5 tactics for your next all-nighter

bankerella's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,119

I don't know about you guys, but I got f'ing slaughtered with all-nighters in my early days. I seem to remember doing 1-3 all-nighters a week for the first six months. Doesn't seem like it could be true, especially given how few of them I see people doing these days, but that's what I remember. One thing I do know is, it fucking blew.

Things evened out for me once I learned that there's an art to it. The successful all-nighter is a game that takes place almost entirely in your head. If your head's in the right place, the right behavior comes naturally.

What's the right behavior? You don't whine. You don't do little passive-aggressive things to let people know you worked all night. (Shave and shower, my bros. Sorry.) You hand over the work product with a smile the next morning (or whenever they want it) and go about the rest of your day like you just had a full night's sleep. This says, "I'm an adult." People notice this.

So that's the goal. Now, how do you get your head in the right place and keep it there? Feel free to chime in with your own tactics, but here are my cherished mantras from back in the day:

  • "My job is to take shit. Tonight I'm doing my job." A lot of people (maybe even most people) are intellectually capable of doing the work of a junior banker. What differentiates you is that you can also take the shit that comes with it.
  • "I'm earning a thousand bucks tonight." Yes, this is the same mantra strippers use. And yes, I used it a lot too. It was based on the assumption that I'm going to do 70/90/whatever all-nighters this year and walk away with a $70k/$90k/whatever bonus, so whenever someone asked me to work all night long, it was like a 4-figure check had just hit my bank. Unfortunately, due to the ever-shrinking bonus pool, plus taxes, variability, and the possibility of getting canned two days before bonus, this is not actually true today. But mantras are supposed to get you through the night, not make you want to jump off the roof.
  • "Elevate the hate." This may look like it's my associate's fault, but it isn't. His life is almost as shitty as mine. Way safer to blame this on somebody higher up. Always elevate the hate as high as possible; it makes life easier. Also, senior bankers will never notice if you hate them, but your associate definitely will.
  • "Love low." Show as much love as possible to the print shop guys, security folks, restaurant bicyclists, secretaries, presentation shop guys, black car drivers, summer analysts, junior analysts, and fellow analysts as possible. Even if they don't work as hard or take as much shit as you do. Those guys are your brothers in arms. Now put the prior two together: "Elevate the hate; love low." Remember this if you ever want to point out to your associate, subtly or otherwise, that it's his fault you were here until 6 AM.
  • "This is actually kind of funny." Even if you don't see the humor at first, keep reminding yourself of this. Eventually you will laugh. Or you will crack.
  • "We're all going to get together and laugh about this over beers in ten years." Except those who are VP and above. Those are the ones you'll be laughing at.

Comments (72)

Aug 20, 2012

a few more good tips on this thread http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/when-i-pull-...

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Aug 20, 2012

you must have been a bootlicking prodigy. were you genuflecting at the 10th grade level in 6th grade?

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Aug 20, 2012
bankerella:

Yes, this is the same mantra strippers use. And yes, I used it a lot too.

Can you share your stripper > IBD story? I have a friend who is in a similar situation.

Aug 20, 2012
BTbanker:
bankerella:

Yes, this is the same mantra strippers use. And yes, I used it a lot too.

Can you share your stripper > IBD story? I have a friend who is in a similar situation.

FALSE. Women don't go into IBD if they can strip. But the competition out there for the most prestigious clubs is fucking brutal, so some chicks inevitably have to go to IBD.

Me, I should have made the grade... but it turns out that I have zero rhythm. Spent like a year studying pole tricks and jelly rolls but never got past the first round of auditions. I tried to tell them it was a racial disadvantage. Even threatened a discrimination lawsuit, but no dice. So eventually I had to suck it up and switch to finance.

A lot of the early training paid off, though. I can make my ass jiggle at 120 BPM under my skirt for like four seconds when I know some guy is watching, then pretend I didn't do it. I do this totally deadpan. They're stuck wondering, "Did I really just see her do that?"

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Aug 20, 2012
bankerella:
BTbanker:
bankerella:

Yes, this is the same mantra strippers use. And yes, I used it a lot too.

Can you share your stripper > IBD story? I have a friend who is in a similar situation.

FALSE. Women don't go into IBD if they can strip. But the competition out there for the most prestigious clubs is fucking brutal, so some chicks inevitably have to go to IBD.

