January 25, 2012
Coming back from a mini-reunion with my classmates at the Ivy was rejuvenating. Everything felt comfortable, like we hadn’t all been working in soul sucking jobs (finance, consulting, corp dev) for half a year already. It was a perfect weekend spent in an alcohol-induced hazed.
When I came back on that Monday, I noticed a few more empty chairs than normal. Mr. Burrito grabbed me before I could settle in. “Coffee. Let’s go.” As any banking analyst will tell you, Starbucks (Starfucks, Fourbucks) is the central depository for all things gossip-related. It’s where analysts go to bitch about their superiors, associates/VPs go to bitch about their analysts, and MDs go to discuss their compensation. The trip is quick enough that it doesn’t raise any eyebrows, it’s usually outside of the building, and you can walk, talk and mainline caffeine all at the same time.
“Evil Incarnate got the axe.” Mr. Burrito breathed. He was a little too happy; I didn’t blame him.
“What?!” I was genuinely surprised. She was terrible but it appeared to an inexperienced outsider that she was pretty decent at managing the politics of the banking world. How wrong I was.
“Yep. And that’s not all. She spent the WHOLE DAY on the floor, saying her good-byes. Who does that?” It was odd indeed. Generally, when employees at investment banks are let go, they are usually escorted from the building quickly so as 1) not to cause a ruckus, and 2) so they don’t steal anything. “Plus, you should have seen the look she gave Apathetic Associate when she left. He went to say good-bye, and she literally avoided eye contact, turned on her heels, and walked away.” Nice to know that having lunch with someone every day for two years gets you that kind of treatment. “That’s not all…” he waited for my reaction. “Smelly homeless kid got relocated to another group. No more air fresheners!” How the tables had turned. I had known for some time that the Evil Incarnate and SHK had been in cahoots, but thankfully, they were on the wrong side of layoffs line.
“Wait. Am I getting fired?” I stopped reveling for a quick second. They couldn’t get to me on Friday because I wasn’t there. Mr. Burrito shook his head and mentioned casually that he thought/knew layoffs for our group were done. We walked back with a little more bounce in our step. As we returned to our desks, we settled in to finally do some work that started to creep up.
Sometime in the afternoon, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Hi FF. Can I talk to you for a minute?” Wasp MD stood there, with a small smile on his face. He had a cheery disposition and was always friendly. I was too busy searching for any sign that he was hiding a proverbial axe under his bespoke suit. We headed into an empty office on the floor; I was certain that the end was near. “So..you may have heard that SHK was relocated…and I wanted to assure you that you’re going to stay in this group. The head of our division had asked me to choose so I chose you. I just wanted to let you know so you didn’t freak out.” I could have hugged him. He turned out to be a great mentor and friend through the last few years, but it was nice to see someone “going to bat” for me during my early tenure as a junior analyst.
Over the next few weeks, I watched as my friends bled out slowly. Many analysts were let go with decent severance packages and partial bonuses as we were paid on the year ending 6/30. Either way, my group now consisted of: Wasp MD, Hot VP, Allied Associate (said family friend from earlier), Apathetic Associate, Douchebag Associate, Mr. Burrito, me, and two other analysts (the Mormon, a 1st year, and Outcast, a 2nd year analyst).
At this point, my work had picked up greatly and I was staffed with Douchebag Associate on “Project Sell-the-Dream”, a renewable energy development company with a lot of ideas but little substance. For some reason, we had been pulled into the M&A aspect of the transaction. After that experience, I knew that I never ever wanted to do M&A banking ever again.
January 2, 2012
I don’t think I’ve ever neglected anything so much ever. One of my new years resolutions is to re-start this blog (perhaps on a new site) and have it solely be focused on the going-ons of the last four years of my worklife.
Since August, I’ve been cooking up a bunch of things. Namely, this fashionable financier(e) has luckily gotten into business school! Between essay writing, stressing/crying, and the loads of actual work I’ve been doing, many things took a back seat (including the fact that I haven’t been to the gym in about 2 months; don’t worry – I haven’t become a jabba-the-hut mess yet).
Let me re-organize these blog posts, put them into a coherent story with a new host, and hopefully, there’ll be a proper continuous story that everyone can read. I expect to have some time, especially when I leave my current job in private equity, which coincidentally I love. Everyone automatically assumes that when I say I’m going to b-school, it’s because I hate my job/industry/etc. Over the past few months though, I’ve realized that I really do like my firm (despite the ups and downs), I love the people, and I like the sector. But, I feel like I need to receive a more formal education in bi’ness and also broaden my horizon. There are a bunch of things that I’ve always wanted to dabble in and now’s the chance to explore.
It means a great deal to me that some of you still read this – I truly appreciate it.
Here’s to a new and happy 2012!