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Moderator Note (Andy): Best of WSO - this post originally went up April 2008 and we thought it deserved to go back on the homepage for those who may have never seen it.

What's the worst significant other drama you've seen or personally experienced while at the office?

What do you do if you're on the receiving end? How do coworkers typically react? Is it normal to see gf drama, or is it something to be embarrassed about?

Have you ever seen a girlfriend or wife do something crazy like show up at the office and yell "Come home now or we are OVER!"?

My gf is very um... emotional, and as I get closer to my start date, I'm afraid she'll do something dramatic when I start working crazy hours.

Comments (66)

  • mathematicsofadream's picture

    I was actually wondering.. is it alright to have a friend or bf/gf there in your office while you work at night? Not disturbing you obviously, but reading near you or whatever? I think if it were allowed it would make the analysts' lives much happier and the relationship not so tense etc. etc.

    We're Italian, "WACC" means something else to us.

    We're Italian, "WACC" means something else to us.

  • LdnMezz's picture

    I think there would be a wee few compliance issues if you had your gf tagging along in the office. Also, you're going to want to focus on getting your shit done, not entertaining your gf and keeping her from getting too bored.

    Once, on the back of working 75 out of 80 odd hours, I had to call my gf who hadn't seen me for 4 odd days (we live together) and tell her I had to cancel our summer holiday to Sardinia. She went ballistic (bear in mind she works in research so it isn't like she 100% doesnt get the hours). I put the phone down as I was too tired to comprehend her shouting, and it was so loud through the phone my buddy who could see the pain I was in, walked by and hung it up. People could tell I was going through hell, but wasn't terribly embarassing.

  • smuguy97's picture

    In all honesty, it's just an issue that some people have to put up with, though it's not usually too embarrassing.

    My gf works for MBB so she "gets" my work hours and hers aren't all that different; however, the associate in the office next to me has a control-freak of a gf who gets annoyingly upset with him when he works too much. It's actually pretty hilarious when they get into full blown arguments over the phone, because he's usually shouting and I can hear their entire argument from my office.

  • In reply to mathematicsofadream
    LondonE11's picture

    mathematicsofadream wrote:
    I was actually wondering.. is it alright to have a friend or bf/gf there in your office while you work at night? Not disturbing you obviously, but reading near you or whatever? I think if it were allowed it would make the analysts' lives much happier and the relationship not so tense etc. etc.

    We're Italian, "WACC" means something else to us.

    I agree. I think it would also be beneficial if analysts were allowed to have a pet in their cubes, so long as it doesn't bark/meow while you're on the phone, or within earshot while a superior is on the phone with a client... that would be pretty ridiculous.

  • GameTheory's picture

    I debated telling this story because it's somewhat personal, but I'll be somewhat vague, I guess.

    An associate of mine in banking was constantly absent from the office, it was clear there were personal issues at play - either that, or he was looking for another job. One day, a fellow analyst was sitting at his computer fixing a model while the associate looked on. Well, through the preview boxes that pop up whenever you receive email, it was clear within that hour time frame that the associate was 1) having extreme marital problems, 2) having an affair and 3) looking for another job.

  • In reply to GameTheory
    smuguy97's picture

    GameTheory wrote:
    I debated telling this story because it's somewhat personal, but I'll be somewhat vague, I guess.

    An associate of mine in banking was constantly absent from the office, it was clear there were personal issues at play - either that, or he was looking for another job. One day, a fellow analyst was sitting at his computer fixing a model while the associate looked on. Well, through the preview boxes that pop up whenever you receive email, it was clear within that hour time frame that the associate was 1) having extreme marital problems, 2) having an affair and 3) looking for another job.

    I've definitely had the occasional and embarrassing email pop-up while a principal was looking at my monitor. However, I've also been a witness to others' embarrassing Outlook pop-ups, so it kind of evens out.

  • sleepisfortheweak's picture

    Isn't it pretty ignorant for a gf to yell something along the lines of "come home now or we're over" or get angry at you for working? It's pretty obvious that you're not given a choice, so I don't know how I'd feel about having a gf (or bf for the female bankers) to get mad you for something you didn't particularly choose.

    I know someone whose boyfriend worked either in S&T or Cap Mkts..she said she did homework and sat next to him when he worked or interned on the trading floor.

