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Boiler Room of One’s Own

I was having dinner last night with my oldest friend. He quit his job at one of the more prominent investment banking firms in New York more than a year ago (he now works at some boutique hedge fund), but … Read More

By / December 1, 2006

I was having dinner last night with my oldest friend. He quit his job at one of the more prominent investment banking firms in New York more than a year ago (he now works at some boutique hedge fund), but he's still on the "Farewell" mailing lists of all his old colleagues. Having read one example, which he assures me is characteristic of them all, I'm now convinced that all it takes for burgeoning literary talent is two years of entering data in Excel spreadsheets and watching in envy and fascination as Joanna from Diversified Industrials stuffs twenties into the g-string of a stripper at Score's.

Thus I've decided to inaugurated a new series on the Daily Shvitz, celebrating the gleeful departure of rainmakers from their own personal hells. I'm calling it "Boiler Room of One's Own." (Cute, no?) Names of persons and financial institutions will be redacted to protect the guilty.

If you work at one of the firms and are leaving, and would like to spin confessional silk out of your worked-off ass, please submit your goodbyes for public consumption here.

The first entry after the jump.

From: REDACTED [mailto:REDACTED] Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 1:44 PM To: REDACTED Subject: The end of an era

Dear all, As many of you may know, farewell emails must start like this or some planetary disalignment triggers the spontaneous combustion of several exotic and furry species. That being said, today is my last day at REDACTED. I would say that it's been a pleasure working with all of you, but then again, losing the ability to walk fully upright, several inches in various key places, and possessing a gait resembling someone just released from a night in a maximum security state penitentiary would suggest otherwise. Although the tone of this email smacks of someone who just got the equivalent of the petting zoo parting gift behind the wrong door in "Let's Make a Deal" in lieu of a normal banking bonus, I assure you, that even though the bonuses of the departing second years make Planck's constant seem like a Powerball jackpot, I am not bitter. After all, a firm must try especially hard to have a retention rate pegged somewhere between the NYC water main and an incontinent schoolboy, and have a unique talent to put a veil over people's eyes so thick that it makes a burqa seem like a leopard print thong. Thus is the nature of the sweetly scented veil of empty rhetoric, in which all pitchbooks are under 25 pages, each telco dividend is more special than the last, each project is on its way to becoming the "SECOND BIGGEST LBO EVER!", and all GBC bindings are dolphin friendly.

To be fair, I have grown fond of many of REDACTED's finer qualities – the glorious inverted pyramid, in which prides of senior people are supported by a lone analyst, in which Atlas doesn't only shrug, he is in serious need of a chiropractor. It is not necessarily debilitating to process the groundbreaking ideas of those who make "Ice Ice Baby" seem like an original score, or coexist on the bottom rung of a firm whose idea of resource management is so misguided that its next major strategic initiative is to invade Manchuria, but it does tend to wear on the psyche, if not the cuticles.

My only advice going forward – impair or infirm yourself in some way or another. REDACTED rewards competence about as well as Pol Pot rewarded wearing eyeglasses, and never has a firm been so afraid of those who work out and bathe regularly. The "star" system is apt in many ways, in that it emphasizes the critical role in the firm played by giant balls of hot flaming gas. The M&A floor smells like Cheetos and feet for a reason, and although this reason could definitely use the aid of some anti-bacterial soap and moist towelettes (and why are M&A off-site activities so desperately masculine (gun ranges, et al.) that in general they have the unfortunate effect of making the cast of Queer Eye look like Gunsmoke), they sure are "highly regarded".

So throw off the chains of dynamism, point-of-view, and especially humor! Cast away the shackles of personality, creativity, and passion!

REDACTED will take your tired, your sick, and your hungry – and hire them on the spot. Switching gears for a minute – good luck to everyone – there were ups and downs, highs and lows, cheers and jeers, kip-ups and tri-pods, but most of all there was soft, gentle, weeping…

Most of all – Thanks to everyone who put up with me for the last two years. I did learn a lot – some financial, some hygienic…

My email is : REDACTED

And next year I'm joining the circus… Cheers, REDACTED

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