Me, I should have made the grade... but it turns out that I have zero rhythm. Spent like a year studying pole tricks and jelly rolls but never got past the first round of auditions. I tried to tell them it was a racial disadvantage. Even threatened a discrimination lawsuit, but no dice. So eventually I had to suck it up and switch to finance.

A lot of the early training paid off, though. I can make my ass jiggle at 120 BPM under my skirt for like four seconds when I know some guy is watching, then pretend I didn't do it. I do this totally deadpan. They're stuck wondering, "Did I really just see her do that?"

You know that 120 bpm is quite slow, right?

I can jiggle my ass at 120 too

"Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

Aug 20, 2012
bankerella:
BTbanker:
bankerella:

Yes, this is the same mantra strippers use. And yes, I used it a lot too.

Can you share your stripper > IBD story? I have a friend who is in a similar situation.

FALSE. Women don't go into IBD if they can strip. But the competition out there for the most prestigious clubs is fucking brutal, so some chicks inevitably have to go to IBD.

Me, I should have made the grade... but it turns out that I have zero rhythm. Spent like a year studying pole tricks and jelly rolls but never got past the first round of auditions. I tried to tell them it was a racial disadvantage. Even threatened a discrimination lawsuit, but no dice. So eventually I had to suck it up and switch to finance.

A lot of the early training paid off, though. I can make my ass jiggle at 120 BPM under my skirt for like four seconds when I know some guy is watching, then pretend I didn't do it. I do this totally deadpan. They're stuck wondering, "Did I really just see her do that?"

call me

Aug 20, 2012
bankerella:

Me, I should have made the grade...

Willing to bet you wouldn't make the cut for the C squad on a Tuesday night in Mobile, AL.

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Aug 20, 2012

BLACK CAR DRIVERS! I AM OFFENDED.

Here to learn and hopefully pass on some knowledge as well. SB if I helped.

Aug 20, 2012

You couldn't handle an all-nighter with me

Damaged goods

Aug 20, 2012

A modest attitude is key (vs. bragging about having been through an alnighter). Modesty is an art... it is the art of drawing attention to whatever it is you're being humble about.

Aug 20, 2012
Themistocles:

A modest attitude is key (vs. bragging about having been through an alnighter). Modesty is an art... it is the art of drawing attention to whatever it is you're being humble about.

That's a good point. I consider myself the most humble person on the planet, by far.

Aug 20, 2012

I'm sorry, aside from the "love low" shit (WTF, who are you? You should be respectful to these people regardless. I can't even count the number of times an IT guy or GED educated print shop grunt has saved my ass and some cases job.), I can honestly say none of these things would have ever remotely helped me out.

Kids don't do any of the things the OP suggested. My rebuttal:
1) My job is to do the job the bank hired me to do, support the senior bankers: If you're staying up through the night you either: 1) got staffed late / a last minute request for something that needs turning / review right when the seniors check their BB's at 6:00 AM 2) you fucked up, didn't effectively communicate your status with the team or put off you're deliverable when it could have been done at a reasonable time due to poor time management. In any event, you won't have time for self reflection and categorizing your evenings work into silly metaphors. Soon as you get your marching orders and send your follow up emails as so everyone knows the ball is in motion, stretch your legs for 10 min and walk and grab some caffeine (which should be a quantity sufficient to carry you well into mid morning) then get back to work. It'll be tough, but you need to get through a first turn as quickly as possible as you'll be tired and losing focus. You'll need to give yourself time to do 1-3 additional page flips before you send off. Senior guys wont have time to catch any simple busts in the morning, so unless you want to blow up your MD's cred with the client the next day with two page 31's and a pie chart that sums to 98%, make sure you're triple checking everything. If you want to add something fancy, make sure you have a good go-by and that book will be good for delivery with or without it.

2) If I perform here, in some way it's helping grow our business: I know it's corny, but it's 10x easier to crank late if you're genuinely drinking the group Kool-Aide. More than likely, there's at least one guy/gal on your deal team that you like personally. Some all nighters I've had, those folks were depending on me and more importantly trusted me to get my stuff done and right. If you successfully deliver on this, it won't go unnoticed, I can assure you.

