Both the economy and the general mood on Wall Street aren’t providing the best working environment for bankers and analysts right now, but would everything be a whole lot better if you were laid off and straight chillin?
Sounds like a few young, recently unemployed UBS dudes are having the time of their lives.
When you factor in the $405/week of unemployment benefits with the 6 months severance package that most Wall Street firms are offering, now could be the best time of your life to be unemployed.
The NY Observer reports on what Tommy Kim, a 27-year old UBS employee who got the axe has been up to:
He just logged 37 days of snowboarding in 2008 after being fired last January. “When I got laid off, it was like, hallelujah,” he said.
After the snow melted, he came back to New York, where “I went paint-balling,” Mr. Kim said. “I went to Six Flags.” Now: “I stay up late, wake up late, go to the beach a lot. I play a lot of video games when I can’t find people to hang out with. I started reading again for pleasure, which is something I haven’t done since before college.” (Currently on the nightstand: Freakonomics).
Recently, Mr. Kim turned his attention to organizing his vast music collection and playing DJ gigs around town, including a Saturday party at the Brooklyn Museum and a few weddings (he was a well-known DJ during his undergrad days at Dartmouth). He’s also taking break-dancing classes. And he built himself a new computer, just for the hell of it. Looked up the instructions online, bought the parts, et voilà!
And his job search? “I’m kind of looking,” Mr. Kim said. “I decided last week maybe I should be more proactive.” It’s hard to get worked up, though, because “President Bush extended unemployment by another 13 weeks!” That’s $405 a week on top of the “generous” UBS severance.
Snowboarding? Paintball? DJing? Breakdancing?…Books? This sounds like the type of perfectly fabricated story that is just too good to be true.
Apologies to Mr. Tommy ‘Generic Asian Name’ Kim, but your life of unemployment sounds like it’s part of a Generation X Madlibs. How long would it really take to ‘organize a music collection’ on a computer?
I call bullshit on this story, New York Observer, but I see where you’re going with this. If I was living the unemployed lifestyle, I would be sure to keep my unemployment check only for the alcoholic essentials, while all other funds transfer directly into the ‘getting laid’ column of my budget spreadsheet.
What would you do with a severance package and some extra time on your hands? Let us know in the comments section.
The New York Observer: Bumped Bankers Go Bonkers!, August 27, 2008