Now is a fraught time to work in an office in New York City. Nobody knows how to make the conference table’s Zoom-hookup work, the open-plan office gets chilly when it’s only a quarter full, and if you believe the New York Post, we’re basically back to living in the 1970s with muggers around every corner. So let us praise and celebrate the junior bankers who (according to a Post report) “after daylight-saving time ended last month,” began to cheat death, bravely continuing to commute on the subway and even walk across town after dusk. Veteran bankers — looking to support their fearless, even reckless young colleagues — are reportedly urging them not to attract too much attention while walking or riding to work.
At Bank of America, senior management has quietly encouraged employees to “dress down” for their commutes, eschewing Brooks Brothers suits and Rolexes — not to mention anything with a Bank of America logo — and disguising themselves in middle-class drag. (Just as casual Friday caused confusion in its early years, so too does this blur a well-understood dress code. What constitutes middle class? Maybe a Patagonia fleece and Dockers?) Other companies have gone as far as to offer private transportation like Citibank’s new shuttle program. Never mind the same paper’s story three weeks ago saying subway crime was way down.
Per the Post, the truly mean streets are the ones between Hudson Yards and two commuter hubs, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where “menacing vagrants” accost plucky bankers after sundown. (By an amazing coincidence, these are also the districts frequented by commuting suburbanites who have no knowledge of actual city life beyond Hudson Yards’ sterility.) One reportedly snappy dresser at a large-money management firm, which goes unnamed by the reporter, is so unsettled he has taken to carrying a Taser on his daily commute. And really, who doesn’t ride the subway without their trusty Taser these days? So relatable.