Is 'Spreadsheet Lover' a Cyber Cad?
Senior Editor, CNBC.com
Let me answer my own question right away: there’s nothing caddish about this lad.
You’ve probably heard the story already. A twenty-eight year old named David Merkur, who is an associate director at Ladder Capital (incidentally: we have “associate directors” now?), crafted a color-coded spreadsheet to rank the women he was dating and keep track of his interactions with them.
This might not have been the brightest idea he’s ever had, but it doesn’t make him a bad guy in any way. His ranking of the women on a scale from 1 to 10 may rankle a few of the types who believe every one of us is a unique and precious snowflake—but it is hardly shocking. Men have been ranking women on the 1 through 10 scale at least as long as we’ve been counting.
His comments are not particularly crude. They don’t evince any level of twistedness to his character. In fact, they’re pretty innocent. As far as I can tell, he’s a perfect gentleman on the dates. There’s no evidence of even anything that might be called heavy-petting in his spreadsheet.
This last point is no little thing. We know for a fact that some people keep far more extensive statistics on those with whom they have shared amorous moments. Take that Duke University woman, Karen Owen, who famously created a comprehensive slideshow detailing her sexual conquests during her years as an undergraduate. (Here’s a link to Deadspin’s post with the slideshow. It’s not exactly safe for work, I guess.)
I don’t think it’s especially insulting that Merkur kept track of the women on a spreadsheet. He likely is a pretty data-driven guy. Almost everything he cares about is probably tracked on spreadsheets. The women on the list should probably be flattered.
Merkur’s greatest fault here seems to be that he’s a poor judge of character. The girl he describes as a “very pretty, sweet & down to earth” with a “great personality” asked him to send the list. Then she emailed it to her friends.
“Wanted to pass this on to you for some Monday morning entertainment. I went on a date with this guy last Wednesday. On the date, he tells me that he has a spreadsheet for tracking all of the people from Match that are ‘in process.’ Naturally, I tease him and ask him to send me the spreadsheet,” she wrote in the email. “For some strange reason, he actually does. See below/attached. Just when I thought I had seen it all...”
Well, Arielle, the “strange reason” is that the guy actually liked you and trusted you. We now know how that worked out.
Poor Merkur is now having to abjectly apologize for the error of his ways. Jezebel.com has called him a "creepy finance guy."
“I sincerely regret my serious lapse in judgment in this matter and apologize to everyone,” the NY Post quotes him as saying.
Good job, internet. I’m betting you won’t catch another guy emailing spreadsheets around to girls again. They’ll just keep them private.
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