All right, fellow monkeys. I'm on the tail end of a 132-hour workweek, so just a brief post today.
So there I was, middle of the night, massaging an industry growth chart into an artificially-rosy picture that makes our pitch more attractive (a procedure that many of you will be familiar with). The associate comes over and tells me to add an approximate CAGR arrow. No problem. I calculate the CAGR. Noticing that thin red lines are used for means/medians throughout the rest of the book, I decide to use the PowerPoint draw tool to create a thin red line with an arrowhead at the end.
The associate comes back frowning. "It's not obvious enough," he says. Make it thicker." Sure thing. A three-point line thickness should be thick enough.
No dice. He comes back: "It still doesn't look right. I need it to be really striking. Make it bigger." Ooookay. Six-point line, then.
He comes back, frowning hard this time. "You're not getting me," he says. "I need this arrow to be very robust. I want it to be the most obvious thing on this page. This is the whole point of this section and I just want the arrow to jump off the page. You need to figure out how to make that happen."
Jeez. Fine. I'm a little pissed by now, because the associate knows how to operate the arrow tools in PowerPoint just as well as I do, and I'm clearly not very good at reading his mind. One of my survival mechanisms as an analyst is, after expressing my opinion gently, to give the banker EXACTLY what he's asking for and then let him figure out how stupid it looks for himself. So I grab the "Block Arrows" tool and plop a gigantic, thick-shafted upward-thrusting arrow right in the middle of the graph. I make the head nice and fat. I tweak the shaft so it curves ever-so-slightly upwards. I shadow it so that it stands out from the page. Then, just tothe lily, I use the "fill effects" tool to give it an eye-catching lifelike roundness. I send it, stifling my laughter.
The associate's response: "Perfect. Print and let's give to Sheila [female MD]." Unbelievable. Clearly, the associate needed to get laid.
When the page landed on the MD's desk, I watched as she picked it up. Her mouth twitched three times, but her thought was clear: "What is a giant cock doing on my pitchbook?" She stared at it for a good fifteen seconds. Then she raised an eyebrow at us. "What is this, the CAGR line? Make it like all the other lines in the book, please. Thank you."
As we trudged back to our desks, I said to the associate, "I guess that was a little -too- robust."
He sighed. "... Yeah. Story of my life."
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Mod Note (Andy): Throwback Thursday - this is an old one, dating back to 2008!