Exhausted Barclays Interns Napped on the Toilet

You say toilet, Barclays interns say nap time

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At big banks where junior traders work grueling hours and often come in on weekends, the ‘toilet nap‘ might be a thing.

Interns at Barclays PLC have taken their bathroom time as nap time, using the few minutes they have on the toilet to catch some Z’s, reports the Wall Street Journal. 2011 summer interns at the bank said they would sneak into a bathroom stall and use their phones as an alarm.

A number of major banks have said they’re cutting down on hours for internships and junior employees amidst reports that they regularly pull 13- to 14-hour days and even come in on weekends. Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase all have said recently they are cutting down on workloads for their junior staff, whose base salary is around $70,000 but can hit $140,000 with bonuses.

[WSJ]

68 comments
hobbyfarmer
hobbyfarmer

Careful to make sure your legs don't go asleep.

August23rd
August23rd

I did the same thing in the Army during AIT training form my MOS .. we had a swing shift schedule so by time we had class it was the late afternoon thru evening after waking up a "O'darktooearly" PT which consisted of running a few miles, what ever detail we had assigned, then class... Hell yes I slept on the toilet. 

amhv
amhv

This isn't even news. People who are surprised by this have no idea how hard this generation is having to work - FOR FREE - just to get an entry level position in most organizations. That doesn't even go into the fact that this is probably what they were doing during most of exam time in college, too. The economy sucks, so we gotta hustle.

colinwelch
colinwelch

Hmmmph, You're Lucky. We used to DREAM of 20 hour days. At the bank I worked at I'd get up half an hour before we went to bed, work a 26 hour day, lick bank clean with tongue, and when I got home my father would beat me with a broken beer bottle...if I was lucky.

argo12341
argo12341

I interned at a "major bank" and 13 to 14 hour days were considered VERY SHORT. Regular days are closer to 17 hours during the summer which is considered a quieter season. 20+ hour days are not uncommon. Out of 50 interns, I think only 1 got an entire weekend off. Everyone knows about bathroom napping, it is extremely obvious. Full capacity working = 120 hours per week, but it is not always observed; bankers have to go above 120 if need be.

rmu999
rmu999

Um, this author doesn't know what he's talking about.  It's doubtful they were "traders"... more likely in the investment banking division - why would "traders" come in on the weekend, and besides, the linked to article revolved around investment banking interns, not sales/trading interns?  It's this kind of misunderstanding among business journalists that causes misperceptions of the industry among the public.

jschmidt
jschmidt

The only answer to this is to stop allowing bathroom time. They'll work faster.

EdwinSmith
EdwinSmith

We no longer allow real interns (first year medical residents) to work those hours anymore because of fears of fatigue leading to errors. Are we sure these money interns aren't making some bad investment errors?   

Sinu
Sinu

Your chosen career....why crib now ?

payrovi2
payrovi2

These kids are rookies. I perfected the crap-nap in my first few years on Wall Street. The trick is to put your elbows on your thighs, and your chin in your hands. In about 10 minutes, your legs go numb (because you're cutting off blood supply to your legs) and they start to tingle. Instant built-in alarm clock.

walker098
walker098

Barclays is a sh*tty bank. I will never apply for credit with barclays (like in an Apple store or online) nor will I accept any of their offers.

sinsan
sinsan

@jthtcone - if I took time off I would lose my job.  Science funding is at ~5% right now.  I am writing 2 proposals/month (~50 pgs/proposal) right now just so I can continue pay people who work in my lab.  This is in addition to teaching, doing & keeping up with science, publishing, training graduate students and normal university committes etc.

@marsmotelThat is why many university professors (esp. in science) have very few kids, or have spouses who do most of the parenting!  I have one child & neither my parenting nor my career is what I would like it to be. 

@dumas777 - being a scientist is no longer a viable, much less rewarding, career option.  This is from a scientist who loves her job.

dumas777
dumas777

So glad our best and brightest instead of curing cancer or exploring Mars are inventing financial derivatives that are used to hide money from regulators and shareholders.  The financial industry is killing America not even so slowly anymore.

marsmotel
marsmotel

This is why our kids are so out of control.  You can't work 60-80 hours a week and be a good parent at the same time.  No job or company is worth more than my time doing homework with my daughter or going out to play with her.  We are the only country in the world that works ridiculous hours like that.  It is just a shame.

sinsan
sinsan

And this is news!  I have worked 60-80 hours/week for my entire adult life & will continue to do so for the rest of my working life.  I am a college professor (biochemistry), have a Ph.D., have worked at top notch institutions at labs of nobel prize winners & the like & continue to run a very productive research program.  I have had one vacation in ~13 years.  I earn ~70,000/annum & I doubt I will ever earn $140,000.  I think these interns are overpaid. And there is definitely an no connection between salaries and actual value to society.

a.gentleman49
a.gentleman49

So if his boss came in and caught him napping on the job (or would that be "on the John") would that be considered getting caught with his pants down?

dboy626
dboy626

As a Family Medicine Intern, my wife averaged 80-100 hours/week. Her salary? Less than 50k. It would have been nice for her to make as much as these people. And yet they still complain. The difference? The daily decisions a doctor makes is life or death. What difference does the decision of an intern for a bank make? Who has the greater positive impact on society? And yet, many think doctors make too much. For those who believe this, we have a $300,000 loan we would love for you to pay for us. And yes, with her less than 50k/year salary, we are having to fork over $700/month to work on paying this off. Try raising 2 kids on this meager salary. What is the debt of one of these bank interns? 

