"This is one of the greatest posts in Business Insider history."
October 24, 2018 5:09 PM   Subscribe

 
Ok, that Dealbreaker parody is hilarious. The art is so spot-on. I completely missed this BI story and your narrative with links is perfect.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:24 PM on October 24 [12 favorites]


I took a (much much needed) week off of work this week, and I've spent the last three days doing nothing, interspersed with watching Better Call Saul and then immediately reading comments about the episode I've watched on FanFare. My key win is waking up before 11 and not eating out everyday cause I don't want to drive anywhere.

#executivematerialrighthere
posted by littlesq at 5:26 PM on October 24 [18 favorites]


Kind of feel bad for the woman, getting brigaded on Twitter and then in Daily Mail.

If anything, her schedule is unrealistic because it's not packed enough. She plays tennis at 7:30 and starts work at 9am? Very late start to the working day.

She also seems to eat lunch alone. Also not something high-performers do. Her day ends quite early at 7:30pm, too.
posted by JamesBay at 5:31 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


I mean she does work for HSBC. Famous for employing the slow second sons of Scottish Presbyterians.
posted by JPD at 5:33 PM on October 24 [27 favorites]


So the 'diary' seems obviously composed. Given the subject has a linkedin profile that matches up, I don't think she's fake. Just putting on a bit of an unrepresentative day.

The article doesn't really probe any of this artifice. So my thought process is, who is writing this, and how are they paid? I assume most articles on BI are freelance. I really want there to be some clever market for reputation cleanup where freelancers charges people to publish fluff pieces with their name attached and good SEO while getting paid by BI for clicks, but in this case the author is an intern assignment. So maybe BI's in on it, or maybe it's one of those intern assignments that can go sideways and nobody cares.

As vice points out, there are other profiles. This guy also has a LinkedIn profile, and theoretically is a VP. I know banking titles are inflated, but I'd figure you'd at least get an office with a door.
posted by pwnguin at 5:41 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


I'm personally leaning towards this is real, but horribly embellished (particularly the semi-stock-photography). I work in the FiDi in SF and my wife worked at Standford until a couple months ago. Here's my take:

A) Your morning meditation shot - it's not that bright anywhere in California at 5:30am on any day of the year (source: me, with my dog - and now infant, every morning for the last 5 years. It's dark out and unless you have a Doberman with you it's not entirely safe out, and I'm a grown ass man).

B) "lived and worked across Europe, Asia, and the US" - yeah so at 6:30am here it's 3:30pm in Berlin and 8:30pm in Bangkok so I guess it's feasible that you've got some catching up to do. What's not feasible is that you've lived in Europe and Asia at what looks to be the ripe old age of 30. I'm guessing she did a study abroad in London for a semester and has a cousin currently traveling in the Philippines. (source: I lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Central America, and Africa for the better part of a decade and there really aren't companies just bouncing around entry-level analysts to these continents on whims, even at the premier levels of finance or management consulting - my field).

C) The tennis pose (source: I can't even.).

D) You work in global finance and you get into the office around 9 - give me a break, markets have been open for 2.5 hours by the time you get into work? And you were on FB when they did? (source, my Wall Street roommate when I lived in NYC who I never saw because he worked 18 hour days pretty much every day).

E) You walk down Lombard street in your sneakers. Any resident of SF never walks down Lombard street, or goes anywhere near the tourist blight if they can avoid it. (source, all SF residents, ever).

F) Your office photo. I would like to punch people in it. (source: anger) OH ALSO, your day is full of meetings with VC firms and tech startups? What part of your day that begins at 9 and ends at probably 4 and includes a 1.5 hour lunch and no time allotment whatsoever for at least a 1.5 hour commute to Palo Alto? (source: rage)

G) Back to lunch at noon: the farmer's market at the Ferry Building is only on Tuesdays. They don't sell salads, they have fresh produce and usually a pizza oven and maybe Wise and Sons or an enchilada stand. (source: I work 2 blocks from there). Also that bench is covered in seagull shit FYI everybody.

