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. +30 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Arguing on the internet is like competing at the special olympics: even if you win, you?re still retarded. Please stop and go back to molesting yourselves in front of sports illustrated

  2. +8 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    How to be a socialite??read ”Class,” by Paul Fussel. No member of the upper class would ever work in IBanking or PE because he owns the company or because he gifted it to the charitable trust he set up as an annuity for his third cousin?s child from a second marriage. Enjoyable, though.

  3. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘You?re ?model? (disgusted look) is just a SMALL input. ”?I think you meant your. Please fire your copy-editor, clown.

  4. +6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    That was art.. I love it.. f-ing mouse..

  5. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Paul Fussel is as insecure about his social standing as the rest of you proles. His meager attempt to follow in the footsteps of the literary authority on the protestant establishment, Digby Baltzell, was pretty sad. No wonder you?re all so lost. You?ve probably worn out your cherished copies of The Preppy Handbook, trying desperately to decipher the code to gain entree into this closed society. Probably won?t see you on the grass at the B&T.

  6. +10 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Jesus! I wish we knew how to use ”triple nested conditionals” up here on the trading floor? what a c*nt?

  7. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    One of the funniest fucking posts of all time. brilliant writing. anyone who can?t enjoy that should go read slate or some other shit; they don?t deserve it. keep it coming.

  8. +13 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    8====D~~~~~~ O-:

  9. +3 votes + -
    Robert Genovese Said:

    Glad we have alums like yourself?Someones worthy of their heritage

  10. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    The post was hilarious and the comments are even funnier? I can?t believe some serious some of you self-righteous idiots are. Unless you?re taking the piss? not. Son.

  11. +7 votes + -
    The Dude Said:

    As one of the unwashed former consultants in PE, I can relate. Bankers are so awesome!

  12. -13 votes + -
    The Accountant Said:

    Shit, I think I have no chance working for Bank then. It seems that a I know just a little bit more than the John chap? I think I will stick with making millions instead.

  13. -3 votes + -
    Sir Charles Said:

    Do you understand why most of the world looks on at the USA as vulgar and culturally vacuous. So one monkeyspank gets to stick a few more dollars in his pockets than another one. Look at Donald Trump- V-U-L-G-A-R, his whole tower (and self) are soooooo aesthetically displeasing that I vomit in his general direction. Having said that luckily I?m not poor. Commies suck my balls.

  14. -20 votes + -
    Former I-Banker turned PE Said:

    You make me despise the fact that I was in investment banking prior to joining a PE firm (no need to name drop like you). While I certainly applaud your The E??? skills, what kind of DB calls Excel The E???????clearly one whos forced to spend a portion of his bonus to get laid. I bet your skills are SO advanced that you dont even need to use two hands!! Undoubtedly while spreading comps late night during one of your impressive 90-hour weeks, you allowed your free hand to add even greater value exploring your own personal space under the desk. Hopefully no accidents on those Gucci loafers! If this is fiction, the title would more appropriately be Why the Partners should Take Turns Kicking me Repeatedly in the Junk???

  15. +12 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    My favorite Wall Street character is the former analyst turned PE bitch who thinks he?s better than everyone else. ”You make me despise the fact I was in investment banking?” So typi. Reminds me of Stiller in Reality Bites. Keep it real, dawg.

  16. -2 votes + -
    sean Said:

    wow, since i laught out loud on that one i guess im just a huge geek

  17. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    this is one of the funniest things i have ever read in my life

  18. -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.

  19. 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

  20. -4 votes + -
    Tu Madre Said:

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

  21. -12 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

  22. +4 votes + -
    people are really idiots Said:

    for not understanding sarcasm in the slightest bit.

  23. -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.

  24. +21 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.

  25. +5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

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

  26. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

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

  27. +3 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??

  28. 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.

  29. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

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

  30. +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.

  31. +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.

  32. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Nothing shy of hilarious

  33. +2 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??

  34. 0 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.

  35. 0 votes + -
    Sr. Excel Monkey Said:

    Perfect, absolutely perfect

  36. 0 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.

  37. 0 votes + -
    Moosvka Said:

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

  38. 0 votes + -
    Vdog Said:

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

  39. 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.

  40. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

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

  41. -3 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

  42. +1 votes + -
    Anon Said:

    Hilarious.

  43. +2 votes + -
    Anon Said:

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

  44. -2 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.

  45. +3 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.

  46. +4 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.

  47. +2 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 0 votes + -
    Deerfield Grad Said:

    Deerfield is in Massachusetts, son.

  50. 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.

  51. +8 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Awesome post. Still laughing my ass off..

  52. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Dude, you need to get a book deal. I check your site every day hoping for a new post!

  53. -8 votes + -
    flashbang Said:

    Why don?t you just subscribe to his RSS feed?

  54. -42 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You are so lame?try working for a change instead of paying attention to others sitting next to you?probably had everything handed to you since you were a young chap in Deerfield, you pompous PE wannabe ass-monkey. You lose.

  55. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    funny as hell! keep them coming.

  56. +15 votes + -
    flashbang Said:

    To the anonymous poster that wrote the following: ”You are so lame?try working for a change instead of paying attention to others sitting next to you?probably had everything handed to you since you were a young chap in Deerfield, you pompous PE wannabe ass-monkey. You lose.” You do realize that all of the content on leveragedsellout is fiction, don?t you? Sounds like the post struck a nerve with you..

  57. -29 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    you?re such a toolbag. you don?t know jacksh*t about private equity. fyi, i used to work for one of the top 3 ”boutiques” (i.e. blackstone, evercore, or greenhill) and now i work for a multi-billion dollar pe firm in nyc.

  58. +6 votes + -
    Sameer N. R Said:

    You had to admit, ”McKposer” is pretty creative.