Cat80
Cat80

@EdwinSmith My ex husband was a doctor.  They simply lie about how many hours they are working to avoid getting the program into trouble.  

DagnyTaggart
DagnyTaggart

@payrovi2, Hah hah the "crap nap". Love the term.

marsmotel
marsmotel

@sinsan@marsmotelYou should do something about it.  Your child is the one missing out and so are you.  No money is the world can keep me working after 5 pm.  I switched careers to make this happen.

jschmidt
jschmidt

@dumas777actually the financial industry funds a lot of science and technology. The problem is the educational system run by liberals that continues to churn out uneducated high school students who need remedial help before they can tackle college courses. The liberal, unions and Democrats have ruled over education for years, and our students are not qualified to enter the engineering and sciences. Plus everything depends on money. Democrats would rather handout the money that form logical ways of employing people. The Feds have 47 job programs in some cases training people for jobs that don't exist where the people live. Republicans wanted to combine those 47 to 7 programs with the same money and less overhead. So more money going to training. So there are many reasons for our lack of science and technology strides. But 1 big one is commitment by DC where Democrats would rather give the money away to their supporters, Solynadra and the unions.

seanthompsonla
seanthompsonla

@dumas777interesting that your moniker is dumas.....seems short a couple letters. Here's a news flash for you sport. The financial industry makes everything move idiot, without "it" and those that work in it, there wouldn't be a system. Get a clue.

c34t4re16835
c34t4re16835

@marsmotel must be why parents continue to stuff a computer in front of their ten year old where they then spend all their alone time consuming truck loads of porn so by the time they are in middle school they are a sex obsessed hyper active future rapist.  Because that's about all I see in kids these days, especially the kids I encounter in online games.  

Steve0
Steve0

@sinsanAlso, I think you have to be a little careful about trying to evaluate the "value to society" of a given person, especially when awarding yourself more value.  I knew many faculty working on esoteric aspects of Drosophila development, funded by the taxpayers.  Some of these discoveries might one day yield great things, but I have to believe many do not.  Not that everybody in the financial industry is doing great things for society, but I just think this is a slippery slope to be arguing on.

Steve0
Steve0

@sinsanUmmmm, no, they are not overpaid, you are UNDERPAID.  I have both MD and PhD degrees and tried to practice and run a lab for a while, but it turned out to be an impossibility because the effort required for both is so large.  It is astonishing to me how little Ph.D. professors are paid.  I think it must come because their passion for the work is so great, they can be exploited by the institution to work for so little.  Someone working the hours you do, going to NIH study sections, working on committees, teaching, etc and getting paid only 70K is a GROSS underpayment.  It is not present in any other field I'm aware of.  The salary of these interns is maybe a little higher than average, with medical interns making maybe 50K and working equally grueling hours, but I suspect many of these firms are in NYC or similarly expensive places where 150K gets you a 500 square ft. apartment.  Also, I'm sure these jobs are highly competitive.

Steve0
Steve0

@sinsanUmmmm, no, they are not overpaid, you are UNDERPAID.  I have both MD and PhD degrees and tried to practice and run a lab for a while, but it turned out to be an impossibility because the effort required for both is so large.  It is astonishing to me how little Ph.D. professors are paid.  I think it must come because their passion for the work is so great, they can be exploited by the institution to work for so little.  Someone working the hours you do, going to NIH study sections, working on committees, teaching, etc and getting paid only 70K is a GROSS underpayment.  It is not present in any other field I'm aware of.

PatriotVet76
PatriotVet76

@sinsan I also work in academia.  Your pain and misery are self-inflicted.  


