Monday, June 19, 2006

How Gopal Mehta Got Paid, Almost Got Laid, and Got Trained

Gopal Metha was a Princeton student not unlike other Princeton students. He loved blue pants, girls in frocks, waxing philosophical, and most of all, elitist institutions.

To elucidate, after Gopal’s college application process, he had gotten into every top school in the US, but his decision making process was quite simple. He knew he could never go to Wharton for fear of association with the Nittany Lions, Stanford was too jock-y and Bay Area hippie, and the only thing prestigious about New Haven was its gangs (Tre Douce!). Harvard and MIT did have lower acceptance rates (good sign), but they had significantly higher Asian-American student percentages (17% and 28% vs. Princeton’s 13%). Gopal found the acceptance into the Old Boy’s Club far more elite and eagerly matriculated at Princeton.

Gopal loved it at the top where the air was crisp. But unfortunately for Gopal, the air’s crispness is relative. At Princeton, he was systematically refused entrance into any secret society, comedy troupe, dance group, vegetarian co-op, bible study or anything even remotely selective. He incessantly bickered the University’s eating clubs, but eventually had to resort to the painfully common “sign-in” process.

And so Gopal was ordinary for three years. Everyday, he looked in the mirror and sulked. He couldn’t stand not having a group of random people reinforcing his dwindling self worth. He needed to feel like he was among a select few, and most importantly, he needed to be able to make fun of people that couldn’t enter his circle. The unfortunate fact was that Gopal was the person getting made fun of.

But this all changed Gopal’s first semester senior year. After weeks of grueling Vault book and message board reading and interviewing, Gopal was offered a job as an investment banking analyst in the Consumer Products Consumer/Retail group at Goldman Sachs. At last, the fox was in the henhouse. He had put himself out on the line, taken a huge risk, and it had paid off. He had gotten the job that every single Princeton student dreamed about but could never get. He was, once again, special. Goldman Sachs had faxed over their congratulations. It said “Welcome to the club.” Elated with his rediscovered prestige, he went home and set the following away message:

I am so elite that my collars pop themselves. Even when I try to fold them down (like at a funeral or a day of national tragedy) it just won’t work.

He thought that showed class.

When Gopal started training early that summer, he knew that he would do anything to ensure that he was not the prole, friendless loser he was at Princeton. He would be cool. And since he was instructed that training for bankers didn’t really mean anything at all, he decided his best angle was to be the drunken, boisterous fool that everyone loves to hang out with. He’d be even more loud and more boisterous than the kids from Australia and more irreverent than the Japanese. Fuck winning the hearts of the back row, Gopal would be the entire back row himself.

He started out by taking his name tag on the first day and writing “Fun Guy” next to his name in big red letters. This was an excellent ice breaker. Within 30 minutes everyone knew him, remembered him, and couldn’t wait to drink with him at the first social event.

And on cue, at an event a few nights later, Gopal went to the bar and ordered four mixed drinks and a couple of beers. The entire stock was for him. He figured, if the price of inebriation was warm drinks with melted ice, so be it. Gopal got sloshed quickly, danced double-fisted, told jokes he’d read on the Internet, and flirted openly with older female bankers. He was the center of attention, in a good way, and the surge of acceptance flowed through his veins for the first time in years. What bliss.

Soon however, the bliss turned into a heaviness settling in down below the belt. Maybe it was just that after twenty two years he was sick and tired of having to relieve himself the way everybody else did. In a toilet, that is. Gopal began to contemplate alternative options to trudging to the bathroom for a quick draining of the plumbing. Luckily, the table was covered with a white linen tablecloth whose edges hung halfway to the floor, and he had just finished a bottle of beer—a fitting receptacle for his golden gift. Gopal sidled up closer to the table, slipped the empty beer bottle down below, covered his lap with the tablecloth, and relaxed…

Gopal went uncaught and got up and walked around the party some more, schmoozing like a pro, basking in everyone’s love for him. Then, he spotted a thin little Indian girl standing in the corner with a friend and his mother’s cries for a daughter-in-law that she could verbally abuse in her mother tongue took over: a marriage candidate? So Gopal went over and began chatting with her (name: Sheetal). As drunk as Gopal was, they hit it off famously; they clicked. Gopal told stories about how everyone called him “Gay Pal” growing up and Sheetal confessed she cried herself to sleep every night because even her teachers pronounced her name “Shit All.” It seemed like all the astrological signs were in place. Everything was on track for Gopal and Sheetal to dance coyly around trees, make out, clash teeth from inexperience, and call their parents to elate them with the news that a nice Brown mate had been found.

Then Gopal went to the bar to get them two drinks. And en route, he spotted a tall, blond, Aryan goddess. Everything about her screamed: Mayflower, Spence, and “My only entertainment in life is destroying the self-confidence of boys that try to hit on me,” and Gopal was captivated. Sheetal was far gone from his mind, White girls were a far more elite catch.

