The praise people shower an ibanker with once they discover that amongst them stands a rare species of manking capable of great mental feats, blessed with inordinately bountiful drive and ambition and an intrinsic metal detector, gets old quickly. After you hear the same sycophantic praise several hundred times over the effect is lost. At some point the ibanker will yearn for diversity and novelty. Who wants to limit themselves to the missionary position forever? Come on now.
Hence, there reaches a point where every ibanker will seek to diversify praise. And as we all know necessity is the mother of invention…
In search of a ‘different’ praise
One popular tactic requires a banker to conceal his identity. But only for a short while.
When he is, say, at a party, he will float about the room in a nondescript manner and intentionally build up suspense and intrigue surrounding his image. His goal is have people ask themselves, who is this dark knight.
It’s generally assumed that ibankers dress smart at all times. That’s not always the case. On occasion an ibanker will deliberately put on an absolutely horrendous pair of old jeans, a worn out sweater on the verge of extinction and shoes whose shame not even the night can conceal. And yes the Brietling will stay at home.
On such an evening, the protagonist will go out with people outside his usual circle of friends. No bankers, private equity boys or hedgies. What’s more, the banker will venture out to the edge of the city, away from the glamour and trendy areas where is he likely to run into fellow comrades, in order to maintain anonymity.
Before stepping out he’ll check once more to make sure he indeed looks nothing like a banker.
The first thing he does as he arrives at the scene of a gathering is to survey the crowd. Nice and slow. However, he won’t allow his eyes to dart around too rapidly like they do at work as they jump from one computer screen (of 8) to another. Not because his identify will be compromised to these lesser bystanders who surround him as, in all likelihood, nobody here has had the privilenge of knowing a banker – he thinks to himself – but because he’ll just look plain crazy.
Once ready, he mingles and mingles hard. He doesn’t just jump into any discussion though. First he seeks the group with the best audience. Once pinpointed, he’ll casually make his approach. Initially, he’ll remain soft-spoken. He may throw in a few laughs and say a few words but will keep it to a minimum. He must not attract too much attention.
Next he ensures that his body language shows utmost interest in what the speaker has to say, whoever it may be. This is the first phase of his strategy.
Once one person has had his or her fair share of talking time and attention, the banker will subtly shift the conversation to another person so that due attention is paid to a new individual. He may even question the new speaker and encourage others to join in the conversation.
Once all individuals, if not most, have had their turn, the banker will shift into the second phase of his mission: silence. Some may think he becomes submissive, but they simply do not know what is unfolding before them.
Moments later everyone will find that the overall chatter has reached a plateau. People now want to learn, see, feel something new. Novelty all of a sudden can only be found in the mysterious individual who has shown great interest in everyone but himself. It is only a matter of time until someone asks, “so, what do you do?”
As soon the “so” is heard the banker who, seconds before purposely kept his gaze focused on the ground, standing shoulder width apart, begins to slowly raise his head up and lift his eyes, almost in slow motion but not quite. He will then pause for a full second, during which time he’ll entertain himself in thought as he looks into the eyes of the people around him who also await an answer. He must think I’m a clerk at a local supermarket. Her, she must think I’m a budget officer for a tiny government agency. And him, he’s expecting so little that he’s already on his mobile texting away. Bitches.
“I’m an investment banker. I raise billions of dollars so these guys,” pointing to a copy of The Financial Times he himself placed on the coffee table beside him earlier, “can write about it.” Nobody says a word. “I’m going to grab another drink.” As the banker walks away he fights as hard as possible to keep his ear-to-ear grin from ripping his mouth in half. He turns the corner, stops, leans against the wall, raises his right arm with a clenched fist. “Yes!”
Climax is reached. The praise was the look on their face.