any of his plaintive missives, Mike replied: “I'm disappointed in you. I'm disappointed that I haven't gotten a response to my voicemail and text messages.

“FYI, I suggest that you keep in mind that emails sound more impersonal, harsher, and are easier to misinterpret than in-person or phone communication. After all, people can't see someone's body language or tone of voice in an email. I'm not trying to be harsh, patronizing, or insulting in this email. I'm honest and direct by nature, and I'm going to be that way in this email. By the way, I did a google search, so that's how I came across your email.

“I assume that you no longer want to go out with me. (If you do want to go out with me, then you should let me know.) I suggest that you make a sincere apology to me for giving me mixed signals. I feel led on by you.”

That’s just the beginning.

Read it and you will instantly feel a rush of superiority. You will say to yourself that you would not trade places with him for all the money in the world.

Our friends at Gawker were amazed that Wall Streeters lacked the most basic social skills and the most elementary forms of self-respect, that they put out a call for other emails received by other women who had had similar experiences.

The results surpassed their wildest expectations.

The file is well worth a read.

It shows what happens when young people are brought up without manners, without any sense of decorum, without any sense of the right and wrong way to behave.

They might have learned all that there is to know about using condoms, but, sadly, they know nothing about acting with dignity and self-respect or about interacting with women in the real world.


Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis said...

The sins of the mother are always visited upon their daughters. These young men are indicative of the environment in which they were brought up.

David Foster said...

Pretty strange. I was particularly struck by this:

"You played with your hair a lot. A woman playing with her hair is a common sign of flirtation. You can even do a google search on it."

I this kind of thinking is driven by too many years of seat-time in educational institutions. Learn some rules, treat them thereafter as articles of faith, and apply them rigorously without benefit of judgment or context.

Henry Mintzberg of McGill University noted that "MBA programs tend to attract pragmatic people in a hurry: they want the means to leap past others with experience. Techniques--so-called tools--seem to offer that, so this is what many such students demand, and what many of the courses offer; whether portfolio models for financial resources, competitive analyses for strategic resources, or empowerment techniques for human resources...Technique aplied with nuance by people immersed in a situation can be very powerful. But technique taught generically, out of context, encourages that "rule of the tool": Give a little boy a hammer and everything looks like a nail. MBA programs have given their graduates so many hammers that many organizations now look like smashed-up beds of nails."

I'd better that this investment banker uses the same approach ("methodism," Clausewitz called it, and he wasn't talking about the religion) in business that he tries to use in dating.

Bizzy Brain said...

The poor sucker is an omega male and will never have success with high value women. He should opt for a shaved head, tattoos, and a Harley. Then he would have all the hot sex he could handle.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I'll pass the advice along. The funny thing is: you're probably right.

If he became a biker at least he would have a semblance of self-respect. Now he has none. He is so weak and pathetic that he cannot take rejection.