One of the annoying things about this morning’s bombshell Goldman Sachs lawsuit is that it has overshadowed a Goldman piece that would otherwise be the talk of the town.
Late last year, Goldman Sachs began leaving its longtime headquarters at 85 Broad Street, a “spectacularly dull, purposefully frumpy, desperately anonymous tower.” One might think that the firm’s managing directors and vice presidents would be thrilled about the firm’s brand new $2.1 billion glass tower overlooking the Hudson River.
They are not.
According to a wonderful and surprisingly snippy piece from Susanne Craig that’s tucked into the third page of The Wall Street Journal‘s Money & Investing section today, windowed offices have been reserved for the 300 or so Goldman partners, which leaves the managing directors in lowly windowless offices. But they’re the relatively lucky ones. Vice presidents, who naturally are used to having their own work spaces, have been forced into “open-space workbenches that in an earlier era wold have been called a typing pool.”
In journalism, we call that a bullpen; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, works in one, too. “I haven’t had a desk like this since high school,” one Goldman employee said.
“I need binoculars to see sunlight,” said another.
They can take solace in the building’s “opera-house ceiling heights,” gargantuan murals, six trading floors larger than football fields, and a basement with 1.7 million pounds of ice. Then there’s a cafe with French Toast Baba pastries, a library with books like The Psychology of Persuasion and Have A Little Faith, plus a Sky Lobby cafeteria with a “deep panini lineup and deadly cupcakes.”
But most important, by far, is a 54,000-square-foot gym named the GS Wellness Exchange. Not only does it have classes starting at 5:45 am with names like “Awesome Abs,” but there are his-and-hers steam rooms. Goldman employees have been complaining about these, too. But The Journal found at least one employee who didn’t mind: “Once you have seen your colleagues naked in the locker room, steaming with them isn’t that weird.” Besides, the firm now has bigger concerns.