“Hey Billy, can you help me out with this presentation? It will only be a couple of slides and should only take a few hours?”
“Yeah, sure. I’d be happy to help.”
Fast forward to Saturday night at 8pm:
“Billy, are you done with the 5th round of edits yet? How is page 45 looking? Did you do that model of that small Tanzanian company with no financials I asked you about? I think that would really make this book complete. We can just meet tomorrow at 8am if that works for you?”
“Yeah, sounds great. I think that’s a terrific idea. Who wouldn’t want to by a small Tanzanian company during volatile markets? See you then! Who needs a weekend?!?”
A little extreme but you get the idea. Higher ups love to throw the bait out there telling an analyst that it won’t be much work, and then once they have us hooked, they decide to torture us. I’d rather they tell me the truth and I be miserable to start out, than being lied to. But this lying is part of the game. Just like an analyst may tell the staffer he is busier than he is, higher ups lie to try to get analysts to accept their staffings and start off in a good mood. That’s when they stick the pole right up your….
The lying doesn’t just occur when it comes to avoiding or giving work, but it occurs in every day interactions around the office.
“Hey Jim, how’s your day going?”
“Great, how about you?”
“Great, thanks. Enjoy your weekend.”
“Hey a-hole, I hope you’re more miserable than I am.”
“That I am. I may take the window exit instead of the elevator. You?”
“Getting hit by a bus may be less painful than this. Hope I see you in the office this weekend since I’ll be here.”
“Yup, screw yourself. See you here d-bag.”
Sound a bit crazy and bitter? Well it is. Like everywhere else, people say “Hey, how are you?” in the hallways, and everyone responds with a “Good” or “Fine.” Ever heard anyone say “I’m tired and miserable, you?” It just doesn’t happen. Investment bankers expect each other to lie when asked how they are doing or how much work they have. It’s like some sort of hidden code. Why tell the truth? That’s so 1990s and un-banker.
I do not condone this lying but it just starts consuming you in this job. I can’t just break down and share my feelings with everyone. Need to keep my armor on and show them I can take the pain. Thank you sir may I have another! Just call me Maximus.