    By the way, I'm a girl and my first reaction to your post was "dump the bitch." :(

  • In reply to mathematicsofadream
    nystateofmind's picture

    mathematicsofadream wrote:
    I was actually wondering.. is it alright to have a friend or bf/gf there in your office while you work at night? Not disturbing you obviously, but reading near you or whatever? I think if it were allowed it would make the analysts' lives much happier and the relationship not so tense etc. etc.

    We're Italian, "WACC" means something else to us.

    Guys, don't be so quick to dismiss thea idea. It happens plenty (more than you'd think), especially at the regional offices known for the longer hours. Several gf's in the office would show up for dinner, then sit at their significant others' desks for a few hours to "hang out." I personally never understood it - why not be more effecieint with your time and spend those few hours at home w/ her?

    I'd seriously advise against anyone doing this, even if it's 'acceptable' at your office. Everyone else gets annoyed and you're clearly perceived as more whipped than not.

  • GameTheory's picture

    That happened to me the other day. A VP was asking me for some real time scenerios while standing behind me. At that moment, 4 of my friends decided it'd be a great time to discuss the prior weekends' festivities in full detail. Not only was the content inappropriate, but I received maybe 25 emails in the span of about 5 minutes. My Blackberry was on vibrate, too - which was kind of like an extra alert for my VP that the newest work-inappropriate email was on it's way to my screen.

  • In reply to nystateofmind
    GameTheory's picture

    nystateofmind wrote:

    I'd seriously advise against anyone doing this, even if it's 'acceptable' at your office. Everyone else gets annoyed and you're clearly perceived as more whipped than not.

    It's only acceptable on weekends, and that's the only time I've seen people's significant others in the office. With most of them, they were either living with or married to their SO's, so it was pretty clear what the extent of the whippage was already.

  • In reply to GameTheory
    ideating's picture

    GameTheory wrote:
    I debated telling this story because it's somewhat personal, but I'll be somewhat vague, I guess.

    An associate of mine in banking was constantly absent from the office, it was clear there were personal issues at play - either that, or he was looking for another job. One day, a fellow analyst was sitting at his computer fixing a model while the associate looked on. Well, through the preview boxes that pop up whenever you receive email, it was clear within that hour time frame that the associate was 1) having extreme marital problems, 2) having an affair and 3) looking for another job.

    Ha, yeah I have something similar... I had a friend at another consulting firm, he was working with the associate and the Outlook preview box pops up and it's the associate's gf breaking up with him over email. The guy just trailed off, stared into space for a few minutes and took the rest of the day off. Brutal.

  • In reply to LdnMezz
    pacmandefense's picture

    LdnMezz wrote:
    I think there would be a wee few compliance issues if you had your gf tagging along in the office. Also, you're going to want to focus on getting your shit done, not entertaining your gf and keeping her from getting too bored.

    Once, on the back of working 75 out of 80 odd hours, I had to call my gf who hadn't seen me for 4 odd days (we live together) and tell her I had to cancel our summer holiday to Sardinia. She went ballistic (bear in mind she works in research so it isn't like she 100% doesnt get the hours). I put the phone down as I was too tired to comprehend her shouting, and it was so loud through the phone my buddy who could see the pain I was in, walked by and hung it up. People could tell I was going through hell, but wasn't terribly embarassing.


    i think the whole floor heard me laugh...lol

  • dosk17's picture

    I had a GF who wasn't even emotional at all and it still failed to work. In fact it ended after a few months.

    In terms of stories... hmm, amazingly I don't have too much here because most people in my office are pretty young so no crazy wife/affair type stuff.

    We have a secretary who has been rumored to have slept with lots of the senior people, but no way to verify that... I would say there's probably some element of truth to it but also probably over-hyped.

  • smuguy97's picture

    When I started at MBB I recall hearing about a strange post-MBA consultant that used to stick around the office at night doing really random things (e.g., playing online video games). Apparently he was married and had a child, but would pretend his hours were longer than they actually were because he just didn't feel like going home.

    He's currently a VP at Bain Capital, so no longer any need to pretend he has insane hours.

