Thursday, February 8, 2007

Pocket Changed My Life

Pocket Change New York Speed Dating Pen

I, by the grace of my own diligence, was able to come home early from Ohio yesterday. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that being in PE meant that half of my life was going to be spent traveling to shitshow portfolio companies to boss around retards twice my age with the business acumen of Accenture employees? That would have been nice to know (not that it would have changed much).

Anyway, I was able to make it home a bit early yesterday for Pocket Change New York, a speed dating event by Pocket Change for “Rich Guys & Hot Girls.” Shallow? Perhaps. But honestly, it’s not the easiest thing in the world meeting a girl when you’re working as hard as I do. And frankly, it’s nearly impossible to meet someone new when the (stretched) radius of your circle of friends only extends out from “finance” to “consulting.” While consulting bitches do tend to be kind of freaky, I figured that it’d be nice to see what a fashion designer, PR chick, or a model would have to say about my new, elevated post within the business world. I reckoned she might like it.

So I made it to the event. Slightly late, but getting out “early” wasn’t apparently early enough to make up for my cab driver’s excessive sloth. IIT really needs to open a school for cabbies, because these Sanjays we’re getting really aren’t up to snuff.

But finally, I walked into the parkside UES restaurant, checked my coat, verified my name, and made my way into the main area. The bar had lots of little tables with paired, oval backed seats. The general plushness felt like my dad’s den, or maybe even like a non-bicker eating club at Princeton. But unlike either of these, the bar was filled with beautiful, scantily-dressed women.

I beckoned the Asian girl (the only one of those there, mind you) in charge of seating, explained my most unavoidable lateness and was seated immediately with my own placard: Lucky Number 7. I was too late to get a proper sheet or nametag, but my $500 entry fee did manage to afford me a shitty plastic Bic pen. Fun!

Right after I was seated, the biddies began to roll in one after another to meet me. Upon inspection, it turned out that the majority of the girls were much more scantily dressed and slightly less beautiful than I had originally anticipated. Perhaps it was the lighting. Or perhaps it was the fact that throwing a “model” event during fashion week is not terribly pareto efficient (could have for sure been better off)—kind of like having the NFL Pro Bowl on the same day as the Superbowl. Still, however, the girls were hot (perhaps just a bit more dirty hot than beautiful).

And during our allotted 3 minutes, it turned out that instead of me having to try to convince the girls I was worth having sex with, they were put on the spot to convince me they were worth my time. Having a girl know for a fact that you make a lot of money is apparently just as magical as one would assume. Sure, I’ve felt girls speculate about me based on what club I’m at, my clothes, etc., but even associate magazine editors can get some decent gear on or wherever the hell and show up at Pink Ele. The fact that my wealth had been notarized by this lame group of party promoters, though, officially turned the tables. It was like I was still a banker, but the roles were flipped. Instead of going out on a roadshow, the banks and management teams (now dumb, hot chicks) were coming to me–perhaps the only situation in which the notion of being a commercial bank, mutual fund, or insurance company is not totally repulsive.

Let’s consider a few standouts:

  • Biddy #1: Self-proclaimed “socialite” who hangs out only at the Hotel Gansevort, Level V, and Tenjune.
    • Thoughts: you: “socialite” :: corporate lawyer : baller.
  • Biddy #2: Slightly thick Murray Hill girl with self-confidence issue and perpetual desire to be photographed.
    • Thoughts: Who Photoshopped your pics into being able to pass the “expert” screening panel, Ms. Husky? Dude deserves his own art gallery for that pixel wizardry.
  • Biddy #3: Gorgeous brunette who flew in specifically from Dallas for the event that asks me: “What inspires you?”
    • Thoughts: Girls that fly 1500 miles to meet rich dudes like me.
  • Biddy #4: Paris Hilton look-alike from Winnipeg, Canada who claims to have never ventured below 14th street because “The Poors” are dangerous.
    • Thoughts: Tru dat. I get nervous around 20th sometimes—you never know how far up The Poors may have encroached.

  • Biddy #5: “Fashion entrepreneur” who is starting her own high-end shoe company (any day now) based off connections she has made while living in Italy.
    • Thoughts: Sounds like the perfect market for a budding young entrepreneur with a fistful of her hubby’s hard earned cash. Sigerson Morrison watch your back! Dumb Chick, Inc. is coming afta’ ya!

And this went on for about an hour. It was semi-fruitful: I was getting girls’ numbers and learning about a whole slew of New York boroughs I had never even heard of before. There is apparently a “Harlem,” a “Queens,” and an “Essex County.” Who knew?

