Apparently a master of the universe can be completely incompetent, but he can't be vegetarian. A foreign exchange trader in NYC is suing because, he says, his boss made up an excuse to fire him after letting loose a slew of homophobic taunts related to his vegetarianism.
"A trading floor is certainly a manly man's world," Pacifico said. "I just never expected someone to think it's gay to be a vegetarian or to constantly poke fun at me."
The 28-year-old Long Island man worked as a junior foreign-exchange trader in Manhattan for the firm from 2005 until he was fired last March.
Pacifico's discrimination lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, contends the firm cooked up lies about his job performance to fire him - when the real factors were that he was a vegetarian who was perceived to be gay by boss Robert Catalanello.
Maybe someone with some sensitivity towards animals would be well-advised not to get into a field that's rife with assholes.
It is a ridiculous stereotype to associate heterosexuality with eating meat. If anything, it's the gay men who have a reputation for...
But that's not what this dude's lawyer is saying:
"They associated being a vegetarian with being gay," said Rick Ostrove, a lawyer for Pacifico. "It's a ridiculous male stereotype that only real men eat meat."
But this is the lawyer for the plaintiff who's saying that gay men aren't "real men"? I mean, I don't have any real desire to fit in with "real men," but the way that lawyer said that makes it sound like gay men are damaged goods.
It really decreases the amount of sympathy I have for this dude, especially considering some of his other comments about foreign-exchange traders having to be "manly men." Where does that leave women? Or actually-feminine men? Is his suit saying that people shouldn't be fired for not fitting into male gender stereotypes or that those stereotypes should just be used properly in the future?
"It's his fault for being a vegetarian homo," Catalanello is accused of saying.
The suit also charges that the boss crudely poked fun at Pacifico last March during a conversation about steakhouses.
"You don't even eat steak, dude," Catalanello is accused of saying. "At what point in time did you realize you were gay?"
Personally, I'm so detached from this story, and I'm a gay vegetarian. I just don't have much respect for the world of master financiers, the people who Alan Greenspan thought were so prescient, intelligent, and self-restrained that they could regulate themselves. Obviously, they're about as big of assholes as my high school history teacher was.
I'm chatting with my sister about this while I'm typing up this post, and she mentioned that he's probably just looking for a quick buck with this lawsuit. Yeah, usually I wouldn't jump to that conclusion when someone's suing an employer for wrongful termination, but this man wanted (and probably still wants) to make his career and fortune off playing with money. There's no reason to believe that he doesn't just see this lawsuit as another money game.
Ryan Pacifico is suing Calyon in the Americas, charging that his one-time boss at the French financial firm presided over a testosterone-fueled trading desk, where he was mocked for avoiding meat and wearing snug-fitting shorts during triathlons.
It's a French firm? And the guy working there had a problem with a man wearing those tight athletic shorts? What's next, middle management folks at Toyota complaining about how the Japanese are destroying American auto-making?
Funny sidenote: Calyon in the Americas is the American investment arm of Crédit Agricole, the bank I was contractually forced into using the last time I lived in France (long story about that stupid contract...). They were, by far, the most awful bank I've ever had the displeasure of working with. Rude, incompetent, lazy... and I've had accounts at other French banks!
In other words, every player in this story annoys me to no end.
Update: For some more background, a commenter at Pandagon adds:
Yes, there is a trend up here in NYC
But it has nothing to do with vegetarians or gays. Not to answer one stereotype with another......but this boss is in a field pretty rife with asshattery. If I ever find myself sitting at a restaurant next to a Wall Street trader type yammering on a Bluetooth, I try to change seats as quickly as possible, because I know I'm about to hear a cascade of idiocy flowing.
I'll never forget being stuck on a train with one group of teens whose dads were in the field, and they were talking about how they were going to spend their first million and such. One was rooting for Castro to die because he thought once that happened, he'd be able to go into Cuba and buy up a bunch of property and make a ton of dough. Of course, "that's so gay," "fag" or "faggot" was about every third word/phrase out of their mouths.
One of the few bright sides of this economic freefall is seeing these self-important financial firm big shots be taken down a few notches. These guys have gotten too far for too long with a lot of money and not a lot of brains.
I've worked with these sorts of folks before. That description sounds about right.