Sunday, May 07, 2006

The City of Self-Promotion

So, a few weeks back I was out with a friend who struck up a conversation with someone at a bar we were hanging out at. This guy was a trader for some investment bank- probably a dime a dozen in NYC. The point, however, is that this guy somehow works into the conversation that he was high school valedictorian and when I asked how he enjoyed living in NYC, he amazingly turned that into an opportunity to draw a diagram of what he did for a living, illustrating the "buy" side and "sell" side of investment banking.

Unbelievable. Perhaps it's a stereotype, but this douchebag was perpetuating the concept of the self-obsessed, arrogant, self-promoting New Yorker. What is it about this town that breeds this type of antisocial behavior? I've always felt that success is relative and there will always be someone better-looking, richer, smarter, etc. (or some combination thereof) than you. It's pointless to get too wrapped up in that and instead you should simply try to be the best person you can be, corny as it sounds. Who is this annoying breed of New Yorker trying to impress?

I was talking about this with another friend of mine and he said that in New York, it's "all about winning". But who the hell are you competing against? Everyone? In everything? This seems like a ludicrous and ultimately fruitless endeavor. I've never been impressed by people who have to brag about themselves in order to make themselves feel better in a city full of accomplished individuals. If you've got it, you don't need to flaunt it. And I think the bravado and arrogance speak volumes about someone's own insecurities and neuroses.

And trader asshole guy, you don't have it, by the way....I was high school valedictorian too, and went to a more prestigious undergraduate and graduate school than you (but of course, I don't want to brag - don't transform me into one of them, NYC!)

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