Sophie Heawood: Bankers need to discover their inner hunter-gatherer. Bin-grazing will help


Sophie Heawood
Friday 18 May 2012 20:10

You might be forgiven a slight irritation when you hear that Lloyds Banking Group has sent a dozen of its top dogs to Champneys luxury spa to learn how to be "effective hunter-gatherers in the corporate jungle".

There is a chance you will experience mild resentment as it occurs to you this is the bank that borrowed £20bn off the taxpayer, only to offer some of its staff a bespoke programme that teaches "how to avoid bailout, burn out or being booted out". You might even scoff, snort, and do an angry bit of wee upon reading that celebrity trainer Tim Bean said the two-day trip last November helped employees to "manage their chaotic lives" and "re-equipped them with the skills of alpha males and females".

Well, snort and scoff no more, for this programme is clearly a revolutionary endeavour, and Mr Bean a stealthy chap intent on turning witless bankers into alpha communists. Hunter-gatherers are nomadic people, with a lack of material possessions and a focus on sharing resources with one another. They believe in gift economies, a division of labour and treading lightly on the land. Here's how our moneymen can follow suit.

Hunter-gathers' principal characteristic is foraging – one excellent way for a spa to teach such skills would be to outsource the bankers' lunch to the bins behind the local M&S, at some point after 8pm, perhaps fending off competition from hungry alpha dogs and freecyclers. Next, the bankers must be booted from their bedrooms to the local Occupy site, where they will learn to build yurts, sleep adjacent to their cattle (BMWs) and get their paleolithic nomad vibe on. This will not be easy, as bankers tend to have this whole getting-stuff-and-keeping-stuff, building-big-houses-in-Surrey-with-moats-and-helipads sort of attachment behaviourism, which is not so much hunter-gatherer, as Hunter from Gladiators. Still – we shall overcome.

Finally, they must let go of their designer suits and learn to live in a loincloth. Though, to be fair, this will be the easiest bit of all, as so many men in suits have spent years keenly observing this way of life at their local lapdancing club.

Fat cats – we shall make primitive comrades of you yet.

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