An unemployed protester with a Ph.D. has gone to work for Wall Street’s One Percent, but only earns close to minimum wage.
Before being ousted by police in November, occupiers in New York City’s Zuccotti Park had a host of grievances to deal with: corporate America, trips to a Porta-Potty in the night, and jaded passers-by yelling “Get a job!” At first, “I’m trying!” was the most protester Tracy Postert could say in response, reports ABCnews.com. During her two weeks as a protester, she would split her time with “her nose in the computer looking for work” and doing odd jobs around the protest site like washing sidewalks and making sandwiches for fellow picketers. Even with a Ph.D. in biomedical science, she couldn’t find a job in Academia and was about to give up the search.
During the day, Postert would brandish signs that read “Reagan sucks” or “I’ll vote after the revolution,” according to the New York Post. With a stroke of American ingenuity, or opportunism, she decided to try a new sign. It read “Ph.D. Biomedical Scientist seeking full time employment” on the front and “Ask me for my resume” on the back. After printing out 800 resumes, she tried her luck in Zuccotti Park. On October 22, Wayne Kaufman, a chief market analyst on Wall Street, happened to be heading to his office at John Thomas Financial Brokerage two blocks away. Kaufman wasn’t necessarily looking for new recruits, but Postert’s sign caught his eye, so he asked for a copy of her resume.
The next day Postert received an invitation for an interview, eleven days after becoming an occupier. Although she had no business experience, Kaufman ended up offering her a position as a junior analyst to investigate potential investments in medical companies. “I thought, ‘Maybe this is a person who could help us understand these early-stage biotech companies that financial people don’t just always understand,’” Kaufman told ABCNews.com.
Hesitant to join the opposing team, Postert had some soul-searching to do. She had last worked as a lab assistant at New York City’s Touro College, where she earned $2,500 one semester during her studies. “I had been unemployed for so long, I thought why not?” she told the New York Post. Junior analysts start just above minimum wage, but Kaufman believes that Postert will eventually be able to earn upwards of six figures. His optimism can be felt in the office, where he is known to chant “Go! Go! Go!” over the speaker system in the mornings.
For Postert, this will take a little getting used to, but CEO Thomas Belesis believes she’s the right one for the job. “She was ranting about Wall Street, and now she’s working on Wall Street. Banks are not so bad,” he told the New York Post. “I hope we have opened her eyes.” If that's the case, Postert could become the latest poster child of a new American dream, or the recipient of even more corporate deception. Let’s just see how long it takes her to get a raise.
By mail.com Editor Will Cade