How do you guys get called out on mistakes? Opinion needed

1st year coverage an 1 at DB/UBS

9/10 people I work with do it like this, simple pdf comments like: "

"Please double check figures""
"Fix number here"
"Please make sure this not going off line"
"Please make sure everything aligned"
"Reformat, looks squished"
"please Make sure numbers tie"

Are a few random examples. As you can see, they are all really nice.

Now I have one person that instead, and doesn't even email me just straight up pings me on teams directly just says stuff like:

"Walked this through with you on phone, how is it wrong??

"What is going on here?? What happened?"

"how have you not learned we do it like x not y"

"Did someone really not teach you this yet"?

"Why is this like this?????"

"Why are you using this number and not this????"

Like what am I suppose to say bro like its a mistake my bad lol why are you playin this question game when we know its wrong, you've worked 100+ hours for years you are so used to everything I'm literally brand new… And we all know this job is hard and blows so why act like this and add to the miserableness… Am I a pussy for thinking this is lowkey rude and the other route of pointing out mistakes up top is 10x better and preferred or I guess is this normal banking culture I should be expecting and I am definitely over reacting.


Comments (28)

Five Star Man, what's your opinion? Comment below:

With no other context, he's being a dick for sure.

OR, that's what happened to him and he doesn't know any better. You'll learn that they don't teach people how to manage on wall street, they teach you that if you throw a tantrum, you get what you want.

However, I can see it's coming from a place of frustration - so it may be worthwhile to actually discuss this with him when he gets all pissy.

When you get the first dickish message, reply and ask to hop on the phone to walk through it.

He may think you're either not listening or half-assing it, so get on the phone and hear him out, make the changes quickly, then get it back out.

Be the bigger man, take his feedback, and fix it. If it keeps happening, then you need to either start communicating earlier, or legitimately sit with him and get him to shell out the materials. Then when he's an ass, you can show him what he drew up and ask about the changes.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
[Comment removed by mod team]
  • Prospect in IB - Cov

Shit on his keyboard

  • 5
I wanna B, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Shove ur foot up his ass

  • 3
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs

well, yeah the second way is rude and unproductive. unfortunately, to be straight, there's always going to be people like that in finance. 

that first kind of feedback that's direct and candid - on a markup sure but esp performance feedback is the best kind you can get. it's clear, direct, candid, and meant with good intent. the only thing perhaps worse than unconstructive feedback like the second is the VP who won't ever tell you what you did wrong or what to improve on, but just says "nothing here!" until reviews.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

Yea there are always going to be immature people in finance, which is unfortunate because it makes the whole process much more painful than it should be.

I agree with what you said - at least this person is giving you feedback (in an inefficient manner, but nobody is perfect I suppose). The worst ones are VPs who do not give any feedback but do changes themselves and you are left in the dark. Not only you don't learn anything but it signals that VP does not really care about your career development.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in CorpDev

In short, he or she is likely an asshole (would bet with 99% confidence it is a he). I worked for someone like this and it was a biproduct of two things: 

1. No exposure to working with juniors and had never gotten the feedback that they were an asshole to work with. They either didnt know or didnt care. I was an Analyst and when asked why I wouldnt stay on by the Associates I was close with, I made it pretty clear that working with one Associate completely ruined my experience, and I had known the next six months would be spent working through a live deal with the same douchebag Associate. Years later, a friend worked for this same guy and stated he was cool and "chill". I spit out my coffee when he said this. I couldnt fucking believe it. The same guy who made my life hell for 6+ months??? The same guy who, upon finding me with down time during the day, would force me to do paper LBOs and ridicule me when I couldnt get it right on the second try, having only learned the basics 30 minutes before? I was blown away. I believe the change in management style was a biproduct of then negative feedback I had shared with other Associates in confidence, that at some point, was passed along to him and he simply had no idea. Regardless, I dont think he changed his management style because he was a stand up guy. I believe he changed his tune because eventually VPs found out why I left, and after that he was not allowed to work with Analysts for a few months after that lmao. 

2. They were extremely good at their job. Hate to say it, but this guy picked things up IMMEDIATELY. When you are extremely smart and things come naturally to you, you cant believe other people arent as efficient / smart / capable of executing as you. Like I think he thought I was just a mixture of dumb and lazy. I am no Albert Einstein, but I have received solid feedback from almost anyone I have ever worked with for 3+ months. Yet this dude made me consider leaving IB, left me thinking I was actually too dumb. 

Keep your head up man, and dont take it personally, the guy is just an asshole with little to no limited managerial skills. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

Awesome response, thanks for sharing. Appreciate you taking the time to write this out. You're the man.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov

Upward reviews are absolutely game changing.. our company recently implemented a firm wide anonymous review system and I know some of our (initially) dickhead associates and VPs got absolutely dogged on the first review. I'm talking like 50 - 60% approval ratings.. Came back the next week and swear to god they acted like brand new people, I was absolutely shocked and now I actually enjoy working with them.

  • 2
Pescepescetarian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Regardless of the industry, it's highly advantageous for your career to be on the good side of incredibly smart people who are dicks because if you can show them the "better way", then they will be in debt to you. They'll also trust and respect you more.

In my personal experience, people like this respond really really well to thoughtful feedback (why what he's doing is ineffective, how it might impact his career, and some suggestions for how to fix). Not to mention honesty and balls.

