Tis the Season – Part II(a)
May 1, 2009
The faint glow of my computer screen was the only light emanating from my section of the floor. Like clockwork, the lights had shut off yet again with no one to turn them on but me. Not even a janitor nor another soul was on the floor. I just finished the second season of “The Office”. My only friend at 3:42 am on a Wednesday morning was Steve Carrell (and ovguide.com) while I waited for colored copies of a Project California presentation to come off the press. Apathetic Associate took off at midnight, giving me strict instructions to wait for the books so I could methodically “flip” them to check for alignment issues, upside down pages and binding issues. This presentation was the real shit: metal, spiral bindings, full color, single sided, Failed Bank Colors in a heavy graded front and back cover. The CLIENT presentation. I moseyed along downstairs, inevitably running into other analysts on the way down to the 24-hour print center. The print staff allowed me to begin to flip the books right there and then as they came off the printer. Colors okay? Check. Pages in correct order? Check. Massive paper cut and dry hands from flipping 50-page pitch books? Check.
Forty five minutes later, I returned to my floor and dropped the massive stack of books onto Apathetic Associate’s desk. Naturally, I wouldn’t be allowed to go to this meeting as a lowly first year. I quickly shot off an e-mail to AA: “Books are done. I left them on your desk.”
I would return to the office just four hours later to the chipper sounds of my colleagues arriving in the morning.
While I downed my second latte from Starfucks at 11:30am, the floor buzzed with excitement as the associates and VPs filed into the offices of their respective MD’s for year-end reviews and bonus numbers. The anticipation was palpable as we took odds on where the associates (our most direct supervisors/slave drivers) would fall in their classes. It was cathartic and simulated a perverse form of retribution. Analysts felt elated when the truly wicked associates got cut down in their reviews and were shafted on their bonus, often emerging from the MD’s offices with dejected faces and/or flaring nostrils.
Douchebag Associate: No odds. Guaranteed bonus for the 2007 year.
Evil Associate: 2:1 odds on being in the top tier of her class. She flirted shamelessly with the senior managers, had no qualms of playing dirty and maintained a facade of intelligence, kindness and helpfulness. Someone give her a fucking Academy Award for her performance imitating a human.
Apathetic Associate: 25:1 odds on being even remotely close to top tier. If AA’s functionality as an associate mimicked his drinking abilities, he would have been promoted to MD in his first year. Unfortunately, these two were inversely correlated. AA didn’t ‘play the game’ and wasn’t exactly Mr. Charismatic.
Our MD didn’t get around to handing out numbers to our group until mid-afternoon. I could tell that my associates and VPs were almost pee-ing themselves with excitement especially since the reported news from other groups was “bonuses flat” despite the downward spiral of every investment bank on Wall Street.
Evil Associate bounced down the hall in her 4-inch heels to our MD’s office which happened to be right in my direct vision line. There was a lot of nodding and the warranted hair toss. She emerged a quick 10 minutes later, a shit eating grin on her face. Figures. I fired off a quick IM to Mr. Burrito: “FUUUCKKK!” Within a few seconds, my IM beeped. “i hate that bitch”
Apathetic Associate was next. His walk to his fate was more lethargic, head cocked to the side, hollow eyes staring forward. He sat down, slouching a bit, his head shifting from side to side. WTF. I couldn’t tell if he 1) fell asleep, 2) died, or 3) was just that bored. As he exited, he remained expressionless and shuffled back down the hall. Well that was supremely uneventful. As I pondered something witty to write to Mr. Burrito, I heard giggling with the familiar stomp of Evil Associate’s Jimmy Choos with the unmistakable trumble of AA. Smelly Homeless Kid perked up next to me, abandoning his GMAT book and popping up like a creepy gopher from his cube (internal monologue: why the fuck does he have a GMAT book? And why does he have time to study it? And why wont’ he get a damn haircut?!)
SHK: “Hey! Where ya guys going?”
Evil Associate: (with permanently plastered grin on her face) “WE…are going to pick out Rolexes!”
(Apathetic Associate mustered a weak smile. *gasp*! An emotion!)
SHK: “Very awesome! You guys coming back before the holiday party?
Evil Associate: “I think we’re going for early happy hour..”
I watched as the pair happily turned the corner. A window popped up on my desktop.
Michael Kors (16:34:02): Are they really going to pick out Rolexes?
Fashion Financier (16:34:38): Looks like.
Michael Kors (16:35:17): Ridiculous. So, Debt Debt’s been looking at Philippe Starck furniture. She wants to get those ugly plastic chairs at $500 a pop.
Fashion Financier (16:35:59): How is she not in debt?
Michael Kors (16:36:24): Oh, she is. I heard her on the phone with debt consolidators. Her idea is that her bonus will take care of everything.
(Note: Pay attention peoples! Not just Main Street who can’t service debt with cash flow)
Fashion Financier (16:36:47): Are you f’ing serious. Exactly how much debt is she in?!
Michael Kors (16:37:11): 5 figures. I ‘accidentally’ saw when she was checking her online CC bill.
Fashion Financier (16:37:22): Freak.
Michael Kors brought stalking/eavesdropping to a whole new level. I became his humble apprentice that day.