The girl was talking casually with similarly endowed boys and girls, and they all looked far less uncomfortable than everyone else. Naturally so, they’d been living this scene since they were 5 years old.

Anyway, Gopal was on top of the world and drunk and figured he could win over anyone at the party. Getting drunk was the universal cool. So he went up to the she-pedigree and said:

“Did you invite all these people? I thought it was just going to be the two of us?”

The girl and her posh-posse all stopped talking for a brief moment, taken aback. And then, as if they’d been trained to mock immigrant children from birth, they, in unison, burst out in laughter. Gopal was mortified.

One of them cruelly mimed Gopal in a high-pitched voice. Someone else shouted, “Woah there Fun Guy!” as if scolding an overheated poodle. And worst of all, the girl in question asked him, perfectly seriously, “Equities in Dallas?”

And it was a quick and hard fall from glory for Gopal. This was a trainee-wide event, and the absolute worst position any trainee in any division could imagine was being slotted in Equities in Dallas. No one could imagine anything less successful in their small world than an equity salesman in Dallas; the equity department was powerless, and Dallas was, well, a long way from New York.

The comment pierced through to Gopal’s core. All the rejections he’d felt at Princeton came rushing back at him. He felt like a dead rat being hosed off the curb by a deli owner.

He folded. He scurried away from his mockers, grabbed a bottle of Beam from the bar and ran. He escaped back to his parent-subsidized (for the time being) Murray Hill studio, and drank and cried himself to sleep.

The next morning, Gopal showed up at training, stumbling drunk, eyes still bloodshot, smelling like a speak-easy. He name card no longer read “Fun Guy.” He was just Gopal Mehta. He was no longer elite or cool. He was just another douchebag.

81 comments for this post.

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  1. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Boiler Room quote doesn?t get enough respect?.I was dying.

  2. -6 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    is that upenn/pennstate reference supposed to be a joke? you do realize that the nittany lions are at pennstate, right? btw i?m not from around those parts of the world but what?s the stigma attached to having studied in penn state?

  3. -4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    its any state school(and all schools except harvard, princeton, and yale), you simple prole. do not come back to this site again.

  4. +2 votes + -
    buckeye Said:

    my football team is better than yours, you late bloomer

  5. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    my paycheck can buy and sell your football team and all of its players.

  6. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Stop posting comments until you own your own business and PE firms won?t leave you alone

  7. -7 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Great story? in regards to the comparison to GRAD SCHOOL and IB-Jobs, they are both comparable to being a slave for a master? GRAD STUDENTS: You spend about 4 – 6 years studying something for meaningless stipends and at the end of the day you take a job at a research institute or company doing research? that?s crap unless off course you have a true passion for it. I-Bankers: Though you make more money if that money is divided by the amount of hours you work you are underpaid at about 6 bucks/hr? people who work at McDonalds make the same? yeah I know you can argue about end year bonuses and the like but they are heavily taxed and insignificant unless u r an MD. Advice try finding your own brand and you can be like me for the rest of your lives I am 28 and I live in the Riviera in Italy? money works for me? I give a couple of advice on Microsoft Exchange every now and then and that?s it. The Point: DO NOT ESTIMATE THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY

  8. +3 votes + -
    astralgirl01 Said:

    Good graces? for all of the self-lauding tripe I?ve read in this Comment section, I?m baffled that some of you twats couldn?t take a second to spell-check your posts?!?!? Your boarding schools should all be ashamed. Take a second to learn the difference between you?re/your AND their/there/they?re? it?s not too difficult, lads. Yikes? no wonder why girls pine for the poor artsy types. At least they try harder!

  9. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Do all girls pine for poor artsy types ? I really think that it depends on the girl. The B&T girls are after money, even if it means a husmand/bf doesn?t have time for them. The girls who have money don?t really care for money. they want partners who have time for them. Then there are girls (about 75%) who don?t fit that stereotype. ;=) In the end, there?s somebody for everybody. You just have to look for them.

  10. -7 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You guys are all imbeciles. Physicians rule.

  11. +4 votes + -
    MadDog Said:

    ‘Physicians Rule”? Whatever. :::Yawn::: If you want to play the validating and self-worth introspection game the only initials are ”JD”. Who do you think makes the world of Wall & Broad churn and burn? Bud Fox? GG? Please. As for you – Madam/Mister ”MD” – let?s hope your Med-Mal insurance is up to date. Easy w/ the ego. And the petty animus. Focus on the blog. Good stuff indeed, save the plagiarism. Or did ”citations to authority” escape any other corporate lawyers out there?

  12. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    MadDog, Nice play on the MD and the douche above you who took it for ”Managing Director”. ”MDs” They really must be a physician. Can?t read a EKG, go on an ib blog and mettle with what they don?t understand. While it?s true that there are SOME real physician in the ib world – they?re stuck advising on biotech. Yikes. Couldn?t hack the clinical side I guess.

