IB Analyst Disaster.

Haven't seen this post in a while, and I'm interested in hearing everyones stories. Below I've included my own story, which happened at a large boutique firm on the east coast. It's lengthy but hopefully a worthwhile read.

To begin, I'm in the office it's around mid-afternoon on a Friday and one of our Managing Directors (an MD I rarely work with) leans over my cubical and says "Come talk to me before you leave work," he walks away without another word.

Naturally I start trying to piece together what I did wrong and why it requires a discussion. I start looking through old emails... trying to see if I forgot a deliverable on a project. I find no pending communication.

Side Note: *The aforementioned MD is notorious for his lack of communication and organization. He's one of those guys where the cliche, "you couldn't manage your way out of a paper bag" takes on a whole new level of seriousness.
*
It's now late evening, so I stop by the MD's office to see what he wanted to discuss (he's watching youtube videos). We start by catching up on current business. Everything seems fine so far, and he says "I've spoken with the other Directors and they mentioned you've been doing really well around the office. You and I don't really get the opportunity to work together on many projects, so I thought it would be good for you to attend a panel discussion I'm leading tomorrow morning at 7am, the address is (blank). I'll meet you at the (Large East Coast restaurant chain across the street) and we can grab coffee before, sound good?" I confirm, and he dives headlong into his "work."

Saturday Morning:

I wake up, get into my car by 5am, and drive to the panel discussion making it there by 6:45am. When I call my Director to tell him I've made it to the panel discussion, he pierces the phone, "YOU"RE AT THE PANEL ALREADY!!!??? You were supposed to pick me up at my home (located 2 hours away)??" He hangs up the phone...

Confused, I find the auditorium where the panel discussion is being held. The maintenance staff is setting up the chairs and microphones... I find out that I'm 2 hours early to the panel discussion. My MD allotted the time into my commute to pick him up, but had failed to mention that I needed to pick him up.

Fifteen Minutes pass:

My phone rings, it's my MD's wife... she's distraught and hurries through her introduction, attacking the phone with haste, "There was a confusion with (said MD's) driver this morning, it's a long story. You need to call him and give him directions to the big meeting. HE JUST STORMED OUT OF OUR HOUSE AND HAS NO IDEA WHERE HE'S GOING! MY KID HAS A PLAY THAT I NEED TO DROP HIM OFF AT, AND I CANT DEAL WITH THIS!!"

I reassure that I'll get her husband proper directions, and she jumps off the phone.

I call my MD and begin giving him directions to the panel discussion from his home. I also swallow my pride and follow up with an apology for not picking him up this morning because it wasn't made clear he needed a ride. He says nothing (I hear high revving engine noises over the line)... My MD hangs up the phone.

30 minutes have passed:

Senior bankers from all different industries are slowly starting to dribble into the auditorium (about 20 - 25 so far).

My phone rings again, it's my MD's wife. Unable to brace myself for impact, she rattles, "MY HUSBAND IS LOST, AND CANNOT FIND THE BIG MEETING!!! YOU NEED TO FIGURE THIS OUT!!! (Starting to sob) I CANT DEAL WITH THIS. My KID IS LATE TO HIS PLAY AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO..." Then without warning, she violently pierces the silence, "GET HIM THE GOD DAMN DIRECTIONS!!!" and hangs up the phone.

I call my MD right away, and reiterate the directions to the panel discussion with slow......methodical...... and..... deliberate clarity for each turn. Afterwards making sure that he confirms the directions were received and understood. Around this time, I also begin calculating his transit time. With rush hour traffic there is no way he's is going to make the panel discussion on time. I start to sweat.

An hour and a half has passed:

I wait nervously by my phone. The auditorium is starting to fill up, there are around 80-90 senior bankers chattering and networking.

10 minutes before the Discussion Panel

My phone rings... It's my Managing Director, "I'm not going to make the panel on time... I'm still an hour away from the auditorium. Did you talk to the panel organizer to see if he could change the time for me?"

I respond, "I was only able to postpone the panel for 15 minutes."

(...My MD pauses to think....)

He chuckles, "I guess you'll have to lead the discussion for me. This will be your punishment for not picking me up!"

I. SHIT. BRICKS. (I'm a first year analyst and have NO idea how the fuck to lead a panel discussion).

My MD starts giving me instructions, "The topic is how PE firms handle distressed portfolio companies. Make sure when you get up there, you don't introduce yourself as an Analyst. Say you're a Senior Associate with the firm. Here are a couple of the questions I wrote down... I'll get there as soon as I can. Don't worry these things are easy! Just keep the panel members talking."

Panel Discussion:

When the time came, I walked onto the stage in front of around 100-120 people. Looking clearly 20 years younger than everyone else in the room I received some interesting stares. I made a brief introduction as a senior Associate, and facilitated discussion from the panel members for around 45 minutes. My heart beating out of my chest the entire time.