H) You get back to work at 1:30. Again, time check - markets closed 1 hour into your lunch. (source: time)

I) Caltrain to PA. OK, so let's say on a good day, with no Dreamforce or Transbay Terminal nightmares screwing up traffic, you get in your Uber (because we know you don't take Lyft) to Caltrain, that's still a 20 minute ride to the station. Let's say you left the office at 2:30 (after a grueling 1 hour of post-work lunch) and caught the 3pm train, getting into PA at 4pm. You then have another 10-15 mins to basically anywhere in your 2nd Uber. Let's call it 4:10 to be generous. (source: caltrain timetable)

J) You podcast selections suck (source: taste)

K) Apparently your class at Stanford doesn't start before 4:30 and let's again be generous and say it's just 1 hour, and now it's 5:30. (source: reality)

L) Commuting to your beautiful BF's apartment and changing clothes and giving back to the world before your 7:30 yoga appointment is reasonable. (source: OK)

M) So if you only yoga for half an hour and don't shower afterwards (you look like you showered afterwards), you start cooking dinner at 8? Look even if you're using Blue Apron, I'm sure you are, that means you're not eating til 8:45 earliest. That's just not healthy. (source: I've cooked >100 recipies from multiple meal prep services. Now we Munchery.)

N) So maybe you're taking your walk by 9 and let's make it a short one and you're in bed by 10 and you have to be up at 4am to catch the 5am first NB train from PA which puts you in SF half an hour late for your meditation appointment. And you're doing all of this on 6 hours sleep a night. Right. (source: I'm very done)
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:41 PM on October 24 [154 favorites]


I wake up between 5-5:30 and on days when I exercise, I don't get into the office until 9. I have to change, floss/brush teeth/put in contacts, walk the dog, go for a run, stretch for 5-7 minutes (should be more), shower, get dressed/hair'd/makeup'd, and commute. I don't really see that it's that unrealistic. TBH when I saw that she plays tennis at 7:30 and is at work by 9 I was wondering how she gets there that fast.
posted by misskaz at 5:51 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Advertorial? I would be more interested in a day in the life of an HSBC exec in Mexico, or Colombia - you know, morning meetings with El Chapo, brunch with DEA, and CIA agents and their corrupt political, and military counterparts, and nighttime parties in Medellín...
posted by nikoniko at 5:55 PM on October 24 [10 favorites]


I think it probably is some sort of advertorial but what it is in service of? Who is supposed to be the audience for this and what is it supposed to communicate to them?
posted by chrchr at 6:01 PM on October 24 [2 favorites]


It's basically an advertisement for working at HSBC to your hard charging MBA candidate (tho not too hard charging otherwise why work at HSBC)
posted by JPD at 6:09 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]


Who is supposed to be the audience for this and what is it supposed to communicate to them?
Strivers. And the eternal aspirational industrial complex that tells them that the gnawing sense of emptiness and ennui in their life can be filled with yoga, green juice, and continuous learning.
posted by bl1nk at 6:13 PM on October 24 [25 favorites]


D) You work in global finance and you get into the office around 9 - give me a break, markets have been open for 2.5 hours by the time you get into work? And you were on FB when they did? (source, my Wall Street roommate when I lived in NYC who I never saw because he worked 18 hour days pretty much every day).

I'm in NY, and I work by the London clock.
posted by mikelieman at 6:15 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


1. It is 100% realistic to have lived in multiple countries by the age of 30.

2. The Ferry Bulding has been dead to me ever since the French place with the amazing potatoes closed, but the view is amazing.

3. The crookedest street is Vermont, but nobody cares about it because it isn't very scenic.

4. Good for this woman. I envy her drive.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:20 PM on October 24 [9 favorites]


though, I have to say, that Credit Suisse profile upthread is, like, the perfect super-dry troll counterpoint, where the life of a 20-something finance "VP" is just waking up in your suit and open plan desk, making cold calls to "build a book of business" and eating cold cuts in an empty corporate canteen before sweating out your angst in a gym filled with inspirational messages telling you that you can never leave. It is perfect how that profile never shows any life outside of the office.
posted by bl1nk at 6:22 PM on October 24 [10 favorites]


Good for this woman. I envy her drive.

