Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Shitshow

I work in Private Equity at DLJ Merchant Banking. You are probably familiar with the name from Monkey Business—Credit Suisse was hip enough to pass the infamous title of its acquisition to its most elite group, and we make sure to rub it in everyone’s faces. I’ve been there about a year, and it is pretty much living up to everything I’ve been dreaming about since I was a young chap in an overcoat, freezing in the cold New England winters at Deerfield. Anyway, whatever, forget about me.

The point here is somehow this guy landed a job here straight out of Consulting. How bushleague. What’s next? Accountants, auditors, Chinese gold-farmers? When I heard we were hiring someone from Bain (or maybe it was McKinsey or BCG, anyway, one of those places the “liberal arts” kids interviewed at), I thought to myself “maybe he’s pedigree?” “maybe he’s a Rockefeller?” But no, I checked my trusty pocket-sized Social Register, and his surname didn’t appear anywhere. How curious.

I soon found out that this guy was more than just not pedigree. Josh (that’s his name) was a skinny little Jewish dude from Jersey with a lisp. He had an awkwardly receding hairline and talked, stammered rather like he was 12 making up for an excuse why his socks were always stuck together. Let’s forget about the schmoe’s God-given features, get this—on his second day Josh comes into work at like 9:10, and he’s rocking tan KHAKIS and a long sleeve polo. I swear I almost fell to the ground laughing when I saw those hideous pleated monstrosities and that shitty lint-infested, vertically disintegrated manufacturing-made shirt. What a doofus.

Bro, I know you only made like $55k traveling to Bumblefuck, Idaho every week to provide “strategic insight” and “thought leadership,” but please, at least go to TJ Maxx and get some some slightly imperfect Brooks Brothers. Get on eBay or something and buy that shit used for God’s sakes. Yes, your Mom and your broke-ass girlfriend both got you gift certificates to Banana for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you wear that Middle-America shit to work, son! This is FI-nance. FI as in “FIx me a drink, Jeeves.” FI as in “FIlling my wallet with Benjamins.” FI as in “FIckle with my private jets.” Not FI as in “FIt really well when I tried it on at the mall in Piscataway.” Ugh.

Whatever. Apparently, dude must have made sense of all our glares and cough-covered laughs or someone must have taken him aside and informed him there are no “casual” days around here, cause Josh shortly thereafter managed to find some passable, yet still vomit-inducing (Men’s Wearhouse or some shit) clothes.

But then, a few days passed…and Josh didn’t really do anything too stupid. I guess I was starting to come around. I started to think maybe I ought to give ole Joshua a shot. I figured, maybe consulting isn’t all aligning boxes in Powerpoint and “value-adding” and ocean-boiling and ass-pounding. Maybe there was something more to it than lop-sided Pyramids and uninterpretable charts. But boy was I wrong…consulting really must be some serious horseshit.

Let me explain. So Josh sits next to me, and I can see his screen (Princess Joshephine reads DailyCandy.com religiously). And on around his 6th day, homeboy gets his first real assignment (some trivial EBITDA bridge analysis for a portfolio company), and so he loads up The E (Excel), and tries to start getting to work. The stench of this kid’s cluelessness was worse than the smell of the refrigerator in my Korean friend Matt’s house—and kimchi smells horrendous. You could spot dude’s lack of comfort from miles away, so it was actually physically painful to me at only 3 feet. I watched in horror as Josh busted out some dirty old hideously colored model to build off of, and nearly passed out when I saw him start navigating.

Get this…HE WAS USING THE MOUSE!! …“WTF?!” I nearly shat myself with incredulity. I was so embarrassed that he was my colleague and I was his that I almost went and told one of the partners about the act of blasphemy I had just seen and that I would quit if some action wasn’t taken. But I restrained myself. I had to calm down. I turned back to my computer, loaded up ESPN.com, took several deep breaths and let myself get hypnotized by the ever-flashy Flash advertisements. After a moment, I knew what I had to do.

I turned and tapped Josh on the shoulder to get his attention. I didn’t say a word, but my face said “Yo…yeah you, McKposer.” We locked eyes. I slowly and dramatically reached for my mouse cable. Staring him down, I methodically unplugged it from my computer’s USB port. The cable came out slowly but smoothly and with it’s final, climactic release, I heard Josh gulp with fear.

I continued to glare at him as I started to “fly around.” My eyeballs burned through his unweathered, 60-hour-a-week-when-he-should-have-done-90 face as I hid and unhid sheets and conditionally formatted and applied validation to cells with triple nested conditional and indirect functions and then culminated by on-the-fly writing a macro that took my data and made it into a Marimekko (and we don’t even use that shit!). I never turned to look at the screen, and my eyes never left his.

“Welcome to PE, bitch,” I growled, crunching the last word like making radio noises. Then, mildly irritated that I had revealed my lame TiVo watching habits but proud of my masterful display, I turned back to my computer.

As I resumed my modeling, I could heard his hurried breaths, shaky and intermittent, and I knew that I had proven my point. Josh might have “exceeded expectations” at fingerpainting and storytime over at True North, but his career in PE was:


83 comments for this post.

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  1. -5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    measuring your intelligence by the number of hot keys you remember? wow?you truly are a douche?fyi, i?d like to see you get a job at one of the top 3.

  2. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    hilarious, and the posts are even better, some people are obviously feeling a little insecure haha come on guys his writing is amazing, the reader gets a totally clear picture of what?s happening! you should write for a living

  3. -6 votes + -
    Tu Madre Said:

    Uh did someone say big law? Get outta here with that weak shit

  4. -14 votes + -
    Realist1 Said:

    do you get off on insulting people?as long as you are doing your job well who the fuck cares?obviously you, you insecure prick

  5. +8 votes + -
    people are really idiots Said:

    for not understanding sarcasm in the slightest bit.