3) More than likely, it's your own goddamn fault (this could have been avoided): To me her 3rd tip would seem to work great for a teachers union, never for my job however. Sure it happens, your MD gets an invite to a pitch that's the next day at 11:00 AM and your group hasn't pitched the requested Reverse Morris Trust Spin / Merge scenario since 2005, no way to foresee that. But in my experience the majority of the time, you've had some lead time on your book / deliverable, that's just how staffing works. All the internal bitching and moaning towards senior people wont get you out of these shitty nights. Point the hate gun at yourself and either do better next go round or figure out a way to get one step ahead of all nighters. Banking is very repetitive, if you're being proactive you can start to see things coming. For instance, get your MD's admin to dish out his travel schedule. Even though he OK'd getting final turn of books day of pitch long as the books are waiting for him at the front desk, try to find some time to get the books done before he leaves the office to go to the airport and give them to him to take on the flight. This is good because he'll appreciate having time to review the materials, not worrying about a remote printing mishap and most importantly will likely not be able to give additional comments. Bam, little pre-planning = no all nighter.

4) Get over yourself, you only make $80,000 a year and no one gives a shit about your models: Don't be a douchebag and only mouth off to other analysts who work at competing banks at the bars (builds team morale).

5) This doesn't even make sense. Just get your fucking work done: If it gets that bad with your associate throwing you under the bus, sack up and pull them into a small conference and try to get them to level with you if you REALLY believe they're in the wrong. A lot of the time, the stress from VP's / MD's and responsibility of making sure the analysts aren't fucking up will bury your associates empathy for you, and if you speak with them one on one to find a middle ground you guys can get back to (or start) working as effective jr. support.

6) No it's not funny, investment banking isn't a fucking joke: How the fuck is "oh, I'm not going to stress to much over this pitch because in five years when I'm eating, drinking, laughing and loving this will be funny," supposed to keep me motivated on not handing in a piece of shit? Save the light heart-ed demeanor for booze nights with group and food eating challenges. Work should be treated as serious a fucking heart attack. If you can't do that, go work at FourSquare and quit wasting everyone's time.

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Aug 20, 2012
Stringer Bell:

Work should be treated as serious a fucking heart attack.

Great advice

Aug 20, 2012
Stringer Bell:

No it's not funny, investment banking isn't a fucking joke

wats the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?
a pigeon can still make a deposit on a new bmw

Aug 20, 2012
Going Concern:
Stringer Bell:

No it's not funny, investment banking isn't a fucking joke

wats the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?
a pigeon can still make a deposit on a new bmw

Nice one!

Aug 20, 2012

Is anyone else pretty sure that bankerella is a dude? I knew chicks who spent serious time in the military who did not talk like this.

Aug 20, 2012
FormerHornetDriver:

Is anyone else pretty sure that bankerella is a dude? I knew chicks who spent serious time in the military who did not talk like this.

I know, right? Hey, wouldn't it be weird/creepy if there were people that thought one way but then spoke in an entirely different way?

It would be even weirder if there were girls like that. Like, what if there were unnatural girls that thought like men but could still talk and act like girls? It would be super-creepy because the world could be full of girls with the brains and thoughts of real men and we might never know.

Thank god we don't have to worry about that being true, though. Ever seen brainwave charts of females compared to males? You can't even make a comparison, right? It would have to be like one in a million girls or ten million girls who could pull off that kind of 007 shit. And girls don't have the energy for that; they have their minds on other stuff, like being sweet to people and using extra exclamation points.

So don't worry, guys; wank away -- the chicks YOU dig probably, almost certainly, don't have a man's mind behind those alluring half-lidded eyes.

Aug 20, 2012
bankerella:
FormerHornetDriver:

Is anyone else pretty sure that bankerella is a dude? I knew chicks who spent serious time in the military who did not talk like this.

I know, right? Hey, wouldn't it be weird/creepy if there were people that thought one way but then spoke in an entirely different way?

It would be even weirder if there were girls like that. Like, what if there were unnatural girls that thought like men but could still talk and act like girls? It would be super-creepy because the world could be full of girls with the brains and thoughts of real men and we might never know.

Thank god we don't have to worry about that being true, though. Ever seen brainwave charts of females compared to males? You can't even make a comparison, right? It would have to be like one in a million girls or ten million girls who could pull off that kind of 007 shit. And girls don't have the energy for that; they have their minds on other stuff, like being sweet to people and using extra exclamation points.