  • wintonheights's picture

    you'd think Id see/have more as a trader...maybe Im just desensitized tho...people breaking phones and get into p*ssing matches around here is not exactly infrequent. i was probably also more impressionable those first few years....anyway, so when i was an analyst in banking...

    - i had this associate. total d-bag. hed make sh*t up like "i hung out w/ pamela anderson this weekend and she hit one me". or "i threw a booze cruise on my yacht this weekend, you guys should have come". Ridiculous. At first it was fine - we all thought it was a joke and we laughed. I mean seriously? But when he kept telling these stories like the truth - straight faced - it became uncomfortable. We were forced to do a background check (talked to some other people who knew him) to confirm if this was complete bullsh*t or what. Turns out the guy was a compulsive liar. I mean people use the term loosely, but this guy was legit. So anyway, on top of that every so often he would go missing for one or two days, with a lame phone call - "im sick", "personal reasons" or sometimes we'd have to track him down and leave messages for him to call back. Of course this meant a sh*tload of extra work for the rest of us to clean up or cover for him on. Plus worse of all, the dude had the nerve to be a pr*ck. He talked to everyone with a title below him or at other firms like they were stupid and w/ such condescension for no good reason sometimes....Well, one particular friday he went missing. He called in, said he was really sick, so we covered for him. No biggie. But later on that evening as we were all in the office going for late again - partially from doing his work - I get a call from one of his friends that was now a mutual friend inviting me to come down to the bar for march madness organized by yours truly (my associate). I was stunned. I told the team, and everyone was fkg livid. We were all like, NO WAY. So we go over to the bar - and the dude has a place, reserved in his name, appetizers all set up, and fan paraphernalia to help everyone root for his team! We were all like you've got to be fkg kidding me, right?? We really wanted to lynch him, but we were peeons so of course we just ate and drank our misery and b*tched amongst ourselves instead. But somehow, our SVP got wind of this over the weekend (still no idea who told him) and he made us confirm on monday, what he heard about the bar. By midday, homeboy was told to pack up his sh*t at get. NO LIE. Then for one last parlor trick, he storms over to the bull pen and starts asking some of us heatedly who told our SVP where he was and what he was doing on friday and which one of us ratted him out. Of course theres blistering silence, and hes just standing there. At the end of it, I thought he was going to cry.....He was escorted out of the building with a box. That was the last I ever heard of him. TRUE STORY (well i changed some things around to try to maintain my anonymity...but if you were in my analyst bullpen, im so busted. SHH! ha ha).

    i think ill hold off on that second story, that first one was a doozy! as you can tell, i can get pretty animated about these things...didnt mean for that to be a long post.

  • In reply to nystateofmind
    mathematicsofadream's picture

    I think, as in most cases, what you guys are saying totally depends on the individual relationship. Whipped may be a fun word to throw around, but really certain people genuinely want to spend more time together without sacrificing work. And being more efficient so you can get home early isn't always possible. Again, depending on the nature of the relationship, two people can often truly enjoy doing work in each others' company without speaking or disturbing one another in any way. At the same time, of course it's understandable that a lot of firms wouldn't be open to that - but as for co-workers, I wouldn't give a sh*t what they thought of how whipped I was.

    We're Italian, "WACC" means something else to us.

  • Disjoint's picture

    Yea... You are only whipped if you go and do whatever your girl friend ask you to do. Having her at your side while you work on the week end, or late at night has nothing to do with that. It shows love and nothing more.

    On another note, if your gf is unstable emotionally I wish you the best of luck.
    At the beggining of this year I moved 9000 miles away from my gf at the time. I was looking for jobs, interviewing, preparing for the CFA, and at the same time struggling with money, and working on my masters.
    Let's just say that I did not have a single minute to myself; when talking to her she would bitch me out until 4am, and if around 2 am I would tell her I was really sleepy, and needed to rest. She didn't care and proceeded to bitch about her life.
    I ended up telling her to f... off literally, and I have not come to regret that decision.

    So long story short, emotional unstability is not good, if she bitches you out and does not respect your work or what you do then tell her to f... off. There are plenty of girls out there, and your work will be one of the hottest ones.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Remember, you will always be a salesman, no matter how fancy your title is.
    - My ex girlfriend

  • wintonheights's picture

    its not nearly as good as the first...

