Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Overdelivering

It’s a Tuesday, and it’s 7:00 PM. As per usual, the air in the lobby of 11 Madison Avenue is crisp and sterile as if it were captured from 10,000 feet and then repeatedly HEPA filtered. The humongous ground floor glows bright, fluorescent lighting bouncing off walls to create the encouraging, “always early enough to work” ambiance.

At this hour, the employees of the other companies squatting in the building and The Bank’s admins, HR-chicks, and varied support staff have already made their exits, and the diligent bankers are just beginning the second half of their workday. So save the few oddballs “letting down the team” to abate frustrated wives and girlfriends with long-overdue dinners and spoon-sessions, the flow of traffic is into the building—the visitors: delivery men.

Double-bags in hand, they line up dutifully across from the row of guarded turnstiles that serves as CSFB’s gates—the line of demarcation, unsubtly illustrating where riffraff end and where the aristocracy begins. The delivery men stand on the prole-side of the turnstiles, the closest any Mexican, Brooklyn resident, or sneaker-wearing person has ever been to the inside (except that sorry fuck that wore his grey newbies one Saturday before getting fired). And they wait.

They tap their feet on the ground, the Latinos humming Maná and the Chinese quietly contemplating the teachings of Confucius. Despite their similar situation, they don’t speak to each other, restaurant rivalry taking precedence over diversion. Slowly but steadily, young professionals exit the elevators, timidly step through the turnstiles, and conduct transactions. As one delivery man leaves, another arrives, ensuring approximately 8-10 in the group at all times.

This Tuesday was not unlike any other weekday at an investment bank, but it was on this particular Tuesday that Benvenuto delivery man Juan Sanchez went apeshit and attacked Patrick Boffin, a CSFB analyst.

Juan arrived at 6:55, 10 minutes after the order was placed. He chuckled as he walked over, amused by the fact that customers were too lazy to literally walk two blocks to pick up their order. “Big-time hot shots,” he mused in Spanish, reflecting on the time he walked 16 miles for water because the village’s well had gone dry.

At 7:30 Juan started to get slightly irritated. Over 20 people had asked him if he was from Cosi, and he had barely been able to hold back from saying “My fucking hat says Benvenuto, pendejo! ” Luckily, Juan was a reserved man.

At 8:05 Juan called the number on the receipt, scribbled right below “3 roast turkey, chicken caesar, 5 red bull” (Benvenuto didn’t even carry Red Bull, Juan had to pick them up from the bodega because apparently the customer was so vehement). A young man answered and Juan stated bluntly, “Delivery.” “Two seconds,” the voice responded.

Patrick Boffin was on the other end of that phone, and his desk had just been thrown into a frenzy. Patrick had calculated a critical number wrong and 50 pages of a pitch book that had to be sent out the next day needed to be redone. Everyone hated Patrick, and needless to say, no one was thinking about eating.

At 8:30 Juan returned to Benvenuto but was sent back by his manager and told to wait. CSFB was their best customer.

At 9:15 Patrick remembered the food he had ordered, his stomach screams finally audible over his associate’s seemingly perpetual “Are you fucking kidding me here, man?” Patrick had slept only 4 hours in the past 36, and even more than the food, Patrick craved the viscous energy nectar he had ordered. So he went downstairs.

When Juan finally saw the dirty blond, blue-eyed fuck that had stolen 2 and a half hours of his life, he nearly exploded. Patrick had his hands in his pockets and calmly pushed through the turnstiles with his forearm. He spotted the Benvenuto’s hat and made his way over.

“A clever one,” thought Juan, sizing up his enemy.

“Hola,” said Patrick in horrendous, middle-school Spanish-class-Spanish, huffing out the “h.”

Juan cringed. “I’ve been here two and half hours, man,” he informed, fuming.

“Uhh…my bad. You didn’t bring the light blue Red Bull cans, right? I hate that light shit,” responded Patrick, totally oblivious to Juan’s pent up rage.

Juan couldn’t even speak. He gritted his teeth, and his face turned bright red.

“Jeez, take it easy, hombre,” said Patrick, finally noticing Juan’s anger and offering a bit of pacification.

But the “hombre” broke Juan’s ability to restrain himself. The frustration of two and a half hours of staring at doochebag after doochebag and hoping one of those blue button-down shirts would finally come over and talk to him could be held back no more. He let the plastic bag slip from between his thumb and middle finger and leapt wildly at Patrick. Being approximately 1/2 the size, the scene initially seemed like an adopted immigrant child hugging his philanthropic white father. But then the pair fell to the ground; Patrick flailed his arms as Juan squeezed his neck. Spanish expletives echoed throughout the lobby. Other analysts in the lobby whose turn it was to get food for their desks gaped, frozen.

Luckily, the guards were able to wrestle Juan off of Patrick before he stopped breathing. And the police arrived soon after to take Juan away. The sandwiches were squashed in the tussle, but the Red Bulls remained intact. They were the light blue ones. Patrick chugged two, went back upstairs, and resumed working.


