Intern’s Death Leads to Debate About Work Hours

Intern was found dead in his shower after pulling eight all-nighters in two weeks

  • Share
  • Read Later

The death of a German student who died after pulling eight all-nighters in two weeks for his finance internship has led to increased scrutiny of work culture at major banks.

Moritz Erhardt was near the end of a punishing eight-week internship at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London when he was found dead in the shower at his student housing last week. Friends attributed his death to overworking and sleep deprivation, reigniting a debate about the hyper-competitive working culture in the finance industry, especially for ambitious young workers.

Interns at investment banks are often expected to work over 100 hours each week, and usually believe that longer working hours can give them a competitive edge for promotion. In a public statement, the bank said it was “deeply shocked and saddened” and expressed condolences to the family.

58 comments
AAKDJ
AAKDJ

Philippine girls are known world over for their beauty, charm and loyalty. Their simplicity, sweet and reserved nature makes them irresistible for most men. If you are looking for them for fun, love, date, friendship or marriage, you will find them on Philippine Dating.free boracay dating

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

To make this topical, I'll post this:

Until there is an enforceable law of "ethical business behavior", there will continue to be abuses of people by businesses - both customers and employees.  All research has shown that if the employee is treated fairly and compensated well, their productivity is higher.  Sometimes it's considerably higher.  If the employee has a stake in the company (as a part owner, or whose voice is not only heard, but listened to) the productivity of the company increases even more.

But the paradigm among Western businesses (and to a large extent among all businesses) is to treat employees like slaves instead of a valuable resource.  This is because of the pursuit of the almighty dollar and investor demand.  When those two priorities are placed before all else, excessive abuse happens.

It will always be so until or unless businesses are forced by law (and business leaders are JAILED when they break it) to treat people fairly.  And fairly can be spelled out in the law (Liveable wage, certain benefit guarantees, etc).  The way it's set up now, we are in a permanent (or at least very long term) condition where employers can do whatever they want because people need jobs.  They shouldn't be allowed to be abusive, or allow abusive treatment of their employees.  

Unfortunately, I don't see those kinds of reforms happening pretty much ever.  Until the businesses that have a clue start buying out the ones who don't, nothing's going to change.

Now, for the reason I bothered to comment: 

Inasmuch as commenting is a nearly sacred thing, I have to admit the twittersphere should stay in their own venue. Twitter is fine for short announcements.  It has some merit as a social forum for "conversations".  Neither belong in a comment section that is equivalent to a "letters to the editor" section where people are meant to air their views in depth.  They clutter up the boards tremendously, and all the hashtags tossed in make reading them a nightmare.

Not to mention that they do awful things to the English language - the proper use of which seems to be declining to the point of incomprehensibility.

The twits who tweet flutter in, squeak meaningless words and flutter out again.  If you have something to say, speak, don't squeak.  At least then you have less chance of being though of as shallow or irrelevant.

GaryJurgens
GaryJurgens

Death wants more death, and then some
look at my black widow spider.
along the rail road tracks.
fat and shiny with her black grape 
and red hour glass tummy.
though it tells no real time, I wish it did, 
as I spend to much time with her.
no real order either as her web goes off 
in all directions.
She sits it the cracks where it's cool, 
sits and waits for me, 
by now she knows, I will come, I think.
that she cares.
I wiggle the outer most edge of the her web 
with a very thin stick, 
wiggle, wiggle and she hurries out 
fast as the light that she flees.
holding the cricket by it's back legs, 
the cricket moves her Webb with
her long antennas
here she comes.
death six beady eyes of death.
no emotion: 
nothing to feel but true raw death black death.
she rolls her front over 
and spins back and forth her back legs.
pulling at first thick drops of the stickiest glue
that she attaches haphazardly on any thing that moves.
even your finger 
if you leave it there long enough
which is about two seconds three tops.
it can be so very much better 
than squeezing her treats through her panties 
it is just that exciting flirting with death.
soon I have helped her fill her web with crickets.
and just a few yards further down the track 
is another cool well concealed crack.
with friends like these who needs threats 
and those pale, 'full belly eats, when

'Death Wants More Death Than Death'. 

silverose
silverose

Somehow made me think about Welcome to Night Vale...Anyone?

dannilim
dannilim

The bank was DEEPLY SHOCKED? And SADDENED? 


YEAH RIGHT!! LIARS! How insensitive of the bank to give such a cliche comment on the situation. May they get the full karma they deserve. 

----

"A corporation is not a living creature. It has no soul. It has no heart. It has no feelings. It can neither experience towards you nor enjoy from you even the concept of loyalty. It is a legal fiction, and it exists for one purpose only: to make profit. If you assist in this goal in the long term, your ongoing association with the organization is facilitated. If you detract from it consistently, you will be cut. Family is “where they have to take you in no matter what you’ve done.” A corporation is… well, it’s sort of the exact opposite of this.

Being loyal to a corporation is sick. It is genuine madness."

(via James Creasy)

CarlosHamilton
CarlosHamilton

RIP to the poor lad. When they make a movie they usually do research so for the Wall Street movie the phrase 'Greed is Good' didn't just come from nowhere. We have all see the greed from the bailout banks that should have been left to rot.

vdeboer75
vdeboer75

the bank said it was “deeply shocked and saddened” and expressed condolences to the family.


Yeah right...hypocrites!

piper768
piper768

Was the cause of death a heart attack?  There are people in the banking industry who take powerful stimulants to work those kind of hours.  Though I don't know anything about this particular intern's situation.  

ClaireSwazey
ClaireSwazey

How is this even legal? Doesn't England have labor laws covering hours worked, etc???

DangPh
DangPh

Banks practice Modern Slavery, Parents must sue the Bank.

hannahotte9
hannahotte9

May he rest in peace and have perpetual light shine upon him. 

TomSlick
TomSlick

Tell Obama YOU have a JOB opening- and on that Gunner- 500 Rounds is NOTHING to real Gun Lovers- a DROP in the BUCKET- most Gunners in the USA probly have 1,000 and on up....I thought EVERYONE knew this!

amansopinion
amansopinion

@TIME I was told once, you get paid for 24 hrs a day; if u get the job done in 2 hrs, that's fine but if it takes more it's your problem.

elick461
elick461

@TIME: Finance intern found dead after pulling eight all-nighters in two weeks ti.me/1asmvVk good health is better than good wealth

eligeo
eligeo

@TIME So very tragic. We wished that someone told him that breaks are necessary to increase productivity and performance. RIP.

cdblnr
cdblnr

Its good he died young, before he could screw a bunch of people.  In Russia they had "shock workers," Many of them were "accidentally" pushed into furnaces etc..  To the kids out there, LOOK IT UP.

AmericoNonini
AmericoNonini

@TIME the whole concept of interns and all nighters is stupid; mental acuity lessens with fatigue. it's counterproductive.

kinolurtz
kinolurtz

@ClaireSwazey Yes we have quite strict labour hour rules compared to most countries, but there are loopholes that companies exploit, and the degree to which business is competetive in London (not just in finance I might add) means that young people are willing to pull such long shifts because it's the only way to succeed.Which of course is wrong. This is particularly problematic with interns which is a big issue in the UK at the moment, as technically unpaid internships are illegal since there is a minimum wage, but it's as of yet fairly unregulated.

piper768
piper768

@AmericoNonini @TIME 

Using the right stimulant makes all the difference.  You're thinking of a human in his or her natural state.