I know a whole bunch of tech execs and founders and these people have drive, and they plan their days in intricate detail. Very boring, if you ask me, but the woman being profiled here is pretty ordinary.
posted by JamesBay at 6:28 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


This one's from slate. A day in the life of the serial killer from silence of the lambs.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:30 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Good for this woman. I envy her drive.

Heh. I live and work in Los Angeles and I had to read that like 4 times before I realized you weren't saying you envy her short commute.
posted by The World Famous at 6:32 PM on October 24 [50 favorites]


'I will have one coffee in the morning and English breakfast tea for the rest of the day.'

It's the only thing, but this, yes, this I can relate to. More than one cup of coffee and I'm jittery for the rest of the day.
posted by droplet at 6:34 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


This was my takeaway (from the Vice piece):
"There are no dark secrets uncovered by following around a banking executive around for a day, except, perhaps, the dark secret that people in the tech industry really do say things like "key wins" with a straight face and probably don't quite understand why all you little shitheads are giggling about it."
posted by Wretch729 at 6:41 PM on October 24 [28 favorites]


Wait I take it back Dealbreaker's gratuitous jab at Tonic is the best part of this post. I used to live near there and they nailed it.
posted by Wretch729 at 6:43 PM on October 24 [2 favorites]


What I want to know is who exercises in the morning, eats nothing but a green smoothie and salad until dinnertime and isn't gnawing their desk by 3pm...or hell, 10am.
posted by quaking fajita at 6:56 PM on October 24 [11 favorites]


Woman does something; Twitter reacts. I wonder why male executives weren't called robots or psychos or extensively factchecked when their diaries were posted.

Honestly, unless the topic is cute animals, finding yourself on the same side as the Daily Mail is an opportunity for some serious reflection.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:56 PM on October 24 [23 favorites]


The only things about this woman's life that differ from my own these days are things I'd take if I could get them (like walking to work instead of a two-hour commute), except for those parts that would interfere with my raising-two-kids-as-a-single-parent privileges (I'd rather get them ready for school than play tennis, although if I could play tennis with them in the morning it would ROCK.)

I guess I'm an American Psycho. Nobody tell my kids.
posted by davejay at 7:04 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


What I want to know is who exercises in the morning, eats nothing but a green smoothie and salad until dinnertime and isn't gnawing their desk by 3pm...or hell, 10am.

I'm 6' 1" and 165lbs, was 6" 1' and 130lbs in high school. I've gone 14 hours or more without eating (when I was young) because I was busy or just forgot to eat, and even now as a middle aged man I sometimes forget to eat between a bowl of cereal in the morning and noticing the clock says 8pm. Some folks have unusual metabolisms.
posted by davejay at 7:06 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


Why Are Rich People So Weird? (The Outline)
In his Poetics, Aristotle claims that comedy is concerned with the imitation of “characters of a lower type” — the ludicrously defected or ugly — with the aim of provoking laughter. And certainly pieces like the Edwards one are comic in this fashion — there is something wrong with these high-flying business types, they fall somehow within the uncanny valley of human nature, and this is funny to us. In short: they are grotesques. This explains why they are so widely shared — but why would someone intend it as an advertisement for the life it depicts?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:16 PM on October 24 [11 favorites]


Lunch??!!! For 1.5 hours??????!!!!!!!!

Bawhawhawhawhaaawwww!!!!

It’s funny because one day she’s going to depend on one of us, you know, Those Who Get Shit Done, who’ve been actually working since 6 am, stuff a sandwich in our face while doing paperwork for 10 minutes at “lunch” and come home at 7 pm to microwave a pizza for the kids while helping them do their homework, then collapse in a stupor over spread sheets at midnight.

I’m super glad capitalism is working out so well for some young beautiful people in Nob Hill or wherever the fuck place that’s so gritty you need sneakers to walk to work, but I’m not going to cry very much when the levee breaks and These Banker People are lined up against a wall.

Your time spent tapping on your computer for a few minutes every night for “women’s empowerment in Uganda” doesn’t mean shit when there are babies living in tents born to heroin addicts in your very own city.