18 comments for this post.

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  1. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘Despite their similar situation, they don’t speak to each other, restaurant rivalry taking precedence over diversion.” Actually I have noticed that I had the same delivery person from a couple of different places. Maybe he works at several places. Or maybe he switched jobs over time. Being in banking I have lost my sense of time / seasonality – there is ”hiring”, ”bonus time” and, finally, ”you are getting fired” ? Andrew

  2. 0 votes + -
    Sameer N. R Said:

    Funny, but true. I guess I never really noticed that they didn?t talk to each other.

  3. +80 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This seems like a good place to post about a personal pet peeve from my own life. Here?s a little bit about my background, went to an ivy league school, bulge bracket bank, then a buyout fund where I was promoted to a partner-track position. Oh yeah, I?m also an asian-american who likes to go pick-up dinner in order to get some fresh air. STOP CONFUSING ME WITH THE CHINESE DELIVERY GUY!!!! I can?t begin to tell you how many times this has happened in my career. Just because I?m asian and I?m carrying a plastic grocery bag through the lobby doesn?t mean I?m your fucking delivery guy. One evening, I was stopped THREE fucking times within a span of twenty five feet. (1) outside the revolving door, (2) in front of the security desk, (3) in the elevator bank. And asked whether (1) ”Excuse me are you from ?” (2) ”Wait, where are you going. I ordered sushi” (3) ”Hi, my name is ?” So if you see an asian guy with a plastic grocery bag walking through the lobby, but dressed in business casual with a blackberry clipped his belt, use some common sense. The chinese delivery place around the corner didn?t start issuing blackberries to their delivery people and aren?t requiring them to dress business casual so that they can ”fit in better”.

  4. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    To the poster above: ” asian delivery guy” – dude that is fucking hilarious, have you ever blown up on anyone?

  5. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    LOL I am crying over the ASian banker/delivery story-YOu rock!

  6. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Ditto! The Asian banker/delivery guy story is HILARIOUS!!!! I?ve been laughing for 2 minutes?

  7. +17 votes + -
    habibnaveenpraneethlalala Said:

    yea im an indian english major. it gets real awkward when the first thing i get asked in interviews is ”so you?re in financial engineering?” ?.NO. dick

  8. -29 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Just because you went to ivy league and have a blackberry you can not be mistaken for a delivery guy? Yeah, stay in your fund for the rest of your life man?also go to shower sometimes, have a haircut and stop talking about your ivy league education. Then maybe less people think you are a delivery guy.

  9. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘FOOD THE LOBBY!”

  10. +1 votes + -
    oosh Said:

    Yeah that?s right I miss the war cry ”FOOD THE LOBBY!” ha ha ha

  11. +1 votes + -
    Juan Said:

    I delivered food in Midtown / Financial District for 1 year. As rich as you motherfucking Caucasian Banking/Investment/”whatever the fuck you do” White Collar Corporate Sharecroppers are, you are some cheap/greedy pieces of shit. Even if I walked 2 blocks to your building, its not the distance its the time it takes us. Not to mention that you?re one of at least 40 deliveries each delivery person will do in a span of 8 hours. Its truly incredible, had I kept accurate records and data, I could conclusively prove that rich white men are more prone to steal, cheat, be cheap and also just be plain rude and inhumane. That is in comparison to lower level workers such as HR & Admin which are unfortunately minority women. It sickens me to the gut, but now when I hear hedge Funds based on SupPrime Loans being completely worthless and 1000s of Investment ”Experts” losing jobs, going bankrupt etc etc I can smile knowing that the old saying ”Wat goes areound comes around faster and harder is true. So be fair in all your endeavors including tips for the food delivery guy, treat them with REAL RESPECT and you?ll make a risk free investment in your future.

  12. -3 votes + -
    'Juan'' is Mexican for ''I'll have the fajitas'' Said:

    What the fuck is a ”SupPrime Loan?”

  13. 0 votes + -
    Hedge Fund Said:

    All you bankers are so lame and poor. I?m just a Senior Analyst at a Hedge Fund and we have an ex-Chef from the Savoy in London whip us up whatever we want for lunch. For dinner, I go home. I still make 4 times more than you. Now go stick your head in the toilet and try to kill yourself. Peace

  14. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    how racist is the ib world? just wondering, cuz JPM GS MS hire analysts in top latam universities. And as far as I know they do perform pretty well.

  15. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    not racist enough? your smelly indian ass shouldn?t get a job (needless to say nigs and spics dont ever get in)

  16. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Interesting, blackberries clipped to your belt ? dude we do that in groundschool with our cells, not in I-banking. Food from delivery guys, wow, is definitely good food. In some European places in the world you go out for lunch and dinner, even when your analyst. Why? Because good food creates happy bankers, and what do happy bankers do? Make more money, and what is it about in banking? Making money, so in principle ?> good food = more money!

  17. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    the chinamans post was funnier than the story.

  18. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ! Que los pinch gringos mueran! Viva la reconquista!

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