Until April 2011, Matthew Simon's life had revolved around his Very Important Job. He'd spent 25 years in senior executive roles for multinational companies like JP Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank, Merrill Lynch and the NAB. Everyone knew him as Matt the Banker. But one day he realised he'd had enough.
"People around me – family and friends – had no idea what I did when I went off to the office," he says. "I was just Matt the Banker, who did complicated things, or Matt the Banker, who did evil stuff, depending on their particular world view.
"What became obvious to me, though, was that I didn't really know who I was either."
So Matt walked out those revolving doors one last time, re-evaluated his life, and wrote and published his novel, Dancing with the Bull.
In it, Luke Glass, Matt's fictional Master of the Universe, loses his job only to be offered another under mysterious circumstances. Soon after joining The Organization he meets an unexpected ally, who slowly reveals the ways of the corporate world and how it manipulates those within its grasp.
"I came to realise that, especially at the most senior levels, managers and executives were simply creating tasks and issues so that they appeared to be not only incredibly busy but also invaluable to the company," says Matt.
"Along with that came the willingness to target people who threatened their position and throw them under the proverbial bus."
In Dancing with the Bull, Matt has captured the horror of corporate speak and the fundamentally flawed, ultimately inhumane ways in which large organisations thrive at the expense of the people working for them.
"It was important for me to separate myself from my job, and writing this book helped me to do that," says Matt.
"I'm hoping it will help other people do the same thing."
Dancing with the Bull
Author: Matthew Simon