This is a parody, right?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:38 PM on October 24 [33 favorites]


You work in global finance and you get into the office around 9 - give me a break, markets have been open for 2.5 hours by the time you get into work?

If I'm decoding her position correctly, she's a sell-side marketer. She isn't paying attention to the minutiae of stock market movements because she doesn't put trades on.
posted by praemunire at 7:44 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]


To take a step back from the misogyny / "all women are frivolous" borderline, I think we can distinguish between money diaries / day-in-the-life journals that reflect our common struggles around making time for our careers and interests and inauthentic performance pieces that are intended to inspire envy or are just another salvo in performative bourgeois lifestyle achievement.

I think of, say, the distinction between wedding planning stories on places like The Knot or the NY Times Vows section which describe these fairytale weddings that are specifically designed to land on the Vows section, and, say, the variety of weddings that are profiled in A Practical Wedding. APW definitely has a "type" that they tend to showcase, but I appreciate how their wedding profiles were partially lifestyle porn/inspiration leavened with a healthy dose of useful data and "you can do this" advice.

I don't think there's anything wrong with diary articles that show people trying to balance yoga + tennis + organic diets + continuing education on a 30 year old's white collar salary, but personally, like allkindsoftime (eponysterical!), I found the details of the schedule rather off-putting and in some cases actively harmful.

Like, I would not advise anyone to believe that setting up your workday to regularly leave in the middle of the early afternoon to commute to a secondary office while listening to podcasts is a good use of your time! That's, like, prime collaboration/flow time and, at best, it strikes me as a sign that you're underutilized or dispensable at your job.

I think a part of this uncanny valley is that it displays a lot of the signifiers of what life should look like when you've "made it." You have the discipline to get up early and exercise. You have a global social network based on lived experience. You have the autonomy to leave your office in the middle of the day. You have time to "give back." You have key wins. It doesn't show any of the actual work required to have made it or to maintain it.

There's nothing here that exhibits actual drive, just showcases the treats and rewards that are supposed to accrue to someone who has done something to earn it without actually showing what they've done. And/or perhaps the answer is like the one that lurks in the background of many "Vows" pieces: family money.
posted by bl1nk at 7:51 PM on October 24 [68 favorites]


Come on, 'Reflecting on their key wins' is the best/worst sex euphemism.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:54 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


is there a word for "like stock photography, but only with words"?
posted by twoplussix at 8:14 PM on October 24 [16 favorites]


I threw up a little in my mouth.
posted by bendy at 8:22 PM on October 24


is there a word for "like stock photography, but only with words" Advertisement copy?
posted by littlesq at 8:59 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


A) Your morning meditation shot - it's not that bright anywhere in California at 5:30am on any day of the year (source: me, with my dog - and now infant, every morning for the last 5 years. It's dark out and unless you have a Doberman with you it's not entirely safe out, and I'm a grown ass man).

Sunrise in San Diego is at or before 5:30 in early March, and then again from May-Aug once the sun has caught back up to daylight savings and the early twilight hours are enough to do things in most of the rest of the year at 5:30. I know that's not the time in the northern parts of the state, but to say that no where in California it's that light at 5:30 is just wrong.
posted by jmauro at 9:17 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand the purpose of this piece. Other than HSBC employees appear not to work and I should not invest with them.
posted by Toddles at 11:18 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]


wherever the fuck place that’s so gritty you need sneakers to walk to work

what
posted by stoneandstar at 11:19 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


HSBC employees appear not to work and I should not invest with them.

I was once on a technical team evaluating an acquisition and HSBC was the banker on the deal. Three young (so young!) dudes in skinny suits, business cards with 'VP' or "Senior Analyst", flown in from NY. They sat in the room for the few days doing nothing and understanding less. We had a small team of technical and commercial people, as did the other company so it's very unclear what value they brought. To be fair the youngest of the dudes would be dispatched by the others to buy us sandwiches, so there's that.

