Muffie Benson-Perella (muffie AT dealbreaker.com) is an Associate in the Investment Banking Division of a "Bulge Bracket" bank. She holds a B.A. in French and Art from Vassar College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Her regular column "Heard in the Suite" is a probing (and, ahem, fictional) weekly look into the secret lives and behind the velvet curtains of the investment banking world.
So the people on my deal team are total asses. It is not every day that people get to visit London, but they insist on spending hours and hours "working," which translates to sitting around in conference rooms and hotel rooms and hotel conference rooms (and by the way, someone has to do something about hotel conference rooms, I can't believe my co-workers sit for so long without moving and without their butts hurting) and reviewing "documentation." Personally, I don't call a bunch of spreadsheets "documentation." Documentation is suppose to explain something. Like how to work your iPod, or the best way to keep the leather on your purse in good condition or something. Why the hell did we come to London if they are just going to be in a hotel or conference rooms the whole time? They might as well have been in Atlanta or something. And let me tell you, dear readers, Atlanta is no picnic.
Anyhow, I started taking pictures of the "deal room," which is another totally stupid term since there is no dealmaking going on in there, just reading of more "documentation," but this total bitch of a receptionist told me there was no photography allowed. That is totally stupid considering there were video cameras all over at every corner of the hallways. Hello, how can there be "no photography" when you have cameras everywhere? So I just took pictures when she wasn't looking but then some obnoxious guy actually took my camera away. Can you believe it? That's assault, you know. He gave it back to me but my memory card was missing. Assault and theft. Isn't that robbery or something? Anyhow, I plan to ask Dad what can be done but I didn't get the guy's name. That was stupid.
They were boring pictures anyhow. Just a bunch of boxes with papers in them. I thought I had some pictures from the night before on there but I don't really remember for sure and I can't find the business cards I collected because I left them at someone's house. Anyhow, I got a new memory card and went out to M&S before I had to go to the Airport.
After the camera incident I got a call from a partner at the prestigious investment bank I work for. He had heard about the entire thing already and suggested that I should come home immediately. He was kind of mean but then my Dad's friend on the executive committee called and apologized and said there was lots for me to do for the Ambassador Program back home. Of course, he's right. They had been so beastly there was no reason to let them take advantage of my contributions to the team any longer.
This sign explains a lot. I think the British just have too much attitude. Wedding insurance must be a good bet considering the number of broken off engagements that must pop up once girls find out what dicks British men are. I left a bunch of things at this guy's place and he wouldn't call me back so I could get them back.
As you can see, travel is very trying. Heathrow just isn't any better than anywhere else. Look at the children again, and though there is a separate First Class check-in it is right next to Business Class and that is right next to coach. Ugh.
There is finally a hint of civilization as you head towards the airline club sections. This is the entrance to Virgin for the Upper Class. I think it's outstanding that people of a certain social station get their own section. It is pretty mean of them to taunt the American Airlines patrons this way though. This is right in front of the Admiral's Club.
This is much better. Even than JFK!
They even are careful about the housings for their monitors. Classy!
I think this must be the founder of American Airlines. Strange that it is in such an old world style.
Ahhh, wonderful! They didn't have any good magazines though. No Cosmo, no Vanity Fair. Someone needs to do something about that. Women travel too, you know. The flight back was totally uneventful, except for this really bitchy stewardess, er... I mean "flight attendant," who kept trying to offer me this scalding hot handkerchief like my mascara was running or something. Anyhow, I need about a week to recover from my jetlag, so I will be out of the office for awhile. Make sure to send your questions for "Ask Muffie"!