During the 2008 economic crisis that leveled former financial giants like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, which my employer at the time, JPMorgan Chase eventually acquired, I was on the enviable side of immunity.
After spending almost two-years as the executive assistant with a range of job duties, that kept getting broader with each passing year, there was still a huge sense of relief that came with being secured in the golden bosom of the most successful private bank in the financial industry.
Later on, I would discover that the intense meetings involving the credit team, private bankers and investors, ended up doing the worse damage required to maintain those epic bonuses at the expense of the expendable.
By the fifth year at my place of employment, things started to get uncomfortable, as bitterness set in after enduring months and months of a cumbersome workload, without the adequate compensation that should match consistent output.
As with most greedy corporations that are helmed by the self-righteousness of privileged white males in powerful positions, there were accommodations in place to give lower-tier workers the falsehood that their complaints and recommendations were being taken seriously.
Like the annual get together with harried administrative staff and the charismatic CEO, who would patiently listen to the same raised concerns that were stuck in pending, for reasons that explain why he and his henchmen were always able to break the news cycle with evidence of yet another eye-popping yearly salary and bonus.
During the mandated annual reviews with my asshole manager, those excruciating minutes only seemed to reinforce how replaceable I was, despite the steadfast practice of going above and beyond, in the hopes that those efforts would inspire the request for a decent raise.
But the excuses never failed to make appearances, as we were reminded about the irrevocable damage of the economic crisis, and how each department couldn’t afford to stray from the strict budgetary demands.
When I was finally ready to make my triumphant exit back in 2013, after three years of bliss, and four years of strife, my disappointments educated my naivety about the criminal mechanisms of Wall Street.
Imagine that the Obama administration shamelessly empowered the mightiness of impossibly wealthy CEOs at the expense of hard-working minions, who suffer the worst case scenario.
And if I thought relocating to a beloved and revered institution in the heart of New York City, that provides a respite for voracious readers and literary explorers, was going to elevate my chances of settling into a fair and just environment, my hopes were dashed after the mutually agreed upon separation, three months later.
That was the last time I held down a full-time corporate job, that refused to pay the appropriate salary that represents the nonstop avalanche of requests that continue to torment after work hours.
Fast forward to the present and the dreary outlook that drenches the optimism of job seekers is a constant interference for seasoned professionals, who never imagined they would unexpectedly spend the rest of their lives hunting for what isn’t available.
And those who are lucky enough to be employed, are tragically trapped in a nightmare of our government’s making. Stagnancy across the board explains the abrupt erasure of upward mobility, and the inability to successfully transition to better opportunities because of the prison-like complexes that have taken hold of thriving companies.
The Trump administration is betting on the themes of the historically booming economy for the privilege of another presidential term. And while the impressive data convincingly supports the belief that working Americans are presently living their best lives, the mood gets considerably darker when you dig deeper to discover the deplorable state of most households in America.
The precarious nature of seeking employment as someone who is already employed, but yearns for a much-needed improvement, and a wearied candidate, who never makes it past the second email from nonchalant recruiters isn’t a myth.
And for me, the exhaustive and thankless system that brutally assaults those who dare, only gets more bitter when clicking on yet another breaking news item. The trend confirms that the CEO of my former cell is receiving a salary hike up to $31.5 million, which places him in the untouchable tier as the “highest-paid big-bank executive in the U.S.”
Not too long ago, Dimon was forced to endure an excruciating round of questioning, courtesy of U.S. Representative Katie Porter, who exposed the CEO’s apparent disconnect and tone-deafness when it comes to the intolerable pay structure at his bank, and how it enslaves employees at the bottom of the totem pole by denying basic luxuries that should otherwise be affordable.
It’s beyond offensive to witness the unimaginable wealth that greets powerful leaders in key sectors of this economy, who are in charge of flourishingly profitable organizations, that literally steal from the poor to maintain enviable positions that are undefeated.
In the later years at the private bank, it was becoming clear that the low tier employees were denied big chunks of a large pie, that was weighty enough to encompass our rightful slices of bonuses and salary bumps without interruptions.
You read about the record profits that are posted annually, and how this translates for super rich CEOs, who are brazenly opposed to the notion of spreading the fruits of the labor, that wouldn’t be nearly as efficient if not for the committed laborers in the background, who have to achieve crazy overtime just to be able to have a little extra money that barely counts.
Michael Bloomberg is currently spending an astronomical amount of money for the purpose of defeating Donald Trump, and moving into a scandalized White House, that definitely doesn’t need another impossibly wealthy, privileged white male, who has a track record of actively putting the lives of Black and Brown at risk.
As the 2020 elections draw nearer, the messaging of how this criminality in wage distribution that’s violently eating up the middle class, while ravenous CEOs are bursting with more cash than they can reasonably handle has to be addressed loudly.
This long-held tradition is unfairly abusive to hardworking Americans who just want to make a decent living without giving away their earnings to the machinery of economic gluttony, that guarantees the glossy survivability to the notorious “wealthiest 1 per cent of Americans.”