On the flip side, if the deal had gone through, I'm sure HSBC would have taken a little cut of the several hundred million dollars so maybe you *should* invest with them.
posted by bumpkin at 1:01 AM on October 25


This made me want to vomit because my boss would be so fucking proud of me if I lived this kind of life and was able to document it as a win for our company
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:04 AM on October 25 [2 favorites]


Apparently I could be an exec at HSBC. I wonder if I can use this crappy article as ammunition for a promotion? (Source: me, up at 4 am to do my state-school homework before I head to the gym at 5 and to the office by 7 for my PM job so I can come home in the evening and do more homework and haven’t taken a lunch break since 2007.)
posted by okayokayigive at 1:55 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


If I'm decoding her position correctly, she's a sell-side marketer. She isn't paying attention to the minutiae of stock market movements because she doesn't put trades on.

I think she's actually a commercial banking relationship manager type. HSBC (and everyone else) are trying like crazy to penetrate the maturing SV companies that are starting to need the kinds of products the global trade Banks offer, of which HSBC is the biggest.

So basically her day to day job has not a whole lot to do with financial markets.
posted by JPD at 3:09 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as others are saying, the thing I find most unrealistic is the lack of actual work the woman profiled seems to be doing considering her field, not that someone actually does yoga or drinks juice. I'm in a different field, but one similarly populated with Type-A personalities (law) and if someone breezed in to the office at 9 and took hour and a half lunches that were not for marketing purposes? Or left early to go to yoga? They simply would not last. I mean, I've had days like hers but those are easy days. The Dealbreaker parody rings much more true.

Not saying that's the way it should be, of course (capitalism! Let's dismantle it!). But I find the article blithely fantastical and I can't imagine the seething rage it must stoke in someone working three different jobs just to make ends meet.

Or maybe I'm wrong, in which case: HSBC, give me a call.
posted by AV at 3:09 AM on October 25 [5 favorites]


"English breakfast tea is my favorite, as I am British," she said.
Said no British person ever. But it's not unrealistic to have lived and worked across three continents by her age - I know loads of people who've done so due to multicultural families, parents with international careers and/or studying abroad for university.
posted by monocot at 4:31 AM on October 25 [6 favorites]


The photography is so weird and uncanny. It's sort of halfway between instagram and shutterstock.
posted by octothorpe at 4:58 AM on October 25 [5 favorites]


The photography is so weird and uncanny. It's sort of halfway between instagram and shutterstock.

Also interesting that all the photography is credited to her, meaning that she provided it to the publication. Some of it looks like personal pictures that anyone might have, but a lot of it looks like the "instagram influencer" genre of intentional photography designed to highlight products, clothing, and the aspirational life of luxurious experience and travel. Were this highlighting a brand rather than a person (and the difference between those is certainly decreasing for a certain set) I would think it was sponsored content paid advertising.
posted by msbrauer at 6:20 AM on October 25 [4 favorites]


Its kind of a fascinating insight into the different bubbles we all live in, because while this version is particularly mockable, "day in the life" vignettes for junior folks are pretty standard parts of HR/Recruiting websites for all of the "prestige" (Banking/Consulting) on-campus recruiters. Like this one is particularly mockable, but the whole genre is pretty preposterous. I'm surprised people are surprised at the existance of this kind of propaganda.
posted by JPD at 6:56 AM on October 25


I regularly read the Refinery 29 Money Diaries series, which has a lot in common with this-- disproportionately high income urban dwelling women walking you through their day with varying doses of aspirational instagram-ready content. While those can be pretty eye-roll inducing, I think there were two things that pushed this piece over the edge for me: (1) The weird, staged photos, and (2) the fact that instead of depicting a single day, they tried to give her a universal schedule ("at 6:30 I facetime friends and family," "at 10:30 I meet with tech companies") which is both unrealistic and makes her seem robotically regimented.
posted by geegollygosh at 7:03 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Side question: is there a "Day In The Life" series (or do people post these somewhere) for non-Instragrammy regular people? I'd love to see what a day is like for a public defender in Oklahoma City, or a teacher's aide in Tampa, or a traffic cop in Columbus, or something like that. (I've occasionally seem them on imgur and they've been really neat: a grad student in Istanbul, a software engineer/game designer in Tokyo, that kind of thing). Would love to see what other people's lives are really like.
posted by math at 7:09 AM on October 25 [7 favorites]


