July 31, 2009
I promise I’m not dead. Honestly. Just on life support. I started this blog in the hopes of attracting people to read about a true analyst story with all the glamour and grime attached. Above all, it was really a way for me to capture that awkward transitional period between college and adulthood. Working in an industry which in the past has been portrayed in both flattering and dark lighting, it is really a social experiment of the inhabitants of said investment banking world. Interestingly enough, in order to compose a well thought-out, coherent and sometimes humorous post, it requires wit, a smidgen of passion and time.
However, I will tell you this:
- The next installment of the Analyst Tale will include the fall of Bear Stearns, more colleague drama, the hatchet (wo)man, the worst months of my life, and the scramble to safety.
- On a lighter note, look for a second Facebook post (real sketchy shit going on these days) and perhaps a personal account of the trials and tribulations of online dating.
- Per a few of the comments, I have left an e-mail for ‘personal’ questions/comments/rants. Check out the “Moi” section.
July 13, 2009
The first and sometimes second week of the new year tends to be dead. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in. In our digitally connected world, people can afford to take extended ski/beach vacations during the holiday season but can still order around their lowly minions with the touch of a minute blackberry button. Expect responses like “yes. thx” and other one-line gems. The shortest e-mail I have ever received was from an MD in our bank’s Natural Resources group. I was attempting to organize some times to meet with him and my boss. The response I received went something like this: “y, tk. ofc.” An Ivy League education does not prepare you for the inane responses you receive over bberry, especially not those of 50-something year old MDs who invent their own cyber language. (No, they cannot figure out what “:)” means but coming up with their own abbreviations and assuming it’s the ‘norm’ is all in a day’s work.) Reading the e-mail over and over, it took me about 20 minutes to understand what he was saying. “Yes, thanks. Office.” The office being the place we should call him. Awesome.
When we all returned from our respective breaks, Hot VP had us assemble in his office. I was the first in there, natch, and watched him as he methodically threw a stress ball against his wall. Well, this was fun. We shot the shit for a little, making small talk about the weather, the markets, etc. The rest of our motley crew straggled in: Douchebag Associate took the only seat next to me while Evil Associate and Apathetic Associate leaned against the wall. Mr. Burrito and Smelly Homeless Kid stood at the outskirts of the office, towards the door.
“Hey, guys, close the door behind you.” Hot VP called out. We waited quietly, nervous almost, wondering what led to this impromptu group meeting. “So, how was everyone’s Christmas break?” He began squeezing the stressball, asking his question absent-mindedly.
“It was great. I got this for Christmas!” Evil Associate shook her rail-thin wrist, a shiny new Rolex dangling from it. I looked behind me at Mr. Burrito, rolling my eyes. Way to be an independent, self-reliant adult, Evil Associate! Her jovial announcement was met with silence.
“Seriously, hot VP. What the fuck? What’s with this Skull and Bones secrecy shit?” Douchebag Associate leaned forward, giving his ol’ buddy (aka his boss) a look.
“Er, so, I have some news.” He stopped, placing the ball onto his desk. “So, you know how our MD left for vacation in St. Barth’s, right before Christmas?” We all nodded slowly, glancing at each other. “Uh, so, he’s not coming back.” He still got nothing from us. “He was offered a group head position in Buyside Arm of now defunct Investment Bank. He took SVP with him.”
“Uh, so, does this mean we’re completely fucked?” Apathetic Associate broke the silence easily. He was usually good at diffusing tense situations.
“Well, I sat down with the head of our division. Nothing is going to happen to our group. We’re profitable in a space that’s pretty hot right now. I think the first option is going to try and find a new group head. We already have some good leads that we like. Otherwise, we’ll probably get moved to another group.”
“Any chance we’ll move back to Old Group [we spun out from]?” Mr. Burrito called out from the back.
“Doubtful.” I felt like I was at some pathetic press conference, cramped in Hot VP’s office, raising our hands to ask questions. “Guys, I wanted to let you know. But seriously, don’t worry. Your jobs are not in danger. We’ll be okay.” Hot VP was not convincing in anyway shape or form, from his voice down to his body language.
“So, he just left.” Apathetic Associate stated. I’ve never heard him so talkative before. Hot VP nodded. “And no one knew. Before we left.” After pausing for a second and trying to gauge everybody else’s reaction, he spoke again. “Awesome. What a slimey fucker. Who the fuck does that? Slinky out like some shady convict under the guise of the holidays. It seems like we should be sending out resumes. Forgive me for not really trusting our idiot division head to make sure we all don’t get fired.” Apathetic Associate’s rant almost made me drop the front end of his nickname. I was surprised. Smelly Homeless Kid gave me one of those “Van Wilder” looks: head leaned back, eyes wide open, bottom row of teeth showing. AA’s reasoning resonated with the rest of us. He did have a point: better be safe than sorry. The economy was already circling the drain by early 2008 with the demise of Bear Stearns right around the corner.
“Guys, c’mon. This is going to take time. We’ve already started contacting potential people to head up this group. We have a meeting with the head of the division at the end of this week and he can speak to all that i’ve told you. We’ll be okay.” Hot VP’s brow furrowed yet he did not look that worried which I took to be a good sign. The conversation ended with no resolution as we tumbled out of his cramped office. Silently, we headed back to our respective work stations.
Start the clock on one month.