When I bought a condo in Midtown Manhattan with my Big Brother winnings, it was because my dad told me to. He was dying and he knew it. I knew it too. He needed new kidneys, like, yesterday. I’d thought about it investing the money in other things but my dad insisted it be real estate. It’s like when I returned to work after winning Big Brother. I accepted an offer from Deutsche Bank and got back to banking. I did it mostly because my dad wanted to see me gainfully employed once again. All he knew about Deutsche Bank was that it was “German” but it was good enough for him.
My dad just wanted to make sure I was okay before he died. I didn’t think twice about giving my dad what he wanted because I didn’t care about money anyway. I was about to lose my dad and I just wanted to do whatever it took to put his mind at ease while his body was never at ease.
The thing is, my dad never really insisted I do anything when I was growing up. He was so open to my zany ideas and frequent whims. He was my biggest cheerleader when I entered contests and memorized lines for plays. As soon as I could play songs from the church hymnal on the piano, my dad stood next to me and sang along in his very deep voice. My dad gave me such freedom of expression and drive that he never had to insist I do any more than I was already doing.
He believed in me in a way only a father could believe in his child…
I was one week into that new job when my dad died. I was one of three portfolio assistants on my team and I was just getting to know the 80+ private investment accounts I was helping manage for some of the wealthiest families in America. I remember getting ready for work that morning and getting the call from my aunt that my dad passed in his sleep in the ICU. Okay I’ll be there soon is all I said, before hanging up the telephone to call my new brand-new boss. Memories of the days following my dad’s funeral are blurry in some spots and crystal clear in others, but I’ll never forget how my boss (and the whole team at work) proved to be compassionate and understanding of my loss. Deutsche Bank was a pivotal point in my life’s timeline.
All these years later I’ve learned many lessons the fast and hard way. Among them…
I know now that you should never take a job because of someone else, even if it’s your dying dad who’s the someone else. I got no real joy working at Deutsche Bank but I stuck it out for a good while. In the end my heart wasn’t in it and I left for another investment firm that was a better match. I realize now that leaving Deutsche Bank was probably what my dad would have wanted for me anyway, if I wasn’t happy there…
I treasure everything my father instilled in me because it’s what drives me still.