B) "lived and worked across Europe, Asia, and the US" - yeah so at 6:30am here it's 3:30pm in Berlin and 8:30pm in Bangkok so I guess it's feasible that you've got some catching up to do. What's not feasible is that you've lived in Europe and Asia at what looks to be the ripe old age of 30. I'm guessing she did a study abroad in London for a semester and has a cousin currently traveling in the Philippines. (source: I lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Central America, and Africa for the better part of a decade and there really aren't companies just bouncing around entry-level analysts to these continents on whims, even at the premier levels of finance or management consulting - my field).

Yes, that is feasible. By the time I was 30 I had lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa* (although the last two only on projects). I am also a management consultant.

Since she's British I'm guessing that she did an internship in the UK and maybe had an Asian role for a brief period that would be possible at 30.

(*) I'm only counting my adult life, I grew up as an expat kid so I could obviously make a much longer list.
posted by atrazine at 7:16 AM on October 25 [3 favorites]


One weird thing that I haven’t seen anyone point out yet is that it seems she heads directly to work from her tennis match! Exhibit A: she is wearing in same dress in the tennis court and the sneakers-to-work photos. Exhibit B: it’s highly unlikely she has time to play tennis, walk back home, shower, dry her hair, and get dressed and ready to go between 7:30 and 8:30. She must not sweat much. I can’t even do the walk-to-work part without needing to change when I get there!

Also, they drop the timeline in the middle of the article, and I think that is because she didn’t actually do any work from Palo Alto on this particular day. She probably left her SF office at 5 or 5:30 and commuted down to Palo Alto, to set herself up for working there the following day. That’s not an unreasonable work day, in terms of length. Sure, she may have spent 90 minutes outside of the office in the middle of the day, but that doesn’t mean nothing work-related was going on in her mind during that time. I sometimes do my best work when I’m away from the keyboard, breathing fresh air and thinking deeply without the distraction of all the functionality available on my laptop.

Even that morning FaceTime session could be somewhat work-related. I used to work at a small company on the west coast, that employed a finance person who was responsible for connecting us with money and opportunities. He would get to the office around 7am and spend the next few hours flipping through his rolodex, chatting with people. The contents of the calls was mostly polite social stuff, talking about families and vacations and the latest in pro tennis, but with some business sprinkled in. Mostly, it kept the connections warm so that he could call upon those people when opportunities came up. It sounds like the subject of this article may be in a similar position, and may be using some of her FaceTime time for similar purposes, maintaining connections with former colleagues in other countries.

I think the article had potential to be inspiring, but they kind of botched it in the execution, with the things they chose to focus on. For example, there was no mention of any kind of challenge or conflict, though I’m sure she deals with those things all the time as an exec. And the photos are just uncanny.
posted by mantecol at 7:16 AM on October 25 [2 favorites]


math: "Side question: is there a "Day In The Life" series (or do people post these somewhere) for non-Instragrammy regular people? I'd love to see what a day is like for a public defender in Oklahoma City, or a teacher's aide in Tampa, or a traffic cop in Columbus, or something like that. (I've occasionally seem them on imgur and they've been really neat: a grad student in Istanbul, a software engineer/game designer in Tokyo, that kind of thing). Would love to see what other people's lives are really like."

There was a Refinery 29 diary this week from a 23 year old accountant who makes $44K and has a pretty mundane life living in an $800/month apartment in the suburbs and driving into work downtown every day. It came up on social sites this week because it's local and there was a lot of grarr about how low salaries are around here.
posted by octothorpe at 8:24 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


>is there a word for "like stock photography, but only with words"

Advertisement copy?


"Branded content"
posted by JamesBay at 8:48 AM on October 25 [2 favorites]


He often pauses at the entrance of the uptown 6 train to make sure that the subway is not flooded or on fire...

