Bloomberg published a feature on Thursday about the practice of forced arbitration, focusing in particular on the case of a woman named Lee Stowell, a former junk bond saleswoman at the Wall Street brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Stowell is is suing her old company, as well as a former boss and colleague, for what appears to be a horrific trend of harassment and discrimination.
One aspect of the harassment, she told Bloomberg, involved a Bernie Sanders mug. (Sanders, if you hadn’t heard, is not popular on Wall Street.) Per Bloomberg (emphasis mine):
Lee Stowell couldn’t find her Bernie Sanders mug.
It was August 2016 at the Summit, N.J., outpost of Cantor Fitzgerald, the Wall Street brokerage. The tension in the office was becoming unbearable for Stowell—and not only because her colleagues couldn’t stand the rumpled-haired socialist on her mug. For a while, work had felt like a throwback to the early days of her career, when traders could spew invective with impunity, and women had to stomach it or find a way to hold their own.
Stowell scanned her desk, then took her hunt to the kitchen. She opened a cabinet, saw Sanders staring back at her, and reached for the mug. “I looked in,” she tells Bloomberg Businessweek. “There was feces in it.”
That’s right. Stowell claims that someone took a big old shit in her Bernie mug. She told Bloomberg that she suspected one of the defendants in her lawsuit, a former colleague named Jim Gorman, was involved. “He had his opinions about gay people, and he had his opinions about black people, and he had his opinions about women,” Stowell told Bloomberg. “And he made them very, very, very, very well-known.” (Bloomberg wrote that Gorman has denied this in legal filings; Cantor told the magazine that it “can’t comment on the case beyond court filings.”)
Stowell, who might just be the only person “junk bond seller” to also own a Bernie Sanders mug, did not throw away the mug in disgust, as I, a lesser person who does not love the idea of drinking poop residue (resipoo), would have done. Nope, Stowell kept that mug, and kept on using it. “I wasn’t going to give in to them,” she said of her former colleagues.
I’m both disgusted and impressed.
Read the full story here.