The buzzards of suburban New Jersey

Driving along on a misty gray early New Jersey morning, down winding roads, over smooth hills and banked turns, the telephone poles blur by. It’s quiet. Nobody is out yet. This bucolic scene is broken by a pair of turkey buzzards having their morning road kill breakfast. Yum-yum. Eat-’em-up.


I spent the remainder of my drive trying to think of a proper metaphor. One never materialized. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

* * *

I got the news that I was awarded a four-week contract for a project that I interviewed for at a financial institution (see below). I wish it were for a longer period of time but the pay is quite good, so I took it. That’s the upside of working for an investment bank. They tend to pay well and have top-notch equipment. Don’t laugh. There’s nothing more depressing than sitting down to do a project only to find that they’ve stuck you with a beat-to-shit computer that’s running Mac OS 6.

Before I can start I need to submit the following:

  • A criminal background check
  • A drug test
  • A set of fingerprints
  • A residential history going back five years
  • An employment history going back 10 years

Keep in mind that this is for a four week contract position. Who do they think they are!? I guess investment banks are tired of being burned by rogue employees and CEOs. They need to be cautious. I could be a brilliant criminal mastermind in sheep’s clothing for all they know. The next Bernie Madoff. Yeah, that’s me.

15 thoughts on “The buzzards of suburban New Jersey

  1. Sounds to me like you just have converted those ninja bullshitting skills into a paying job…Though I’m sure it was your experience and mature approach that won them over :)Congratulations.

  2. PG: Thanks for the congrats. The interviewee prior to me didn’t bother to wear a suit and tie, but I did. Believe it or not, that may have factored into their decision. Ponita: Mrs. Wife said the same thing. Once get get a load of my charm, they’ll never want to let go. Jimmy: I’ve been in the industry for most of my adult life and you have no idea how right you are!!Savannah: I *wish* I were that clever. The photo and entry were a happy accident.

  3. Due to a hailstorm in 1999 the building I worked in lost its roof and all the publishing material was destroyed. The almost vacant building next door was unscathed but they wouldn’t rent any part of it to us because the top floor was an ASIO office and our insurer thought it would be simpler to pay us to not work at all for three months rather than do the required background checks for the entire staff.Congrats on the job UB. Bet your daughters will miss having you around for the next four weeks

  4. MT: I’m not sure what they were dining on but it was DEFINITELY not a squirrel. Likely a possum. There’s lots of those out here with tire marks on their backs.Nurse: That would be a sweet way to collect a paycheck. I’ll probably miss the daughters a lot more than they’ll miss me.Ellie: Aw, shucks. That’s just not me. Yet.

  5. carrion fowl serve a purpose… less so, now that we have street maintenance departments hiring folks to ride around on trucks scraping up the ‘sail cats’ and ‘fly rabbits’ plastered on the roads…banking may suck? but there are worse jobs… 4 weeks is 4 weeks… congrats!

  6. Is this for the firm you told me about, with my old PAICR pal? And if so, tell him/her (shhh, don’t let it out of the bag) I said hey.Sounds like a lot to go through for 4 weeks — they must have you doing double secret investment work.New blog = The Unbearable Banishment of Corporate Espionage.

  7. Daisy: Banking may suck but it pays the mortgage. I should be careful about being an ingrate.Bob: Yup. That’s the one. I’m working on their quarterly earnings, portfolio holdings and investment strategy updates. I suppose it could be a problem it if got out.

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