Seems legit.
posted by The Bellman at 9:21 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


I have what they call "terminal insomnia" (terminal meaning at the end of the night, not fatal). Whatever time I go to bed, I wake up 4-5AM and cannot go back to sleep. Going to bed later just makes me groggier and more irritable when I wake up. It's pretty annoying that all these people seem to think waking up early is a sign of being virtuously hard-working, when it's just a sign of when you went to bed + personal biochemistry. I also do exercise early in the morning ( running or dumb-bells). It's not because I'm virtuous and energetic and driven but because there's fuck all else you can do when everthing's closed, everyone's asleep and your brain is running at about 10%.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:22 AM on October 25 [8 favorites]


I'm totally jealous of how much free time she has :(
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:43 AM on October 25


The only part that's unreasonable is the jaunt down to University Ave and back on the CalTrain after lunch. Oh and she swings by the Stanford campus too? Unless that's a once a week/month hell day, I can't imaging doing that shit that often. You'd spend 2 hours right in the middle of the day on train. In real life you'd just run over to 4th and King in the very early morning and bang out a bunch of meetings once a week or whatever and come back in the evening.
posted by sideshow at 11:33 AM on October 25


I envy her ability to exercise and play tennis and phone people up before she goes to work. We spent this morning tearing the bedroom apart to see if we could find where the cat peed. I wonder if Business Insider would like to do an article on me?

(Spoiler: we didn't find anything but that smell, and get to spend the evening after work breaking down everything we can find and scrubbing it AUGH kill me now.)
posted by telophase at 12:03 PM on October 25 [11 favorites]


Melania was the most-mocked person on my Facebook feed a few days ago, until I found McKenna.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:13 PM on October 25 [3 favorites]


Sweetie Darling: "Melania was the most-mocked person on my Facebook feed a few days ago, until I found McKenna."

I would be happy if I never heard or read the word "influencer" ever again.
posted by octothorpe at 2:58 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


The weirdest thing about it to me, aside from the fact that she exercises twice a day but does not bathe and wears her workout clothes to work, is that there is no mention of what her actual job is or what work she performs. This seems like mostly a promotional tool for her employer. But if I were thinking of a career there, I'd consider it a huge red flag that the 'day in the life' that the company chooses to present - which has little or nothing to do with the person they picked for it - is 100% totally implausible details about mundane personal stuff and 0% description of her job.
posted by The World Famous at 4:57 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


Back at work, Edwards starts a conference call with her working group. They recently launched HSBC Women on the Rise in Fintech, a program that celebrates and promotes 10 inspiring women in the financial technology space across the US.

On Wednesdays, they wear pink.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:42 PM on October 25


Wake me when she removes her own appendix with a spoon.
posted by Chitownfats at 6:24 PM on October 25


It does describe her work. She "meets with tech companies". I'm sure most companies don't want really good descriptions of what people do there, because responsibilities change and it's a security issue if you go into too much detail.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:24 AM on October 26


You have key wins. It doesn't show any of the actual work required to have made it or to maintain it.

bl1nk, this is such a nice encapsulation of the problem with so many lifestyle "influencers"!
posted by apricot at 9:05 AM on October 26


It does describe her work. She "meets with tech companies". I'm sure most companies don't want really good descriptions of what people do there, because responsibilities change and it's a security issue if you go into too much detail.

"Meets with tech companies" does not describe her work, come on. What's the security issue with saying "Meets with tech companies about the bank's services in her capacity as [ACTUAL JOB TITLE]?" Or "manages a large team of account representatives in the bank's Global Venture Capital Coverage Group" or whatever?

It says she's an "executive." What do they mean by that? Not "what does the word 'executive' mean." What does the article mean by that?
posted by The World Famous at 11:15 AM on October 26


I mean, it's not a greatly descriptive article, but if you manage money and 'meet with tech companies' one might assume you're a VC or similar. Indeed, her Linkedin confirms this:
Global Venture Capital Coverage Group
Connecting VCs and their LPs, GPs, and portfolio companies to HSBC's extensive global network and capabilities.
I assume this means she offers business banking services to startups that just got funding. Corporate checking, payment cards, foreign currency exchange, payment processing / merchant banking, SEP IRAs etc. Maybe setting up bridge loans and payroll services, or teaching them how to pay the factory in china that's actually making the product they're selling. I imagine the fact that her team meets with these people likely means they're focused on sales / pre-sales.
posted by pwnguin at 11:45 AM on October 26 [1 favorite]


Yes, we can learn quite a bit more about a day in her professional life from one incomplete sentence in her public LinkedIn profile than we can from an article that purports to describe a day in her professional life.