Once you have their ear, then you want to grow some personal loyalty, because people like this are a bit lonely due to their dickishness and workaholism, which actually makes them even bigger dicks to mask their loneliness.

Imagine what it'd be like to have bunch of geniuses who want to work with you. You'd be the next Stephen Schwarzman.

Remember what he said about "attracting 10s?"

  • 2
Pescepescetarian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Basically a matrix with two axes of smartness and niceness.

Smart & Nice people are the best to get close with but everyone knows this so it's a bit difficult to compete with to get their attention / win their friendship / form rapports / etc... Just be genuine.

Smart & Dickish people are the untapped market you can grow into something real. Show them how being nice wins. They'll be in your debt.

You might run into some who are playing the part of being the dick because there's a grander design. Think about people who are dicks but seem to maintain good relarionship with peers and/or bosses. Unless your company/team is a dumpster fire, there might be a good cop/bad cop situation.

Dumb & Nice: Just be nice back to them as once every couple years or so, they might turn out very helpful.

Dumb & Dickish: Avoid like the plague, they'll drag you down.

  • 3
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For the love of God, stick up for yourself.

Take your sack out from between your legs, go to him, sit him down and explain what he's doing is bullshit and not helpful. Professionally, of course.

Everyone in this thread telling you to just suck it up and take it are the reason why IB culture is so fucking toxic. They're pussies.

It is ALWAYS okay for you to stick up for yourself in a corporate setting. Just be respectful and maintain professionalism when you do it.

SonyGXZQ690000, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah I have it similar to you. Had my VP write "I SUGGEST YOU READ A DICTIONARY AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO SPELL!!" (minor typo) and another time go "I FIND IT INCREDIBLY HARD TO BELIVE THAT NO ONE THOUGHT TO INCLUDE (and insert x company) HERE, YOU NEED TO THINK MORE" (for reference I was a month in and had never heard of 99% of the companies I cover). It goes on and on, and was pretty demoralizing at first, but now I just think it's funny and laugh whenever I read them.

  • 1
vegasicilia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Everything was a bit weird until I saw the flag...welcome to French IB

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

In addition to all of the above. One of my Aso will literally stand over me and watch until I make a mistake. Then will pull me into an empty office and scream at me. I should prob exit

  • 1
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You should probably stop being a pussy and read my earlier comment

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov

Exit and then explicitly outline to the seniors when you are leaving that x person is the reason why.

Green_Bananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There's good advice in this thread but sometimes the truth is that the person is just an asshole and they will never change no matter how you approach it. When this is the case and you can't get through with that person, you're better off just recruiting out of there.

He/she is clearly overly emotional about the job, which is almost always a factor of having work be the only purposeful thing in your life. When someone only has one thing that fulfills them, and something goes wrong in that one thing, their emotions blow up and they react like the examples you gave. Someone who lives a well-balanced life and gets fulfillment from multiple things (e.g., family, fitness, hobbies, etc.) won't respond as negatively. This is all outside of your control for that person so when this is the case you're better of lateraling to a better opportunity. 

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

  • 1
DRV, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The people doing the polite version behind your back think similarly of your work as the supposed asshole. The former will shit on you behind your back while getting politics and appearances right, but with the latter you don't have to guess and you may learn more. I'd rather have the people I work for show how they really feel. It's the best feedback.

  • 2
  • 1
  • Teller in Non-profit

I've had both, they shit on your mistake and also play politics.

pomamo1753, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's what this business is like bro he is sh*t checking you. I mean a lot of people are very friendly but you will get hard*sses like this all the time. Imagine what it's like in the palladium mines or even just working retail, that's what the world is like.

It's exactly because you are brand new, someone is going to give you a hard time. Yeah I agree with the above, be the bigger man. You have to pay your dues though, it gets better over time. Just realize it's business and it's not personal, people sometimes give you a hard time because they want you to improve. You'll have your day, they mostly want to see if you are too sensitive to criticism and if you are cut out for the job.

Finance is really a male-centric field full of hard*sses, don't let it phase you. You can stick up for yourself and be professional. It's either be thick skinned or turn into a *sshole yourself, the choice is yours. All my bosses like this weren't super clever either and have since moved up.

falconeagle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP, completely agree with the top-upvoted post above - sorry to say this guy just sounds like an asshole. Speaking from personal experience - whilst of course it can be frustrating at times when analysts/juniors make obvious mistakes, part of your job as an Associate/VP is being able to provide feedback to them in a constructive manner. If someone kept making the same obvious mistakes, I would sit down with them and politely ask as to why this was happening and if there was anything they could change to stop it. Also it's one thing discussing it in person and sounding annoyed - but sending aggressive emails is just a dick move. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

I have worked with two associates who act like this as well. Instead of just pointing out that there is a mistake, they'll ask in an accusatory tone about what compelled me to do X, knowing it's clearly wrong. What am I supposed to do, tell you I had some deep profound reason for why I purposely made a mistake? It's ridiculous how poor some people are at managing others in this business. They'll also say things like "come on dude.." just zero value-added toxicity

As annoying as this is, I would just keep a positive attitude so your reviews aren't negatively impacted.

  • Associate 3 in PE - Growth

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TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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