And then, just when the 5 glasses of red wine were pleading for release and my patience for stupidity were wearing thin, I met her.

She sat down with grace. She told me her name was Lauren, and we shook hands. She was delicate about it, and I pinched just firmly enough that I could see her shudder visibly as my general vibe of badassedness flushed through her body—a svelte one draped in a gold gown.

It was immediately obvious that Lauren didn’t belong. In a crowd of wannabe-FHM models, she stuck out like a Scarlet Johanson, so much so that I nearly asked her why she wasn’t at the Justin Timberlake show at MSG. But I figured it probably wasn’t good game to acknowledge that I knew that.

Lauren, not unlike me, was growing weary of the scene. Her blond hair brushed about against the gown selected to match it, and she informed that instead of meeting anyone decent and pedigree as she had naively thought she might, she had found what seemed to be 40 “real-estate moguls,” several “entrepreneurs,” and a handful of guys with “family businesses.”

But these words rolled off her lips with an air of prestige I haven’t felt since I brushed shoulders with the 180 LSAT/45 MCAT kid that dropped his Rhodes Scholarship to work at Renaissance. She said “family business” the way you and I say “Jefferries”—holding back vomit. It was amazing.

I listened intently as Lauren went on about the creepy old men that told her they had daughters her age. They apparently smiled and winked while saying it. She found this repulsive, but she did appreciate the 78 year old man that busted out his black card to buy her an even more top-shelf champagne than what was available. She found that to be “gentlemanly.” I took note.

We settled for a moment. After she told me that she was working as a model with Vision, she asked: “What do you do in the city?”

“Oh, I work in Finance,” I responded, Pavlov-style, always afraid to get into too much detail.

“What kind of Finance?” she prodded.

“Private Equity,” I said.

Lauren raised her eyebrows and the left edge of her lip almost mockingly. She jutted her chin upwards slightly and 100% dead pan, she went:

“Oh yeah? So what’s your typical debt/equity mix in an acquisition and what kind of capital structure do you employ?”

…I couldn’t breathe. Perhaps everything was augmented by the fact that I had just tried to explain the concept of “buying and selling companies” to 50 girls with an equal amount of holes in their brains and septums, but I was in full body shock.

I stared at her dumbfounded. This outlandishly good looking, polished girl had just dropped some serious knowledge on me. I was in love.

After a few moments, my head tilted to one side. I started to mumble a few words, but the chick with the microphone came on and said “Final rotation. Ladies switch to the next number.”

Lauren stared at me encouragingly as she draped her purse over her shoulder and got up. Still, I managed to squeeze out nothing more than a few, unintelligible noises.

She rested her hand on my shoulder as she bent down to get her mouth near in my ear: “Stanford ’01, HBS ’05,” she whispered. “Find me when you’ve got an answer.” And she tapped me on the shoulder a few times affectionately and left.

For the record, I did take home a model last night, but the only thing I could think of was Lauren.

152 comments for this post.

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  1. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Well done – welcome back??..

  2. +4 votes + -
    anon Said:

    This is hilarious! You?ve got the character down perfectly.

  3. -1 votes + -
    another f*#&ing commenter Said:

    Bravo Pugsley!

  4. +8 votes + -
    amish Said:

    What, all of a sudden ?intelligence? is an attractive quality in a woman?

  5. -1 votes + -
    PE star Said:

    Was there as well! Lauren and another chick named Lindsey were the only two who knew what I did. ”Private equity?.is that like a mutual fund?” That was the brain on the one I took home.

  6. +6 votes + -
    SWWIII Said:

    As hilarious and well-written as always. I only wish these stories were posted more often.

  7. +1 votes + -
    Bickeree Said:

    ‘Non-bicker eating clubs?” Priceless.

  8. -12 votes + -
    Hef Said:

    No suprise there. I was at an events at Tiffanys: Six b-models. all engaged, figures ?the store sells rings. Dude, post a Model casting call on craigslist. 40 will show up on Sat while you sort the mail. I know 6 guys that did this. This past weekends WSJ confirmed what I alwsys knew. Modeling is organized poverty. Outside of like 10 models, they all work for free or ”trade” for a dress that 20 people wore.

  9. +9 votes + -
    yat Said:

    great post?but you fail to mention that, unlike jeffries, at least SOME family businesses provide value-added services

  10. 0 votes + -
    Anon Said:

    really good post

  11. 0 votes + -
    Blackstone Rockstar Said:


  12. -31 votes + -
    Mike Church Said:

    Excellent post; this was some top-of-the-line material, not that I expected any less. I?d advise you to learn more about this Lauren; she may be smart, but the four-year gap between her college and MBA dates makes for what we might consider a minor prestige hit. It sounds, and I am aware of the, one might say, radical nature of this suggestion, as if she couldn?t get into the program straight out and had to do two years of work to have a way in. Unless L. was in another country from 2001-03, consider again your sheltered Manitoba girl.