But that still doesn't tell us what she does. For example, does she manage money? Neither her LinkedIn nor the "day in the life" article says she does. In fact, her LinkedIn says all she does is "connect" people. LinkedIn does say she used to have the word "manager" in her job title when she was in a previous position.
posted by The World Famous at 3:07 PM on October 26


What's not feasible is that you've lived in Europe and Asia at what looks to be the ripe old age of 30.

The month before my 30th birthday, I moved back to Malaysia after 3 years in San Francisco and 6 years in Brisbane. 9 months later I'd move to Melbourne. I have a sister in Bristol and friends & family scattered everywhere. I'm not quite that good at keeping up with people (my parents grumble that I don't call them enough), but I find it very strange how people aren't able to have at least made one international friend. I don't work in finance, I'm in the arts. I'm not THAT weird.

This strikes me as super normal. Maybe the reality is that not all of these things are daily - some days she has tennis, some days she has class, so in the interim is time for all that commuting and cleaning up and whatever.

But why is she - or anyone - obligated to lay out the complete honest dirty truth for us strangers? Maybe she doesn't want to be too identifiable so she won't get stalked. Maybe she keeps some part of her schedule private for whatever reason. Maybe she could tell that people will be nitpicky and call her names so hey, just be generic.

People keep crowing about "authenticity" and "all these fake smiles on Instagram" or whatever, yet when people are being authentic it's "oh you're attention-seeking" or "clearly this is fake" or "urgh you're a mess nobody wants your dirty laundry". Why do we feel so entitled to a stranger's life?

(Also a lot of Muslims wake up before dawn for prayer because that's when one of the obligatory 5 prayers a day is. It's not like sunlight is a prerequisite for meditation.)
posted by divabat at 5:17 PM on October 26 [3 favorites]


But why is she - or anyone - obligated to lay out the complete honest dirty truth for us strangers? Maybe she doesn't want to be too identifiable so she won't get stalked.

I mean, she was ok with her name and employer being published, the neighbourhood she lives in, how much more identifiable can you be?
posted by atrazine at 5:18 AM on October 27


> Why do we feel so entitled to a stranger's life

Because she chose to be the subject of an article about her life. We'd never have heard of her if she just went about her day.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:35 AM on October 27 [1 favorite]


Choosing to be featured in a article doesn't mean you've signed up to reveal EVERYTHING. It still doesn't make us entitled to more details than she consents to. Let her select what she wants to say.
posted by divabat at 1:28 PM on October 27


Sure, but if the piece ends up being bland or ridiculous because of what she chooses to keep private, it probably shouldn't be run. I'm questioning the editor more than anyone else.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:06 PM on October 27


What's not feasible is that you've lived in Europe and Asia at what looks to be the ripe old age of 30.

This was the only believable part on first reading for me. If you’re on any kind of management track for a global bank, then spending a few years being sent out to work in various bits of it is, well, normal? Someone I know well works for HSBC in London & spent a couple of years with their family out in Shanghai before returning. If they didn't have family ties to the UK they could easily have gone on to the US or somewhere else.

The rest seemed to imply that she gets away with doing astonishingly little work for her employers, but that’s totally possible? She might have negotiated working part-time so she can do her MBA for instance.

Mostly this reads more like marketing by HSBC aimed at women currently in college than anything else. It’s got that weird lack of detail about the job, combined with all those tasty lifestyle bits. You too can have the perfect Instagram lifestyle!
posted by pharm at 8:49 AM on October 28


I enjoyed the Dealmaker bit very much. Laughed out loud at:

“The cafeteria is a little stressful for me,” Ichabod explained. “Plus, I like to get out and get some fresh air, it’s nice to–” We can’t hear what Ichabod said next because there was a man in a dirty knockoff Elmo costume right behind him screaming racial epithets at a family of Belgian tourists.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:40 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]


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