Obsessive-compulsive personality traits leading to workaholic tendencies are found in every career field.

jthtcone
jthtcone

And therefore you should take some time off.......I comend you for your years of hard work, lord knows we need more hard workers in this world, but enjoy life outside your job......there is a whole lot of WORLD out there!!

neenerneener
neenerneener

@sinsan This is not normal.  We are not machines.  Then again, who am I to question the biochem professor on what our bodies can do?

fooshoo
fooshoo

@dboy626 shut the hell up u dumbass. Ur wife didnt get into medicine to help people. she got into it for prestige and money but she had no idea how much hard work it takes, and now u effed up and got her knocked up and your complaining. If she knows what shes doing shell make well over 250 as a GP, and if she doesnt well then too bad be happy helping people. Stop talking sht and taking up internet space with ur nonsense you loser.

motherfuc*erjones
motherfuc*erjones

@dboy626 No one feels sorry for you. Your wife chose this profession, and knew what she was getting into. You'll need to live frugally for a few years, but eventually it will pay off big time. I have several doctors in my family. They started between $400,000 and $500,000 a year once they finished their residencies and fellowships, which also paid very low. So even college loans of $300k can be extinguished quickly, in 2-3 years. Some of these doctors are in their 30's living in multi-million dollar homes, driving the best cars, with kids attending the best private schools. I give them accolades for their success, not pity because they only earned $50k during their training, or had big loans to pay off. 


And what's all this preaching about "who makes a greater impact on society"? Yes I think everyone knows doctors make a huge positive impact on society. But no need to belittle everyone else. Even people on Wall Street. They are part of this great economic engine that allows our country to be rich and successful, including doctors. How do you think doctors get paid those huge salaries in the first place? It's because of all Americans working collectively to boost our economy, whether it's in government, finance, technology, manufacturing, etc. So get off your high horse. 

ThePear
ThePear

@dboy626  Your wife not standing up for better hours and pay doesn't make her a role-model for hard-working Americans, it makes her a pushover and part of the problem. Just because your wife laid down and let her job walk all over her doesn't mean that everyone should. 

FarmerDell
FarmerDell

@dboy626  Most career paths require periods of investment, so pay as a function of time is not linear.  Such is the case for the intern. Lifetime compensation is a better way to make financial comparisons between careers. Once licensed and certified, those loans will be gone before you know it. The risk of return or discount rate is much higher in other professions-- such as banking.  So higher pay in the "investment period" makes perfect sense and that is indeed the way the market works.

FarmerDell
FarmerDell

@dboy626 In terms of career, talent goes where the reward is.  For some this is purely financial, for others it is the opportunity to influence, for others fame, and for some it is service.  Let's be careful in our judgments.  Medical practice is heavily influenced by reimbursement, and so to say that financial reward is not a motivator for doctors is just nonsense.  Similarly, to claim that someone in the banking industry is solely motivated by financial gain is silly. Without the free flow of capital, all of our lives would be very different. Our society needs talented people in academia, applied sciences, healthcare, banking, the arts, etc.  A free market, and ours is the closest thing to that, has a remarkable way of largely paying people what they are worth.  If you feel you are underpaid, you might want to look at what more you can do instead of what more can be done for you.

a.gentleman49
a.gentleman49

Boy are you a martyr.  My cousin did the same thing but he never complained.  Yes, they get paid very little during theiir internship, but so do many graduate students.  Engineers can spend years in college getting their PhD while working for a starvation stipend, and then get paid very little once they graduate while doctors can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and some make millions.  If an engineer screws up, as many of the lesser ones do, their error can result in the deaths of thousands of persons at one time, not merely one as in the case of a doctor.  As for the financial folks, if they screw up, their client may not die immediately, but he can cause them to go into poverty for the rest of their lives. 

My conclusion is, yes, a doctor's job is very, very important, but even they - like everyone else - should put on humility.  Pride is a very ugly thing.

Amskeptic
Amskeptic

@jschmidt @dumas777 Ludicrous errors in your post, but expected. Federal education funding since the 1950's has declined precipitously. As have tax receipts that used to pay for American excellence, you may not remember that the top tax rate was 90% under Dwight Eisenhower. The financial services sector is nothing but a parasite on the body politic. Once responsible for just 8% of entire U.S. economic activity, the financial services sector has ballooned up to 37% and is NOT contributing to the nation's wealth in ANY WAY. As a matter of fact, Goldman Sachs lobbyists wrote the legislation reducing Pell Grants, preventing students from getting free of onerous education debt piled on by dubious schools run by private enterprise. The rapaciousness of the banks is legion, disgraceful, immoral, and out of control, as they now own Congress.

ultimateplaces
ultimateplaces

@jschmidt@dumas777 - Just have to drag politics into it. Perhaps liberals have ruled over education for years because they are good at. Name me one good conservative university whose primary mission is not religious. BYU, Bob Jones, Liberty. Think any of these are what Wall Street looks for first when picking interns or employees for that matter?

marsmotel
marsmotel

@c34t4re16835@marsmotelMy point exactly.  Some of these parents think their world is just work, work and work.  They don't know their kids and it is alright with them.  The leave early in the morning and come home late at night.  Why are we the only country that does this?

dboy626
dboy626

@fooshoo Ditto to you. You seem like a very pleasant person. People like you make the internet a great place for our youth. Good job fooshoo. Way to be a stand up citizen!

