Buy A Decent Suit, You Can't Come In Here Like This. Go To Morty Sills, Tell Him I Sent You
Meritocracy. Say it out loud with me. MERITOCRACY. I remember when America was one. I was once part of one. Fuck. It's been 13 years. I think GE will let me talk about it now and if they don't want me talking then show me the paperwork and I'll give back the $2000.
Here's something that most people don't know about me. Even people who I grew up with don't really know this about me. For those of my 2 readers who remember me when I was "missing" this is where I was.
Once upon a time I was a young man who barely made it through high school. When kids grow up they dream of running away and joining the circus. I dreamed of running away and joining Hollywood. I ended up missing Hollywood by 3000 miles. Unfortunately for me my family wasted all of it's political potential long before I was born. After knocking around for a couple months after high school I lucked my way into the mail room at the Boston office for a stock brokerage. The company was Kidder, Peabody and Co. Inc. In the interest of brevity I'll simply say it was the last of the old money firms. They let me in the back door through the mail room in 1988. I weathered the Ivan Boesky/Michael Milken insider trading scandal. I was on the floor watching the GNP tick off the charts when the Barbarians pounded down the gates at RJ Reynolds.
I worked hard. I started at $12,000 a year. I doubled it quickly. I got promoted to the sales floor as an assistant broker. I was the last person Kidder, Peabody ever promoted from the mail room to the floor. The sales manager started training me to take the Series 7 exam.
Then this asshole fucked it all up. GE pulled the plug on Kidder and sold out to PaineWebber. PW immediately showed up and generally announced that if you didn't have an MBA you should hit the bricks. I didn't have a college degree. I still don't have an MBA after 26 years of schooling. I'm not stupid. I knew any asshole with a computer and 5 minutes free time could do what I did. I hate being right all the time.
A bunch of dicks with old boy network connections started making wrong decisions. Eventually PW got bought out by UBS. UBS is currently under FBI investigation for tax evasion.
Kidder, Peabody was a meritocracy when I started. Then the Baby Boomers took over when the OLD money retired. But that's a story for another day.
EPILOGUE: I made the front page of The Wall Street Journal October 20, 1995. I'm not the only person I know personally who made the front page but I am the only one who didn't get there as the result of a scandal.