  13. -5 votes + -
    Lev Fin Banker Said:

    Great piece! Keep them coming?

  14. -3 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    The whispered quote about Stanford and HBS is really gay.

  15. +34 votes + -
    Anon Said:

    A stanford girl could never be hot enough to keep you awake at night. You obviously have never seen the dogs that we get out here.

  16. +10 votes + -
    Stanford Girls R Fuglies Said:

    I went to Stanford and dude, those chicks are busted. But I liked the post very much. In essense, it is like getting an escort, except you pay the organizers and not the girl. Beautiful?

  17. 0 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    pocket change – can you mark a bigger X on the map for golddiggers?

  18. -14 votes + -
    Desi Who Knows Your Identity Said:

    Your style is played. Quit.

  19. +2 votes + -
    Not Back Office. Said:

    Mike Church: Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, girls go to HBS for more than an M.R.S.? And, really, a Canadian over a hot blonde? Again, that?s like choosing Colonial over Cottage. -NBO

  20. -5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    OK but not as good as your usual stuff. Sounds almost like it was written by someone else.

  21. +11 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Excellent!, please write more frequently.

  22. -11 votes + -
    Jasmine Said:

    So call the Pocket Change people and get her info. But for the love of God?get a hold of yourself first!

  23. -8 votes + -
    VS Said:

    Why is it if a girl says something even remotely smart, she?s all of a sudden a genius.

  24. +4 votes + -
    Mike Church Said:

    NBO: You missed the point. My post had nothing to do with the ”MRS” degree. Let me spell it out for you. If he?s an old-style banker obsessed with ”pedigree”, he?s not going to be impressed by someone with four years between the BA and MBA, because it probably means that she wasn?t able to get into business school without two years of work experience. People from the milieu in which he?d have interest can get into MBA programs straight-out and, if they?re interested in banking, enter the industry post-MBA at the associate level.

  25. -15 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Because the author doesn?t respect women, or his mom was an idiot.

  26. +11 votes + -
    jonny Said:

    loving every word, post more! made my day, a new LSO post.

  27. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You shouldn?t have dropped the Renaissance name in this situation. You don?t know what you are talking about there.

  28. +6 votes + -
    The Man Said:

    LSO is back with a vengeance??.excellent post?.

  29. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Nothing will every top The Shitshow?I keep waiting, but that one might hold top honors forever

  30. +6 votes + -
    Lauren Said:

    Oh! Did i forget to mention i was a huge fan of this website?

  31. 0 votes + -
    Louis Winthorp Said:

    30 comments and none yet seized upon the Asian comment with self-righteous fervor. I would love to think that Oh My Gaod put the satire-impaired readership in its place. Which is to say, somewhere served by the Ninth Circuit?s Court of Appeals.

  32. -20 votes + -
    banker Said:

    LSO needs to stop posting positive comments to his shitty pieces. Reading this crap was a waste of my time.

  33. +2 votes + -
    Ryan Said:

    Describing an outcome as ”not terribly Pareto efficient” is as nonsensical as describing a woman as a little bit pregnant??? or an item as very unique.??? Kudos on trying to use vocabulary and concepts you don?t really understand, though. Par for the course in the rarefied world of ”finance,” it seems.

  34. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    banker: If reading this is a waste of your time, why read it? Or is it that this is a random anomaly of time wastefulness? Be specific, man!

  35. 0 votes + -
    Still Laughing Said:

    Pocket Change looks like a lame rip-off of Leveraged Sell-out. Check out the creators bio: Were there actually people who took this seriously and signed up for the Natural Selection Speed Date????

  36. 0 votes + -
    Stanford Girls R Fuglies Said:

    This post is becomming funnier every time I read it. Dumb Chick., Inc?. Now that?s quality.

  37. +2 votes + -
    Rob Said:

    The story was well written and pretty damn funny. To bad this tale didnt have a happy ending. In private equity a big timer is presumed to capable of closing any deal. I have faith that next time the outcome will be different. This account sounds like something Tucker Max would narrate.

  38. 0 votes + -
    nincompoop Said:

    banker has a chip on his shoulder because his IQ falls below the national mean.