Seriously, you sound like you have some issues. I could recommend a good doctor.




Amskeptic
Amskeptic

@fooshoo @dboy626  You are yet another out-of-control keyboard cowboy who I certainly hope would not speak the way you type. When you presume to assume the whys of a person's choice to go into medicine, you lose all credibility in an instant, and you become apparent as only another boorish bored troll.

dboy626
dboy626

@motherfuc*erjones @dboy626 

Wow! Very mature screen name there. Anyhow, the average salary for today's Family Medicine Doctor is only 150k. Even though their debt is the same as a surgeon, their pays as physicians are not the same. You do realize there are different specialties of medical professionals, right? 


Oh, and I never asked for anyone's pity. Especially not yours. But thanks for the offer. 

dboy626
dboy626

@ThePear @dboy626 It's not her job that she has allowed to walk all over her. It is the fact that there are increasing numbers of sick persons  and also the fact that fewer people who are intelligent enough (this excludes you, obviously) that willingly choose to be a family physician due to the lack of return on their investment. 

Amskeptic
Amskeptic

@FarmerDell @dboy626 If only we *did* have the free flow of capital. The "fiduciary responsibility" of banks and lenders used to be for the common good, now it is for their own short-term profits. See: Financial Collapse 2007

dboy626
dboy626

@FarmerDell I like everyone's opinion. It is just more difficult for me to see the long term gain right now. We have been in this boat now for 10 years and still have a few before getting out of it. Between me going to graduate school and her medical school and now residency. It has been a very difficult journey not only for her or I as individuals, but for our marriage and on our kids as well. I apologize for offending anyone or rubbing anyone the wrong way. I guess the wounds are fresh for me and I guess a little jealous of those who are 30 and out of debt.

In the end, we are happy with our careers. That is what matters. Financially, our kids will not grow up in poverty like so many other kids. Thanks for the reminders of these things. The rewards of our hard work will come in time. I just need this reminder every 5 years or so. 

dboy626
dboy626

@a.gentleman49 

Yes, but she is not a graduate student. She is a licensed physician. An engineer comes out of a 4 year college earning more than 50k. Not saying they don't deserve the pay. Just saying that the breaks for other career choices are not there for some others. And remember, this is NOT me we are discussing here. It is my spouse. She would never complain about her pay and is happy with her career choice and wouldn't change anything. 

I don't believe that a bank intern has the power to make anyone go into debt for the rest of their lives. Not sure where you heard that fact, but I don't believe this to be true. In fact, I doubt that any one person has this power. Would love to see examples of this fact. 

Amskeptic
Amskeptic

@JJJingleheimerschmidt @dboy626 Wrong perspective . . . we choose careers for a myriad of different reasons, but we should celebrate service professions like medicine and teaching. But the corporate plutocracy of America only celebrates greed, and people like you who somehow presume to *blame* someone for choosing a job that should be paid better than some snot-nosed little financial manipulator, is a nice example of what is disgusting in this once great country.

dboy626
dboy626

@JJJingleheimerschmidt @dboy626 

I didn't, my wife did. And it was all those sick people out there that need decent doctors to advise them on their health and to provide appropriate medicines that made her choose her career path. It was between medicine and a legal career. I feel she chose wisely. Our society "rewards" the wrong careers. This coming from a high school teacher who, with 10+ years experience and a masters degree, makes barely 30k. 

jschmidt
jschmidt

@ultimateplaces@jschmidt@dumas777it is well know that liberal universities have excluded from employment anyone that shows the slightest hint of conservatism. And go up against the liberal establishment there and you are toast. 

The unions, Democrats and liberals have controlled education in the public schools for 40+years. It isn't working and common core is just the latest experiment.

FarmerDell
FarmerDell

@dboy626 @FarmerDell You're a good man dboy.  We need more families in America like yours.  Thanks for your contributions to society and for seeking to raise a great family!

dboy626
dboy626

@Amskeptic @JJJingleheimerschmidt By the way JJJingle, I think some of what you had to say was good. Thank you for that. My comment above is not directed at you exactly. 

dboy626
dboy626

@Amskeptic @JJJingleheimerschmidt @dboy626 So the motivation for choosing a job or career should be financial reward? Look at our education system. So many people are getting out of teaching b/c they can no longer afford to raise their family on their salary. We need good people in these positions. Those smart folks going into finance for the money need to be directed toward education or other careers like this where our service is to people, and not to capital. 


This is by first foray into online blogging or commenting on stories as this and I believe this will be my last. There are a lot of cruel and idiotic people out here that are unable to take another opinion and argue it intelligently or even appropriately. I figured that Time, after all, wouldn't allow users like some of you who have responded to my comments. 


I worry what anonymity has done to our society. Cyber bullying is a serious problem with my students and all of America's youth. It is forums like this where it is learned.