My MD showed up a half hour late to the panel, and caught the last 15 minutes of my discussion. We shared a laugh when I got off the stage, but he still won't admit fault for the incident. I never brought up the calls I had with his wife.

All well that ends well (I guess).

Mod Note (Andy): Post with one of the most views of the year.

Comments (73)

Apr 26, 2017

Literally choking. SBed.

He sounds like one of those really bright people who can barely function on his own.

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Apr 26, 2017

Or one of those really inefficient ones.
*watches Youtube videos at work
*forgot to mention that OP was to pick him up
*cannot follow basic map directions easily
*married a neurotic woman

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

    • 33
Apr 27, 2017

Sounds like Michael Scott and Jan...

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Aug 31, 2017

ranking:

top1: GS, ms, laz, Moelis, pjt
top1 B: jp, top groups at bb, Greenhill, centerview

mid-top2: cs, baml, Citi
mid-top2B: Barclays

mid: DB , UBS, Jefferies, houlihan

bottom-mid: wells, RBC, BMO, liontree, roth

bottom: Baird, SunTrust, RBS, SocGen, BNP, Nomura, HSBC, random boutiques

real hell: accouting firm doing ib, credit card companies doing ib, KeyBanc of the world

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Sep 16, 2017

Hi there, you're ranking this in terms of how it's like to work in these firms from best to worst?

    • 1
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Apr 26, 2017

Wow thats truly unbelievable. Try not to apologize to the MD in the future when events like that happen. It doesn't sound like it was your fault whatsoever. You don't want to become a junior analyst that is walked all over.

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Best Response
Apr 27, 2017

*senior associate

    • 101
Apr 28, 2017

Your ratio of syllables to SBs is inspiring.
+SB, namaste.

    • 4
Apr 26, 2017

"I hear high revving engine noises over the line"

That made me burst out laughing.

+SB

    • 11
Jul 13, 2017

Definitely the best part of the story

Apr 26, 2017

Great story teller - I'm sure you led the discussion just fine.

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Apr 26, 2017

You had written your story like a horror movie. But it is a learning experience for you as you handled such large and experienced crowd with full confidence. Now your MD will have more trust on you.

    • 5
Apr 27, 2017

Good stuff OP, and nicely written

Would read your blog

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

following for future disasters

    • 3
Apr 27, 2017

This is amazing

    • 2
Apr 27, 2017

Awesome post

    • 2
Apr 27, 2017

Would also read your blog if you have any, great writing style

    • 4
Apr 27, 2017

Sounds like the panel was pretty easy. And your MD must be a chill dude.

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Apr 27, 2017

I think my blood pressure spiked reading this.

    • 9
Apr 27, 2017

This anecdote is pure gold. I tip my hat to you

You think I can be the MVP without practicing? -Allen Iverson

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

+1 for a funny story.

TBH I would be more afraid of the wife than the MD. Hope she doesn't call again or even worse show up to the office. GL

    • 1
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Apr 27, 2017
Keyser Soze 123:

I. SHIT. BRICKS.

/dying

I would read a full thread of everyone's greatest brick-shitting moments. I can immediately think of a half-dozen times early on in some high-pressure spots when I was pretty sure I was going to throw up.

    • 2
Apr 27, 2017

Good article!

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

"a-lotted" +1

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

This is gold. Absolute gold.

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Apr 27, 2017

this guy fucks

    • 9
Apr 26, 2017

Who doesn't?

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Apr 27, 2017
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Apr 27, 2017

I'm 100% certain I would have had a heart attack on the spot back when I was an analyst.

Kudos to you for stepping up. Even if the story was made up, good shit here.

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

Coherent, focused, organized, and well-written plot.

Your MD's last-minute advice was good though. This post was worth the time.

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Apr 27, 2017

He reminds me of my old boss from my old tech company.

+1 SB'd. This was gold. I know the feeling when you have to do a presentation in front of people who think of you as a baby compared to them.

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Apr 27, 2017

Dying! +1 SB'd

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Apr 27, 2017

Bravo

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Apr 27, 2017

Excellent read. Well written. Keep delivering and I am not uncertain (Billion's reference) that your MD will go to bat for you come promotion time.

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

It's these kinds of stories about these MDs that make me wonder how they got into the firm in the first place

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

SBed great story, good on you for maintaining your composure.

    • 1
Apr 27, 2017

Great read and composure, OP.
Most people would have been as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike in this scenario.
SB+1.

'I'm jacked... JACKED TO THE TITS!!'

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Apr 28, 2017
Keyser Soze 123:

(...My MD pauses to think....)

Surprised you didn't hear the dial-up sound here ...

Keyser Soze 123:

I never brought up the calls I had with his wife.

You should; tell him what a 'melodic voice' his wife has.

    • 1
Apr 28, 2017

I wouldn't be afraid to point out it was his fault and he never told you to pick him up...

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Apr 28, 2017

Can you please tell us more about the panel discussion? I need more.

