Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships.As you may know from having read some of my other blog posts, Mr SW3 Girl works in the City and is an investment banker...although, technically speaking, I am not sure if that term exists any more. I too am an ex-Investment Banker, having been made redundant in the last major cull back in end 2002. So, all in, I feel I have the right to express a valid opinion on all things pertaining to relationships, rocky times and working in a high-pressured City environment.
So, naturally, I read the DABA blog with some interest.
Frankly, there is only one point I am in sympathy with and that is the very real impact that redundancy, or the threat of it, has on relationships.
Having spoken with other female friends living here whose other halves work in the City, whether finance or law, I can attest to the fact that one way or the other, we are all having problems. Mostly, this relates to the fact that our men are working longer hours, are facing the threat of the redundancy guillotine ever more frequently with the result that once home, they are stressed out more than ever. It impacts on every aspect (*and I mean, every aspect).
I'm not for one second saying their plight is any worse than, say, the Honda workers who have been laid off recently or any of the other thousands of redundancies recently announced.
Far from it and I have every sympathy for those who are now trying to support their families on next to nothing.
I think the worrying aspect is simply that when you work in the City - particularly in banking - the rewards are greater (=you have more to lose / bigger mortgage etc etc) but more specifically, that you have no other skills than, say, trying to push financial products to fund managers. You are not actually trained to do anything else and it is hugely impossible to transfer those skills to 'normal' jobs outside the financial sector. It is this knowledge and fear of the unknown that pushes so many to the edge.
For my own part - and also my friends who are a pragmatic, down to earth bunch - we have tried to be as supportive as possible, whether it means not complaining too much if one's other half is stuck to the PS2 for much of the weekend (*apparantly, as I am told, this "helps me to relax, OK????????") , doing the bulk of the housework without complaining and just generally trying to be there, keeping strong and positive.
All of which means I just don't get some of the inane comments by some of the Wall St WAGS on the DABA blog. Are they for real?????
Complaining about having to cut down on facials and massages.....moaning about having to cook instead of going out dinner - I could go on.
Really; these girls are such wusses. Yes; I know you can't stereotype by nationality, but really, these US WAGS just don't compare well to their UK counterparts who are made of far sterner stuff. Having worked in that [banking] environment, I'm well aware of just how nasty it is at a time like this, with everyone covering their own a**es. There ain't no room for sentiment, that's for sure.
Get a grip, girls! This is the reality so stick with it and sharpen up!