It’s an email that many on Wall Street have received countless times by now, forwarded around from one bank to another, often with some minor details changed. It tells the story of an intern at a bank who emails his bosses about needing to take a day off work in October to take care of some family business in New York City. But his bosses discover a picture of him at a party in Worcester, Massachusetts, uncovering his duplicity. Worse, his boss attach ed the picture to a response email to him and BCC the entire North American staff of the bank. And, even worse, in the picture the intern—a young man named Kevin—is dressed a fairy—complete with green wings and a star-tipped wand. “Nice wand,” the boss adds in his email.
Wall Street quickly grabbed hold of the email and it spread like wildfire. It spread through banks and jumped from bank to bank. It was a tale of a quite ordinary employee misdeed—a fib to a boss explaining an unscheduled absence—coupled with a humiliating factory. Overworked and threatened with unemployment and—relative to past years—underpayment, Wall Streeters were happy to enjoy the schadenfreude and, perhaps, the relief that comes from being able to say, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
But is it real? We received the email many times. Sometimes Kevin was an intern at Goldman Sachs. Once at Bear Stearns. Most frequently, however, he worked for Anglo Irish Bank, which has offices in Boston. The confused details—including a Yankee cap supposedly at a Worcester party—left an air of implausibility about the email. And, what’s more, it seemed almost too perfect to be true.
[Spreading more fairy dust after the jump.]
Surprisingly, the email seems to be authentic. Yesterday we spoke to a man named Paul Davies—supposedly the name of Fairy Kevin’s boss—at Anglo Irish who seemed not at all surprised by the story, or that his name was attached to it. He declined to comment on the story, and gave us the number of his press relations person. This is fairly typical behavior in well-trained bankers but there was something about his manner which suggested that—however improbably—this story actual might have some truth in it. Our suspicions were further raised when the spokesperson for Anglo Irish never returned our phone call.
What inspired us to follow-up on this story—rather than just ignore it—is that ValleyWag had actually decided to run with it. While we have no insight into the fact checking apparatus at ValleyWag or its parent, Gawker Media, we assume they don’t just print these things willy-nilly. We continue to investigate but aren’t drawing any firm conclusions yet. But we’re less skeptical this afternoon than we were when we started.
Intern Busted By Facebook [ValleyWag]