So don't worry, guys; wank away -- the chicks YOU dig probably, almost certainly, don't have a man's mind behind those alluring half-lidded eyes.

so where's the female mozart and female newton?

Aug 20, 2012

First post from Bankrella that is actually useful.

Aug 20, 2012

After reading the thread, I think that both Bankerella and Stringer Bell have good advice regarding the all-nighter. Neither way is the only way to get through the night, everyone has their own way to get approach their work and get it done.

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Aug 20, 2012

100% agree with adding laughter to the mix. Sometimes the things my VP/MD say are too ridiculous not to giggle about it (of course only after he leaves).

If you cannot see the LSO or WSO-esq humor to paper pushing for 100K a year then you're going to be burnt out sooner than you think.

Aug 20, 2012

100% agree with adding laughter to the mix. Sometimes the things my VP/MD say are too ridiculous not to giggle about it (of course only after he leaves).

If you cannot see the LSO or WSO-esq humor to paper pushing for 100K a year then you're going to be burnt out sooner than you think.

Aug 20, 2012

hi

im new to this forum

does wharton offer women studies so i can be a striper too

thx

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Aug 21, 2012

This reminds me of OZ Season 1's prison rape counselling

Aug 21, 2012

prison rape counselling? please elaborate...

Aug 25, 2012

Lol

Aug 25, 2012

coke

Aug 25, 2012

don't do coke, do pepsi...

Aug 25, 2012

B3 - Niacin, I keep a bottle in my desk, Pure stuff works for me, but it can can give you a flush and near heat stroke

Aug 25, 2012

Adderall makes redundant work enjoyable

Aug 25, 2012

Do you think frequent jogging, say on the weekends and in other spare time, would improve your endurance / stamina? I'm thinking it might be good because it makes you fit and let's you build up a tolerance against exhaustion. Thoughts?

Aug 25, 2012

Any sort of exercise will raise your endorphin level, general happiness, and ability to work effectively. If jogging works for you, go for it.

Aug 25, 2012

Creative, How did last week work out for you?

Aug 25, 2012

adderall xr...coke will just make you crash harder

Aug 25, 2012

Curious on the folloow up here as well. To be honest, you need to have the drive and horsepower to be able to sustain these hours. Not much you can do to know you have this ability until put to the test.

Aug 25, 2012

I want to know what happened too. How'd things pan out? What'd you do?

are you still alive?

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Aug 25, 2012

He was a good man.

Aug 25, 2012

I had a VP who fainted in the office once from exhaustion and they gave him a week break. Maybe try that one?

Aug 25, 2012
HighlyLeveraged:

I had a VP who fainted in the office once from exhaustion and they gave him a week break. Maybe try that one?

Yea youre a fucking idiot

Aug 25, 2012

Go to the local pharmacy and get some Bronkaid... it has ephedrine and will help keep you up

Aug 25, 2012

you are crazy.

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Best Response
Aug 25, 2012

I'd go straight to coke, tbh.

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Aug 25, 2012

Is this a parody post? I honestly I can't tell. I'm literally asking you to tell me if this was posted with the intention of getting an actual answer since it isn't clear.

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Aug 25, 2012

speed works, you might wanna buy some low fat drugs though.

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Aug 25, 2012

If you really need that boost, you might have to practice buttchugging preworkout.

Aug 25, 2012

Thanks guys. I have decided to start with coke.

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Aug 25, 2012

no you weirdo

Aug 25, 2012

may as well blow your own cock if any girl sees you wearing one of those.

Aug 25, 2012

If you can blow your own then you'll certainly be able to get girls

Aug 25, 2012
futurectdoc:

If you can blow your own then you'll certainly be able to get girls

Why would you need to? most people wouldn't even wanna leave the house ;)

Aug 25, 2012

Because some of us are lazy and want others to the grunt work

Aug 25, 2012

i want a bedshirt and comforterpants.

Aug 25, 2012

such trash

Aug 25, 2012

Ridiculous. I'd rather use my arms if I was to rest like that. If you place them correctly you can get quite comfortable (although really bad for your back if using a desk obviously).

Aug 25, 2012
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