Tuesday, July 29, 2008

44. Procrastination

44. Procrastination

Investment banking analysts may be at the office 24/7, but that doesn’t mean we are working the whole time. While there may be enough to do so, even us elite minds cannot concentrate for 15 minutes straight unless one of our bosses is standing right behind us….shit, sorry sir, back to work…Anyways, like everyone we have the need for speed (the drug not velocity) and also the need to procrastinate, which is why I am typing this entry right now. I have discussed a few ways that analysts procrastinate in other entries of this blog, including Brickbreaker and reading blogs, but these are only the tip of the iceberg my friend. If one wants to become a true analyst master of looking like you are working while you are actually perusing job sites, there are a few things to know, and a few better procrastination tools.

The first thing to know is “Alt + tab.” The combination of this simple keystroke combination, and an open excel model that someone else built in 2002, will make it easy to hide the movie you are watching when an associate or MD walks by your desk. Wouldn’t want them to see you watching “Mamma Mia!” on hulu.com or surfthechannel.com, when you are supposed to be building an LBO model for some pitchbook. For any halfwit analyst, using “Alt+tab” becomes a natural instinct whenever you hear footsteps or sense the presence of someone else.

Another brilliant procrastination tool was sent to me a while back that is a few games put into excel. These games includes mini golf and Pac Man (the game with the yellow guy, not the football player who makes it rain in strip clubs), and are simply the full games but pasted into an excel files. This allows you to use “Alt+tab’s” cousin “Ctrl + tab.” Using this nifty shortcut you can easily move to another spreadsheet you have open, so your associate will not have to wonder what your open Internet explorer window is that is hidden.

While I’m the kind of guy that procrastinates with the basic reads, including espn.com, cnn.com, nyt.com and the intellectual pagesix.com, some people aspire for better sites and procrastination activities. Some analysts like to read about themselves so they turn to blogs written by other analysts or dealbreaker.com. During layoffs and bonus time, Dealbreaker gives little updates called “Bonus Watch 2008” or “Layoff Watch 2008” where analysts can read about what bonuses are given at different banks and what level people are being canned at other banks and their own. If you are an ambitious analyst you can pull a great prank by emailing Dealbreaker and telling them that you heard that half of the analysts in your group are being fired, or that bonuses for analysts at your bank will be half of what they were last year. This will likely cause your fellow analysts to shit the bed and maybe even quit out of misery, which moves you up the bonus ladder. Very niiiiiiice!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

43. Brickbreaker

43. Brickbreaker

In the past cell phone users have been consumed with great games such as Snake, which could keep us occupied for 15-30 minutes while we waited for someone or took a subway somewhere. As times changed and RIM brought us the Crackberry, so too have the games we played changed. Blackberry brought us the game of all games, Brickbreaker. As most of you know, Brickbreaker is basically a new version of the great arcade game, Arkanoid. You fire little bullets at bricks trying to beat different levels and it seems so fascinating while you do it.

The great thing about Brickbreaker is that it gives every analyst an activity for the 15-30 minutes he spends on the toilet every day pretending to have serious stomach malfunctions. My roommate can attest to how time seems to fly by when playing Brickbreaker as he takes the Browns to the Super Bowl, drops the kids off at the pool, or drops bricks. What used to be a 5 minute trip to the john before returning to purgatory at your desk, now is an enjoyable 20 minutes spent blowing shit up thanks to that devil of a blackberry we all have to hold.

I had a fellow analyst in my group who got to 100,000 points on Brickbreaker, which is an amazing accomplish since I have only gotten to 20,000 once before crapping the bed (yes, the pooping theme continues. Analysts are mature creatures). Well when he got to 100,000 points he still had 100 lives remaining and was literally bored of the game because it was too easy for him. After spending a minute calling him a loser and crying because he is that much better than me, I asked him what he would do next. Turns out he was so bored by the easiness of the game that he didn’t even feel like playing anymore. The problem is, this is a kid who is a part of the frequent flyer/crapper club and needed some activity while releasing the hounds. Without this little game to occupy his time in the loo (yeah I went British on you), his mind would be stuck on thinking about how much he hates his job. HELP! What can he do?

I see only one fix. I call on the makers of Oregon Trail to make a game for Blackberries. Not only is this one of the greatest games ever, but it also is pretty darn time consuming. Some other great features that make it the perfect game for analysts is the fact that you can name the characters with the names of those friends of yours that you have not seen in months, and feel like you are right there with them. That is until you cut their rations and they die of cholera, but that’s life… Oregon Trail also gives analysts the ability to use a gun to kill food, which allows us to take out our frustrations on an animal even dumber than an associate. Lastly, Oregon Trail has so many different levels and people that you can be, that the game will never lose its luster. So my fellow analysts, I urge you to join my petition to get this game for the Blackberry, or if it exists, post the link on the comment board. We all thank you in advance, and good luck with the dysentery and caulking that wagon and floating.