    - again, i was an analyst working with an associate (diff than before). Now, this guy was pretty sharp (esp, quantitatively) and was not a micro-manger, in short - a good assoc. Obviously, I had to communicate with him frequently as we were always working on live deals, but I also didn't mind shooting-the-sh*t with him about random stuff because he was actually pretty sociable with only the barest hint of awkward. And it was convenient because his glass office was right across from my cubicle. Anyway, very frequently, the conversation would steer towards our exploits w/ women - you know, boys will be boys (sorry ladies). Whatever, big deal. But every now and again he would say some really crazy sh*t...like "this girl Im dating (he was like mid 30s) is a freak and she let me go gr33k on her last weekend" and then he'd be like "you know what that is right"? And Id be like..."ahhh....ahhh well, all right then!". "Moving on!" It was awkward for a sec, but totally hilarious. Still no big deal. Id always dismiss the episodes like seriously, we're men w/ no women around, etc. Sometimes things get out of hand, right?....Anyway, so one week comes by and he hasn't been to work for a few days (he wasn't the only associate I worked w/ so I didn't inquire right away). I figured he was sick or on vacation or something, I don't know. Turns out the guy had resigned. I was like what? He was good. Did he jump? Why? No answer from anyone. No one knows. Come to find out when I fleshed out the details from a very credible source a week or two later - they made him resign because he was apparently accessing p*rn on his computer a couple times a day. I was like NO FKG WAY. Who does that? I can see this guys computer from my desk if I slide my chair back! How? Why? I mean, you cant wait until you get home? And on top of that apparently they also had details off him logging p*rn at the office on the weekends. So there was no mistake about it. I mean on the weekend too? From the office again? Come on bro!.....As you can imagine, in this new context our Dr Ruth fire side chats took on a whole new light! I honestly did feel bad for the guy cause I liked him, and could care less about that sh*t...I'm guessing he probably had a serious control problem or something ....but I just couldn't stop laughing and shaking my head. In fact, I'm doing it again right now. TRUE STORY.

  • CompBanker's picture

    My girlfriend has to get on a plane if she wants to see me, and typically only comes for a weekend once or twice a month. When I do have to go into the office, she will sit there next to me. No one says anything, and I've even brought her over and introduced her to one of the founders. Some of the others bring their girlfriends in on weekends as well and sit them in a spare cube.

    We're very girlfriend friendly.

    CompBanker

  • Jimbo's picture

    "I'd rather not publically say more than: I trade a fixed income product.

    "

    well given your background i'd put my money on some type of credit.

    as for stories the stuff up till now has been tame. i've been shown hardcore pics and videos of colleagues filmed on camera phones...knew a guy who got his wife preggers and named the baby after his mistress (!).

    not to mention the basicstuff like telling analysts on the commodities desk they need to meet the brinks truck downstairs to take physical delivery. and this is barely the beginning.

    but prn in the office is nothing to bat an eye about. poor judgement maybe but not outlandish.

  • In reply to CompBanker
    zip's picture

    CompBanker wrote:
    My girlfriend has to get on a plane if she wants to see me, and typically only comes for a weekend once or twice a month. When I do have to go into the office, she will sit there next to me. No one says anything, and I've even brought her over and introduced her to one of the founders. Some of the others bring their girlfriends in on weekends as well and sit them in a spare cube.

    We're very girlfriend friendly.

    haha i wanna know where you work...how often do people bring their significant others into the office? is someones gf/bf there on a daily basis?

  • In reply to GameTheory
    monito's picture

    GameTheory wrote:
    I debated telling this story because it's somewhat personal, but I'll be somewhat vague, I guess.

    An associate of mine in banking was constantly absent from the office, it was clear there were personal issues at play - either that, or he was looking for another job. One day, a fellow analyst was sitting at his computer fixing a model while the associate looked on. Well, through the preview boxes that pop up whenever you receive email, it was clear within that hour time frame that the associate was 1) having extreme marital problems, 2) having an affair and 3) looking for another job.

    lol, that's hilarious!

    uhm.. what did the poor analyst do? that must be an extremely awkward position for him..

