Sitting pensively, motionless in the luminescence of my glowing HP monitor, I mouth the words "Why the hell don't you tie?" I scratch my head in confusion, and rub my eyes pathetically as if waning vision is to blame for this frustratingly minute, yet categorically pertinent – at least according to the VP on the product team – variance between the operating multiples I am showing in comparison to those contained in a presentation sent to us by our client.
I tab to their spreadsheet for a brief second and contemplate shooting out an ill-advised email in genuine explanation. Alt + Tab, Alt + N, Enter. I begin to type, in the body of the email only, cognizant not to include a recipient as I'm not a n00b and this isn't my first foray into late-night-hate-mail.
Hey Josh – checked into the variance in multiples on page 29 per your request. Numbers are likely off because the client's spreadsheet looks like it was put together by a 7 year old. Aside from a structure that more closely resembles a community college curriculum than a business plan forecast, I've seen better formatting from our 'wintern.'
Setting that aside for a moment, can a difference between $3.04 and $3.07 even be considered 'material?' I seem to recall taking a few statistics courses that would substantiate that this is well within a generally accepted confidence interval. Can't we just stick a fork in this piece so we can all get home in time for Melrose? Seriously dude, I'm sure your wife would rather you be at home than dealing with this. How about I just hardcode it? It's 3 cents… no one is gonna care brah… NO ONE!
Despite the fact that it is 3:18 in the morning and my dreams of grabbing a couple drinks with my boy Adam have imploded more catastrophically than a pageant candidate searching for an answer to the question "What are your life goals?" I recognize my sarcastic diatribe for what it is at this point… a "career limiting move." I promptly delete.
Despite the fact that all I really want is to find a defensible solution to this asinine request, thus allowing my body to acquiesce to its need for sleep, I check my iPhone anyway, yielding to muscle memory and a subconscious bias towards masochism... I immediately regret the decision. My eyes are met with a stream of messages in a group chat, including a picture of Adam, grinning in a euphoric bro-pose, Stella in each hand, arms wrapped around two gorgeous girls that he presumably just met and a caption reading, "Sorry I'm not sorry…" I try to think of something witty to reply back with. Maybe I rag him about the fact that his mom closes more deals than Lindsay Goldberg… but my train of thought is interrupted by an outburst from Pete who sits a few cubes away.
FUCK THIS GAME! WHAT ARE WE EVEN DOING HERE? IS THIS REAL LIFE??? REALLY? REALLY? REALLY THOUGH? Can someone PLEEEEEEEASE explain to me why he wants this DRAFT market updated for today's close instead of yesterday's? Or why on all that is holy, this BRILLIANT epiphany just occurred to him at 3:26AM??? I CALL BULLSHIT! I don't need this… I'm over this… I could just walk out and never come back…
In some perverse way, just knowing that Pete was stuck here dealing with something even more asinine than me made me feel a bit better.
"That's right Pete! You tell 'em. They're going to miss you when you leave for Welsh Carson! You think they even lift bro?"
Pete cracks a smug smile and responds
"No way in hell they lift bro! They all just 'mirin my physique. Haters gonna hate… They can't get with this Aesthetic!!! They Jelly as FUARKKKK!!!"
I bust out laughing at the monster I've created, reflecting on the hilarious reality that merely six months ago, Pete had never engaged in mock-broism, and was utterly unaware that bodybuilding forum jokes were a staple of the less cerebral state school crowd. I guess there's only so much that Cheshire and Brown can teach to a reserved liberal arts major. He's come so far in such a short time… makes me proud.
A small grey box with blue font flashes in the bottom right of my screen, though I notice just as it is vanishing, not quick enough to scan its contents but in time to read the name of its sender… Eff me… What does Josh want now? I tab over to my Outlook and inspect the contents of the latest message…
"Just noticed the wrong excel was provided. Updated is attached. Looks like we tie out after all… Thx for effort, get some sleep."