  13. +1 votes + -
    LaughingAtYou Said:

    It?s ironic how the same d-bags that the blog pokes fun at end up having an argument in the comments section?.

  14. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    I think I enjoy reading the comments more than the actual blog! Some people are so stupid.

  15. 0 votes + -
    nox Said:

    Isn?t it a great feeling? To come here every once in a while and realize that there are stupid people out there who are taking anecdotes about finance way too seriously. Oh wait? aren?t we going to finance and consulting after graduating from Ivy League schools? Working in NYC together with most of our friends? Cranking on weekdays and living it up on the weekends? There is some sort of a perverse pleasure in knowing how different life after college is going to be. And if summer internship experiences are any indication, it is not necessarily going to be more interesting.

  16. -1 votes + -
    Brownie Said:

    I am brown and have fucked white hoes all around?the ones in London are fuckin easier..though New York?s all rite too?

  17. 0 votes + -
    Joe Said:

    Can anyone give me advice on how to become an Ibanker. I think this blog is so cool. I read it every day, I will intern for free in an IBD. Joe.

  18. +4 votes + -
    Frank Slaughtery Said:

    Joe, fist yourself 5 times a day at 15 minute intervals until you can no longer feel the pain/learn to enjoy it, then you?ll be ready.

  19. +3 votes + -
    envycity Said:

    your a fuck face!

  20. +2 votes + -
    Makin BankTill I Die Said:

    When the fuck are we getting a new post? My afternoons are becoming boring and I am tempted to read these lame message board posts.

  21. +3 votes + -
    Brown Douche Bag Said:

    Hell, this thing surely rings true. Inspite of being born and brought up in India, working in fixed income (not M&A) in London (not NY, but definitely not Dallas) makes this whole thing look a bit like my life. The bigger problem is back home in India not a lot of people understand credit derivatives, to think of it as meaningful work as well. (Yes, still all the desi girls ignore me)

  22. +4 votes + -
    sensitive Said:

    There seems to be a certain, hidden frustration with getting girls amongst most of you. This is nothing to worry about – I can assure you that with the right contemplation you can achieve self-repsect, which will lead you to respect women for what they really are – beautiful beings that enlighten our day. remember the saying ”If you can?t love yourself, you cannot love others” I study psychology and have encountered this problem in my recent study widely. Think about it and soon you shall be in a better place

  23. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    It is rather funny to see these IB guys bitch and moan about getting girls. What they dont realize is that their own ego is the biggest thing working against themselves. Drop the ego?.you?ll notice the difference. And for the analyst who are going to retort to this post by telling me to douche myself: I have a dual engineering degree?work about 1/2 the hours you kids work?and still make the same/more money (startups getting bought out is a beautiful thing).

  24. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    congrats on PME (pre-mature ejac?) you?ve hit your peak and unless you become a serial entrepreneur your lifetime income has hit a plateau. In fact, by looking at your statement i predict you?ll be a homeless tranny by the time 2010 rolls around.

  25. -1 votes + -
    Eastern European Girl Said:

    Equities in Dallas???? And it was a quick and hard fall from glory for Gopal. This was a trainee-wide event, and the absolute worst position any trainee in any division could imagine was being slotted in Equities in Dallas. No one could imagine anything less successful in their small world than an equity salesman in Dallas; the equity department was powerless, and Dallas was, well, a long way from New York.” better write down where took that qoute from. its lame how you didnt refer it

  26. 0 votes + -
    jambazi Said:

    peeps, First of all, Eastern European chic has sloppy english (Poland???)..anyways, i digress. im curious how pension and investment actuaries are viewed in your banking worlds; i can derive Ito?s lemma, B-S etc and im making 80K; am i wasting talent..

  27. +2 votes + -
    Eastern European Girl Said:

    to jambazi: i had 800 on SAT II writing and 720 on verbal. congrats on your 80K. and on your Ito?s knowledge. well I knew how to prove Pascal?s theorem in 6th grade thanks to my solid communist education. biggest mistake when i came to college in US. i didnt learn jack sh.t. except for how to get my 60K+80% bonus banking job on park ave.. and what paul stuart and t. pink stand for. which one is a bigger waste of talent?

  28. +1 votes + -
    Paul Stuart Said:

    Eastern European Girl: I got 800 SAT II Math 2C and 790 SAT II Math 1C. Do you give head on first dates?

  29. 0 votes + -
    Rich Bich Said:

    Yes they all do. That?s how Eastern European got her job that?s she?s complaining about.

  30. 0 votes + -
    Kaiz Said:

    Love the Boiler Room reference?.totally underappreciated

  31. +2 votes + -
    Most Offensive Said:

    Straight out of a cross between Monkey Business and Liar?s Poker (peeing in a bottle and equities in dallas?) Do bulge bracket banks even have equities in dallas? From what I know, there is IBD in Houston, but all capital markets are in NYC. Way to take that out of Salomon from the 80s.

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