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Apr 28, 2017

I'm glad this story has a happy ending. I was sort of expecting the MD to be a real asshole and blame you for it (because frankly, that kind of thing - even if something is entirely their fault - is not uncommon). But he seems like a good guy that takes things in stride, and the person that freaked out the most was his wife.

I once got chewed out because an MD though I typed a lowercase "L" instead of a capital I (the font makes it difficult to see the difference). I didn't make a mistake, and when I proved I didn't - no apology, no nothing.

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Apr 26, 2017
<span itemprop=name>Kanon</span>:

I once got chewed out because an MD though I typed a lowercase "L" instead of a capital I (the font makes it difficult to see the difference). I didn't make a mistake, and when I proved I didn't - no apology, no nothing.

Haha, rookie mistake. You don't prove you did anything wrong to your MD in banking. You just suck it up and accept it. Egoistic bastards.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

    • 1
Apr 28, 2017

l'm just curious, what difference does it make?

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Apr 28, 2017

Epic story! Save it for the cocktail parties and future interviews. Well done.

    • 2
Apr 28, 2017

Awesome story - I would have had a heart attack. Did you just decide to not grab the coffee?

    • 3
Apr 28, 2017

Fun story. Had a boss just like this. We called him Kramer because his head was always spinning.

Regardless of who's fault it is, always say something like: okay, I'll see you there, or something.

I do this when I need some sort of approval the next day and just say see ya tomorrow. If he's out, he'll say something.

Great story. This industry is litterally a minefield of shit like that.

My boss once got incredibly lost taking a group head to a team dinner. We all waited at the restaurant for an hour while the GH texted the other bankers saying "get me out of this fucking car."

That's a CLM for sure.

    • 1
Apr 28, 2017

Amazing story. One for the books! But why didn't he just use GPS?

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Apr 26, 2017

Most MDs still live in the 1920s. I'm surprised they don't wear fedoras and build models on paper..

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Aug 25, 2017

lol MDs don't build models........that's what slaves/analysts are for

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Apr 28, 2017

So enjoyable to read, thanks for sharing! What happened to meeting up with your MD at the chain restaurant before the panel though? What if he was waiting for you to pick him up there hahaha

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Apr 29, 2017

great story teller.

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May 2, 2017

Great history! But it was your fault. You have mentioned yourself that he asked you to meet him at Large East Coast restaurant chain for breakfast.
He also said: lets grab a coffee BEFORE the conference.
But you went right to the conference instead.
Details sometimes make the whole difference

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May 1, 2017

Are there actually M&A panels on Saturday mornings? I thought that time slot was reserved for cartoons and hangovers.

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May 2, 2017

Wow, haha!

    • 1
May 3, 2017

I'm not surprised on the old school of the MDs, I still have to help mine update his iPhone and load contacts in it for him ....
Good read !

    • 1
May 7, 2017

lol You handled it pretty well!

It's funny that I've never met a normal wife of an MD... at holiday parties most are completely deranged and botoxed up.

May 8, 2017

That's a good one, sounds like you handled it pretty well. I guess in hindsight you could've thought to ask if he needed transportation to the panel, but he did say he'd meet you for coffee and probably took the chance to throw you under the bus when he realized he needed a ride. Literally nothing you could've done to avoid the situation.

    • 1
May 24, 2017

Great story haha. Sure a lot of commenters have bashed on the MD (rightfully), but when you're pulling 7 figures, eh the downsides he has are probably acceptable. Not great for you obv, but sounds like you dealt with it really well. Cheers!

    • 1
Jun 21, 2017

this is hilarious af LMAO

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Aug 25, 2017

what a rollercoaster ride in the office
Great writing style and interesting story to share. +1 SB

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Aug 25, 2017

Weren't you supposed to meet him at Big East Coast Restaurant Chain and grab coffee beforehand, therefore showing up at the panel first was a mistake on your part (his as well for not following up the morning of about meeting at the restaurant).

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Apr 28, 2017

I should have clarified in my story.
The restaurant was within walking distance from the panel (about a block away). No where remotely close to his home hahaha.

    • 1
Aug 25, 2017

Oh okay haha how does he drop the ball on not following up that morning about transportation?

    • 1
Aug 25, 2017

Couldn't your MD just Uber or WAZE?

Apr 26, 2017

That's because IBD budgets and bonuses are in a bind right now

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Sep 17, 2017

Jeff,

How is Tobin?

Aug 29, 2017

You filled in and you didn't choke, I would say this was a victory. He could have had an accident on the way, being prepared to step in is a good skill to keep!

"All men are alike in their dreams, and all men are alike in the promises
they make. The difference is what they do."-- Jean Baptiste Moliere

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Dec 27, 2017

So good. That is absolutely the kinda thing that would happen to me!

    • 2
Dec 27, 2017

Gee this story isn't specific enough to ever get recognized by the MD. /s

Dec 28, 2017
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