Sheila had fought every step of the way in her banking career. She’d endured team meetings in lap-dancing clubs, testosterone-charged banter, exclusion from the coke binges in the men’s washroom, the yobbery that spanned classes and ages throughout the bank. She’d evaded the cul de sac of trackers and analysts and pushed her way in amongst the dealers and managers. She was on the up, and she intended to keep herself there.
She knew all about glass ceilings. She’d seen the dominant males up there on high, urinating down on her, but she’d persevered. She had to be twice as good to earn half as much. Her bonuses were paltry; her Porsche wasn’t a turbo; her flat in Mayfair wasn’t exactly paid off; but she was still in the game.
Until one morning she found herself out on the pavement with her belongings in a cardboard box and news photographers snapping away. She stood there in a daze. She cost half as much as her peers, worked twice as hard and brought in more money. If there was any advantage in being cheap, she’d expected the recession to point it out to the over-cologned bison running her department. She hadn’t lost billions trying to compensate for the size of her penis, after all.
It was all so dreadfully unfair. She walked into the bijoux City pub across the road, pushed her way through the uber-redundant, drowning their sorrows on vintage Crystal before their credit cards were torn up, and ordered herself a scotch. The moment it arrived, she burst into tears of exasperation, not caring for a moment that her profile was faltering and her make-up blurring with it.
“It’s so unfair!” she wailed.
“You’re right, there,” agreed the antediluvian barman. “In China, they’d have shot you.”