  • junkbondswap's picture

    The analyst directly next to me on my desk begins his day, everyday, by a healthy dose of porn, Durden, and political blogs consistently without fail. I don't think his brain can function without a daily dose of morning porn. Luckily, we office is more of a frat house/gym locker than a corporate office so it is not a big issue. We are also tight with the IT guy so it would never be an issue.

    Seriously though, porn every morning... seems a bit excessive.

    Porn and relationship drama should be left at home.

  • In reply to zip
    LondonE11's picture

    zip wrote:
    CompBanker wrote:
    My girlfriend has to get on a plane if she wants to see me, and typically only comes for a weekend once or twice a month. When I do have to go into the office, she will sit there next to me. No one says anything, and I've even brought her over and introduced her to one of the founders. Some of the others bring their girlfriends in on weekends as well and sit them in a spare cube.

    We're very girlfriend friendly.

    haha i wanna know where you work...

    Lazard.

  • In reply to LondonE11
    curiousmonkey's picture

    elan wrote:
    zip wrote:
    CompBanker wrote:
    My girlfriend has to get on a plane if she wants to see me, and typically only comes for a weekend once or twice a month. When I do have to go into the office, she will sit there next to me. No one says anything, and I've even brought her over and introduced her to one of the founders. Some of the others bring their girlfriends in on weekends as well and sit them in a spare cube.

    We're very girlfriend friendly.

    haha i wanna know where you work...

    haha. nicely done. lazard is "girlfriend friendly"
    i think they need to be "people friendly" first...

    Lazard.

  • F9 - Update's picture

    Well, maybe my girlfriend would never show up at the office and scream "Come home now or we are OVER!". She's emotional, but not emotionally unstable.

    I have a bigger concern, however. Marcus_Halberstram is right: some hostility is to be expected. No matter how understanding, she's going to get pissy every once and a while. When she calls, I need to sound concerned, and interested, and act like I WANT to come home to be with her. Any associate/VP/MD within an earshot will have to listen to me tell her how much I want to come home.

    The key issue is, how do I say what she wants to hear without having it come across wrong to my associate/VP/MD? I could take the call outside of the bullpen, but I won't always be able to do that. And it may be worse if someone sees me standing around talking on my cell rather than at my cube talking on my cell. I will eventually have to learn how to sound like I want to come home to be with her while at the same time acknowledging that the people who determine my bonus are undoubtedly listening in to my side of the conversation. How do I do that? Do the VPs care if I tell my gf how much I want to go home?

    Please let me know how so I can start practicing today! Thanks!

  • In reply to F9 - Update
    zip's picture

    F9 - Update wrote:
    Well, maybe my girlfriend would never show up at the office and scream "Come home now or we are OVER!". She's emotional, but not emotionally unstable.

    I have a bigger concern, however. Marcus_Halberstram is right: some hostility is to be expected. No matter how understanding, she's going to get pissy every once and a while. When she calls, I need to sound concerned, and interested, and act like I WANT to come home to be with her. Any associate/VP/MD within an earshot will have to listen to me tell her how much I want to come home.

    The key issue is, how do I say what she wants to hear without having it come across wrong to my associate/VP/MD? I could take the call outside of the bullpen, but I won't always be able to do that. And it may be worse if someone sees me standing around talking on my cell rather than at my cube talking on my cell. I will eventually have to learn how to sound like I want to come home to be with her while at the same time acknowledging that the people who determine my bonus are undoubtedly listening in to my side of the conversation. How do I do that? Do the VPs care if I tell my gf how much I want to go home?

    Please let me know how so I can start practicing today! Thanks!

    your best bet, in my opinion, is to talk to her before hand. if she is like my gf..the pissyness will culminate into a lump sum delivered onto your head before you even start.

    i talked to my gf before i even started interviewing and explained to her, iam heading into a career path that will require ridiculous hours and last minute cancellations. i also explained that i cared about her alot and would rather be home with her than working at the office, even though i would not be able to convey these feelings on the office phone.

    she got extremely upset, i was yelled at for a week, but then the storm clouds cleared, she said she realized both of our careers are in the early stages and it will take a commitment on both sides. things aren't perfect by any means and she still gets pissed when i end up leaving work at 3am.....but there is no chance my work hours are going to cause us to break up.

    communicate your concern to her...goodluck!

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