A small whinge from me to all blog readers, twitter followers, and anyone else who may be vaguely interested. This kind of follows from my post the other day as to whether you know me or not. So, with that preamble out of the way, here is some shocking news. I am not evil. No, really, I'm not. However I do work in a bank. Such dichotomy, how can that possibly be true? I have been known to voice opinions, some real ones, some in jest. However the speed with which my job is rolled out and laid before me as an accusation can sometimes be astonishing. It need not even be a vaguely inflammatory blog post like the one based on Kevin or Nigel or whatever his name was. For instance this week I tweeted a piece of news that I felt needed retweeting, which is that our wonderful badger-slaughtering government (you will perhaps note another apparent dichotomy here) were seeking to reduce fuel poverty statistics simply by redefining what counted as fuel poverty. This is clearly outrageous, so outrageous I didn't even feel I needed to say it. I'd barely pressed send before an unknown Twitterite rolled out my career again. To be fair, he later apologised, realising he had gotten the wrong end of the proverbial stick, but it's still a valid example of quite how prejudiced people can be. Yesterday I moaned about people wanting to rob me on Ebay, and joked about there being no honest people left in the world. Guess what got rolled out? Maybe it too was a joke? I don't know, but as the saying goes, we are not amused.
I am not a political person, nor a religious person, so most of the time I avoid getting involved in either. On issues I feel strongly about, such as port-swilling toffs slaughtering our wildlife, or the massacring of badgers by a blatant collusion between our so-called public servants and the priggish landowners to whom they are beholden, I do occasionally comment (until I get sick of it), but obviously I steer well clear of perpetuating absurd stereotypes. On the whole though I do not feel strongly enough about many issues at all, and religion and politics are both huge turn offs. I've yet to be called saintly, but any Toryboy label people might like to slap on me is hugely wide of the mark. Then again, as you may have gathered, neither am I a left wing activist noted for my charity work. I lean in no direction and would quite honestly rather not vote for any of them. Any implied connection between where I work and how I might vote is mind-crushingly simplistic.
I do believe strongly in some things though. I believe in hard work and being rewarded for it, and I do not like layabouts or scroungers. These two facts do not make me Margaret Thatcher. However, and here's the big problem, in addition to the above I work in a bank. Oh dear, I must be scum. No? Well, you may have guessed I don't see it quite that way. Rather than this be the crime of the century, this is an entirely normal career, and close to 300,000 other people in London do the same thing. It is called working for a living, and I do not deserve to be castigated for it. Neither do the vast majority of the 300,000 other people. Clearly banks of the kind that I worked for, and continue to work for, are not softly softly charitable organisations with a focus on cuddly animals and social justice, but that does not make me evil. If the banks all disappeared tomorrow, many things that many people take for granted would cease to occur - they're not a necessary evil, they are simply necessary. That the actions of a few people can cause an entire system to come crashing down, and cause ripples across the whole of the labour market impacting people who don't even work in banks is I something I don't really understand, and it sounds very unfair that it could happen. I'm not going to apologise for it though, because guess what, it wasn't actually my fault, and simply working in the industry does not, contrary to popular opinion, make me somehow guilty by association. I do not know a single cigar-smoking, Ferrari-driving, bow-tie wearing, cocktail-swilling person of the sort perceived to have caused the financial crisis, the same crisis that if you recall cost me my own job quite quickly. I work in a team of entirely normal people who are decent human beings that I would share a beer with all day long, and probably so would you if you met them. I have made a conscious choice of where to work in order to fund, amongst other things, a house for my family to live in, which last time I checked is also entirely normal. My choice of work is based entirely on sound economic reasoning. I would love a 9-5 job, and I would adore a 10-4 job, but I have yet to find one that supports my cocaine habit. Nonetheless I reserve the right to constantly moan about how hard I work. Mainly simply because I enjoy moaning.
Here's what I wanted to say about three paragraphs ago. Please do not fling the term "banker" at me as some kind of pejorative put down. It's ill-informed, ignorant, and an insult both to me and your own intelligence. By all means criticise me for being arrogant, rude and intolerant. This is good for me, and will make me a better person. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go pick up my Helicopter which was in for servicing. I worked from home today, but I need it for the daily commute tomorrow.