Monday, May 25, 2015

Shining shoes can be more satisfying than being a banker

Read Lucy Kellaway's caustic piece in FT.

A shoeshine boy in London tells her why his job is better than a banker's:
  • “I don’t have to be clever,” he said. “I can be as dumb as I like. I’m not trying to impress anyone".
  • The next good thing about the work, he said, was the satisfaction in the job itself. You take a pair of dull shoes and eight minutes later they are sparkling.
  • Third, and possibly most important of all, is that shoe shining, in marked contrast to banking, gives its customers pleasure.  
  • Fourth, the chat is nice. According to Marc most people in the City are starved of decent conversation, and longing to tell their shoe shine man all sorts of interesting — and sometimes scurrilous — things. 
  • Finally, he chooses his own hours. So he shines shoes at lunchtime when trade is brisk, and works as a translator the rest of the time. There is no management, no politics. 


Anonymous said...

I hope millions of banking aspirants wont be agitated with this blog.The Theory works in developed countries where even odd jobs pay decently.In country like ours first consideration is pay & perks( physiological needs) job satisfaction& enrichment appear only after a certain level.

T T Ram Mohan said...

Anonymous, You are right. I should have clarified that much of the criticism about banking doesn't apply to India. Here, banking is better regulated and we haven't see the same excesses. In India, it's possible to make a meaningful contribution as a banker.