  6. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Apparently, your parents never told you that its not cool to make fun of people that are less fortunate. Learn some manners or do us all a favor and shoot yourself.

  7. +26 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This is the funniest shit ever. As an ex i-banker, consultant and now PE man who?s worked in London and New York, I can attest that there are a lot of slobs out there who actually earnestly think like this. In their narrow minds PE>I-banking>consulting. And within each, better brand names are soo much better than ”2d tier” / ”3d tier”. Having been through the top of those status hierarchies all my life, I can vouch that it?s mostly all crap. That so many of the posters miss the obvious satire of this piece is testimony to their pathetic lack of perspective.

  8. +7 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    i am a consultant and this is one of the funniest things i have ever read?priceless.

  9. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Has any girl proposed marriage to you? Because Im considering it! Hilarious writing.

  10. +6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Excellent piece of writing. There is no way this was written by a banker: most of us navigate through life with a very limited vocabulary and only a rudimentary grasp of grammar. Bet this was put together by one of them ?liberal arts types??

  11. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    It seems there aren?t enough people who understand satire out there. Look it up before posting comments on this page you fools.

  12. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    It?s clear that all you guys (writer and dudes posting comments) are analysts? hands down

  13. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘Yes, your Mom and your broke-ass girlfriend both got you gift certificates to Banana for Christmas, but that doesnt mean you wear that Middle-America shit to work, son!” That?s the funniest shit ever.

  14. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This really gets at what is so funny about the way some IB/PE guys think – but the comments taking it seriously are baffling. Brilliant.

  15. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Nothing shy of hilarious

  16. +3 votes + -
    You're all idiots Said:

    For all you idiots who lack the comprehension skills to realize this is satire, how the hell did you get a job as an ibanker or consultant??

  17. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘?stammered rather like he was 12 making up for an excuse why his socks were always stuck together.” Pure gold, took me 20 seconds to figure it out.

  18. -1 votes + -
    Sr. Excel Monkey Said:

    Perfect, absolutely perfect

  19. +1 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    As someone in college who wants to go into ibanking, i just stumbled upon this site and WOW this is the funniest article i have read in recent memory. Fabulous diction?ocean-boiling and ass-pounding, priceless.

  20. 0 votes + -
    Moosvka Said:

    ‘I never turned to look at the screen, and my eyes never left his.” Awesome, just awesome

  21. 0 votes + -
    Vdog Said:

    ’60-hour-a-week-when-he-should-have-done-90 face ” good stuff

  22. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    um why is this the funniest thing ever? it hits every nail on the head. and there are a lot of nails in the banking world?brilliant.

  23. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Fucking hysterical. Anyone who has a problem with this clearly has no sense of humor.

  24. -5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Consultants from Bain have a better shot at PE than Goldman Sachs bankers, Just go to PE firm websites and browse through the profiles of the management team. You tend to be very ignorant very often

  25. +1 votes + -
    Anon Said:

    Hilarious.

  26. +3 votes + -
    Anon Said:

    These articles are gold, but the ”serious” commentators ruin all the fun D:

  27. -4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘Consultants from Bain have a better shot at PE than Goldman Sachs bankers, Just go to PE firm websites and browse through the profiles of the management team. You tend to be very ignorant very often ” I think that?s largely accurate actually.

  28. +5 votes + -
    anon Said:

    Consultants from Bain have a better shot at PE than Goldman Sachs bankers?” You must be a consultant (and thus, trying to make yourself feel better). Your own ignorance is laughable.

  29. +6 votes + -
    HEDGEmony Said:

    http://blackstone.com/team/default.asp With a quick skim I found only one guy who didn?t have a pure banking background. All this goes to show is that Buyside is the secret dream of consultants.

  30. +3 votes + -
    Buyside Said:

    The majority of PE and HF have investment banking backgrounds. Very few without a pure banking background actually make it to the buyside (the only ones that do are former CEO?s for their industry knowledge and high-ranking political members for their connections). Consultants – don?t try to BS us with this nonsense, if you want to go the PE or HF route, send your resumes to an investment banking firm, spend a few years there as an associate, and you might have a shot.

  31. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘http://blackstone.com/team/default.asp With a quick skim I found only one guy who didnt have a pure banking background. All this goes to show is that Buyside is the secret dream of consultants. ” Well firstly a more detailed skim will show you many more and secondly Blackstone isnt the only PE firm. How come you didnt choose to show Bain capital, Golden gate capital, Audax or KKR profiles?. Because it would totally disprove your point. And yes I am an ex-consultant but I work at Warburg Pincus now. ”The majority of PE and HF have investment banking backgrounds. Very few without a pure banking background actually make it to the buyside (the only ones that do are former CEOs for their industry knowledge and high-ranking political members for their connections). Consultants – dont try to BS us with this nonsense, if you want to go the PE or HF route, send your resumes to an investment banking firm, spend a few years there as an associate, and you might have a shot. ” Care to prove that?, please go through the profiles of the companys I?ve mentioned earlier. Bankers are very selective with their evidence. You only choose ”banker friendly” PE firms to prove your point. If you take a look through the profiles of the companies I just mentioned you?re point will be rendered moot.

  32. 0 votes + -
    Deerfield Grad Said:

    Deerfield is in Massachusetts, son.

  33. 0 votes + -
    Boston Brahmin Said:

    Just to clarify the comment from ”Deerfield Grad” – I hope to god that I have overlooked a post where someone said Deerfield was somewhere other than MA, because for a second there I thought you were contradicting the article?s comment about New England winters, because if so it is clear you work at an Arby?s in Alabama.

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