  59. +5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    too fucking good. this is classic LSO. ”FI as in FIckle with my private jets.” PE bitches.

  60. -9 votes + -
    Jon Said:

    and yet, sadly, one can only assume that the writer of this post is, in fact, not that wealthy and from Jersey

  61. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You know DLJ Merchant Banking is not at the top of its game when other groups split off and they hire consultants. Embarrassing to the asset class. WharTON baby WharTON!

  62. +10 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Yeah this is pretty funny. To anybody who thinks this is actually true Bain Cap is one of the most respected shops out there and is run almost entirely by consultants. Everybody brings something to the table I guess.

  63. -8 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Haha, what kind of doucebag bashes people for being cheap and then puts AdSense on the website to make a few dollars?? Idiot.

  64. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    I do enjoy these stories. Can you write one about lucite deal toys? I think that would be a funny subject and would go over well.

  65. -15 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    My, this fellow strikes me as profoundly secure and appealing. I think I just creamed myself imagining his incredible mastery of ”The E.” He just sounds so impressive doing all that ”flying around.” He sure showed that shitty consultant McPoser guy. From what I can see, he is just the avatar of all that is awesome. The awesomeness must simply drip from his pores. Yes, I must now devote myself to being excellent in a way that he would respect. It?s going to be hard, too, because I am a just lowly consultant – and not a Rockefeller either. As I think about it, it?s painfully obvious that he would dominate the consulting profession if he were ever, for some strange reason, to give it a shot. His attitude and example would inspire co-workers and clients alike. Plus, if he is so good at excel and dressing well – there can be no doubt that he will have the skills to wrestle with ambiguity and find an actionable solution. Certainly, once he?s knocked that out, he can start showing his clients why they are wrong. No doubt, they will see his brilliance and pizzazz and engage with him readily to change deep seated beliefs and practices. This guy rules. That?s all there is to it.

  66. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    i love how you referenced Matt?s smelly frig – that was hilarious

  67. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Baahahahaha. yo by the way to all the little dbags who got mad about this article? get a little backbone. you wish you knew how to quit LSO.

  68. +7 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    leave it to I-bankers to completely miss the point of this article and this blog in general. I?ll give you a hint- the person being mocked in this satire is not the consultant, it?s the speaker. But if i-bankers weren?t humorless, they wouldn?t be able to tolerate their vapid lives.

  69. +6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    The True North comment was really funny. To the author: you should shift your writing so that even more people think the character is real-life. It?s hilarious, and it?d be a great way to get attention/publicity.

  70. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Amazing post. Gold Farmers rule.

  71. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Good writing. I love how all the insecure finance/consulting types got their feelings hurt reading your post. It?s like all of their self worth & self esteem is derived from their firm name & job title. Guys get a clue & lighten up.

  72. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Are you one of the Yuppie Douchebag?s underlings? http://www.wreckedhighway.com/0201/yuppie.html

  73. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    As the Norse god Charles Festerbottom is fond of saying: ”Now- back to your cubes you Proles! The stock markets not going to manipulate itself now, is it?!?!” And for the record, the poster who referenced the hero in question as the ”avatar of all that is awesome”, is clearly the most insecure of the bunch, trying desperately to hide his/her insecurity behind a sanctimonious facade. anyone who spends that much time to compose such a derisive criticism of a fictitious character clearly derives his/her self worth from, in all likelihood, the belief that ”management consulting” is a worthwhile endeavour. The masters of pondering their navels to devise impractical solutions that are left for others to implement. my, what value add.

  74. -14 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You are such a FUCKING loser. I wish you were my co-worker so I could smack the shit out of you like you probably got smacked all throughout your life until people started using you for your money.

  75. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    What about the part where you licked Josh?s corhnole? Why did you leave that out?

  76. -14 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    I would have thought you may have picked this up from dear old Deerfield Academy but apparently at Wharton they don?t teach you how to be a socialite but they certainly told you how to be an anti-semite. Maybe if you really are on the social register you can also pick up a pocket Emily Post and quit your truly pathetic bitching about a new guy. Shove it. If it bothers you then fix it and help the poor man dress himself. Besides I bet you are the kind of Wharton loser who wears polo shirts but can?t play and wouldn?t know a good thoroughbred if it kicked you in the head. Let?s face it, because you will never be a man, and because you will never be a gentleman, you will just never be enough. Sorry. I suppose you should have gone to Princeton.

  77. +9 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Too funny. To the boorish crowd that was offended, loosen up the neck-tie and remove the high heels more often. Seems like some excel monkeys need to get out of the office every now and then. Life is too short to go around being angry at satire. The joke?s on you! Now go ahead and write an angry reply?.

  78. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Funny! The only reason the consulting guy moved over to PE is because McKinsey shipped his job over to India?just wait till the PE firms get wise to this and decide it makes sense to pay an excel monkey $5K/year versus $500K/year.

  79. +8 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘Haha, what kind of doucebag bashes people for being cheap and then puts AdSense on the website to make a few dollars?? Idiot.” Obviously someone smarter than you who is profiting off of your visits. Now, who is the real idiot?

  80. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Genuis! To this British guy the most inspired aspects of these posts are the HIlariously earnest comments. You couldn?t make it up. Really.

  81. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Amazing! Please write a book !

  82. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You idiot. PE is about companies with good cashflow, solid market fundamentals but shit management. If you think it has ANYTHING to do with excel monkeying, you?re sadly misinformed. Clearly you are just a dumpy analyst doing the monkey work – – son, the real decisions are made by your bosses on business fundamentals. You?re ?model? (disgusted look) is just a SMALL input.

  83. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Americans are absolutely hilarious. Carry on guys, this stuff is brilliant.

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