April 26, 2011

We like to think that most companies treat their employees with common courtesy.

If you have plans to go away for Memorial Day Weekend, and a work commitment comes up, you would expect - at the very least - to be notified before you pull your suitcase out of the cupboard, and book a car to take you to the airport. Ok, in the case of a major work emergency, a few hours notice might be acceptable. But then you would definitely want a profuse apology from your boss for ruining your family's vacation plans, right? Wrong. Not at Goldman.

According to a new book by William Cohan, "Money and Power," a group of newly recruited investment bankers fresh out of the nation's top business schools, were summoned to a conference room at 5 p.m. on the Friday before Memorial Day.

The young bankers were not told what the meeting was about.

"By summoning them to the meeting at 5 pm, the partner was effectively issuing an order for them to cancel their plans--without going through the courtesy of actually saying, "You'll have to cancel your weekend plans because our client needs us over the weekend." At Goldman, that kind of ordinary human courtesy is typically absent," John Carney reports on CNBC.com.

It gets worse. As Cohan writes in his book, the partner who issued the order to meet at 5 p.m. did not show up until 10 p.m.

"What had kept him? Nothing at all. He told the group that the wait had been a test to see whether they had "the right attitude," Carney notes.

Three of those summoned had left during the intervening hours. They were promptly fired.

So now you know how to get fired from Goldman Sachs. Failing to wait 5 hours for an impromptu meeting on the Friday evening before a holiday weekend is reason enough to send you clearing out your desk, according to Goldman's rules.

Instead, the investment bank visibly wants their employees to give up any sense of character or pride, and subordinate themselves to their superiors' unreasonable demands, no questions asked.

Perhaps it is the Goldman Sachs managers who need a good Memorial Day break away from the office. It might help them put things back into perspective.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...