  39. +3 votes + -
    Anon Said:

    > banker has a chip on his shoulder because his IQ falls >below the national mean. Let?s be more specific. More than 3 standard deviations below the national mean.

  40. +4 votes + -
    BSD Said:

    ‘But getting out early??? wasnt apparently early enough to make up for my cab drivers excessive sloth” Come on, no self loving PE Rockstar would take a cab! At least a black car. Other than that good irony as always, especially: She said family business??? the way you and I say Jefferries?????”holding back vomit. That being said, there really was a Paris Hilton copycat at that shoddy event rife with mediocrity from both sexes. Why anyone would want to emulate that skank is beyond me. I had the unfortuante coincidence of seeing the real one last month in LA. Also, while Lauren might not be real such girls do exist. A friend of mine is friends with a Princeton grad who is modeling right now and going into fixed income trading after that.

  41. +4 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    married, engaged, dating?you pay one way or the other.

  42. +19 votes + -
    Re: BSD Said:

    ‘Also, while Lauren might not be real such girls do exist. A friend of mine is friends with a Princeton grad who is modeling right now and going into fixed income trading after that.” By ”modeling,” I assume you mean FCFE. Stable growth. Or plus size, perhaps? Also stable growth.

  43. -4 votes + -
    Back Office Said:

    That?s neat that you have a friend of a friend that is hot. This event, and as staggering as it is that it actually took place, with real human beings, was almost too easy a target for satire. That being said, I am just happy to see something else posted.

  44. -2 votes + -
    ooorah Said:

    I have a friend of a friend that may be hot. Too bad I?m stuck in cube ”jammin?” to know. But, at least I can dream of being a rockstar or BSD and look down on people.

  45. +11 votes + -
    Mike Church Said:

    ‘Lets be more specific. More than 3 standard deviations below the national mean.” Nah. There are very few people in IB who are actually below average. The sheeplike ”stupidity” of so-called ”business culture” (or ”banking culture”) comes not from true stupidity but from the rarity of smart people (a few can be found, but they hide themselves). Among ”soft skills” IBD types, the mean is respectable? probably 115-120? but the standard deviation is very tiny. The 130+ gravitate toward trading and quant jobs, if they can get them, and away from the ”soft skills” side of banking. This is because the very smart people loathe the idea of their performance and advancement prospects being assessed subjectively (read: by people less intelligent than them) and prefer to work where there is some degree of objectivity in the evaluation and advancement process.

  46. +5 votes + -
    jj Said:

    youre like the arod of speed dating. choking when it counts.

  47. -6 votes + -
    PE Rockstar Said:

    BSD, who are you and how do you know one of my many GFs?

  48. +4 votes + -
    BSD Said:

    ‘Too bad Im stuck in cube jammin??? to know.” Yeah, that?d be me if I was one of those 115 IQ bankers. Fortunately I?m a quant hedgie. Regarding that, I agree with Mike – banking bonus calculations are a joke based roughly on how much ass you kissed and the amount of time you spent at the office. The other thing is that a smart and creative individual simply cant allow his brain to be raped by monotonous tasks for 80 hours a week. Anyways, I know it must be staggering to think that a girl can be both smart and beautiful but they do exist. They?re just too smart and too beautiful to wind up in IB, an industry that seems to attract the sort of moderately attractive, moderately smart women who love having their self esteem boosted by every guy in the room ogling them (even if it?s only because they haven?t seen any other tail in days.) Love the stable growth comment though. PE Rockstar ??” after I bought, rode, dumped and shorted her ass you must have picked up the distressed multiple on your radar and snapped her up. I hope you didnt lever her up with too much junk though, she wouldnt look so pretty no more.

  49. +3 votes + -
    Mike Church Said:

    BSD: You?re a HF quant? How is it? I?m looking to go that way; we should chat. Hit me at filtermapreduce at yahoo dot com. ”Regarding that, I agree with Mike – banking bonus calculations are a joke based roughly on how much ass you kissed and the amount of time you spent at the office. The other thing is that a smart and creative individual simply cant allow his brain to be raped by monotonous tasks for 80 hours a week.” This isn?t just true of banking? it?s 90 percent of human organizations. It just surprises bankers more than people in other professions. The allure of banking to analyst wannabes is the idea that large investment banks are something sexier than the F-1000 megacorps that students from the top undergrads generally consider stale/outdated and avoid. They get smacked when they find out there?s really no difference? and, also, that if they?d taken the job at the F-1000 they?d at least have free time and a city where they could afford more than a closet.

  50. -3 votes + -
    Patrick Bateman Said:

    Too bad, I had Lauren last night.

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