To Snitch or not to Snitch?

Looking for some perspective here.

Long story short, I and a mid-level banker got into a bit of an argument a few weeks ago and he texted me some really inappropriate stuff. I didn't escalate this to management or HR, because I didn't want to "snitch" about something like this. Next thing I know, the same guy screwed me over in my 360 accusing me of some serious stuff (it shocked me totally because I never did any of those things plus the one singular interaction didn't seem like the kind of thing that would escalate). However, now all his accusations are in writing.

I showed the screenshots of the conversation to my manager, who has known this guy for years. My manager is "verbally understanding" and agreed that this guy can be a "bit too aggressive" but is 100% intent on putting the other guy's side of the story in writing. I have been hesitant on putting my stuff in writing so far, not to escalate but it's now becoming clear that I am being bullied because of that (the conversations are as clear as day and light and will very easily escalate to upper management).

I am really annoyed because the mid-level banker seems to believe there will be no consequences for his actions (I mean he is the one escalating this) and my manager wants to just do the bare minimum (and is counting on me not escalating this). I didn't want to have this kind of a struggle early on in my career and I went out of the way to avoid this, but my unwillingness to escalate is being taken advantage of.

What should I do?

P.S. I already have a job lined up at a former employer, but the industry is pretty small and I am worried about having this come up in the future.

EDIT: I just got off the phone with my manager. I threatened HR, to which he promised to remove 95% of the stuff the other guy wrote. He also said this is not escalating to HR and stays within the team. He said he will talk to the other guy about "behaving properly at work". Obviously, he is trying to stop further escalation, but still, anything in writing makes me look bad.

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Comments (59)

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Feb 28, 2021 - 2:32pm

I mean, how dare you bring this to us and NOT SHOW US THE NAME CENSORED TEXTS. Show us, let WSB be the new Gawker for finance drama. If it's actually damning, let the circus commence. If it's not, we'll tell you off honestly.

Array

  • 7
Feb 28, 2021 - 2:36pm

Agreed

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Feb 28, 2021 - 2:36pm

I wouldn't group this with standard snitching. It's not like you're straight up ratting him out for something random. More like he shot at you, and now you have the opportunity to shoot back.

Dayman?
Feb 28, 2021 - 2:44pm

Nightman Cometh

I wouldn't group this with standard snitching. It's not like you're straight up ratting him out for something random. More like he shot at you, and now you have the opportunity to shoot back.

Yeah exactly. This isn't really snitching.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Feb 28, 2021 - 3:45pm

Should I bring HR into this immediately? or just provide evidence of everything in writing to my manager noting that I am responding to allegations made by XYZ and want to put our conversation on record more formally?

I prefer the second because it pushes him to do something without really screwing the manager himself. If I go to HR, then the manager is also going to be in the firing line considering I sent him all this stuff and he didn't act accordingly.

Feb 28, 2021 - 2:41pm

This post caused my blood to boil.

He put it in writing, why are you going to let him destroy your rep and not give your side of the story? That's the problem with this industry, everyone is afraid to say anything, and junior people are told to keep their mouth closed to "not burn bridges". If you're being genuine, this will not burn you at all. He's the one that destroyed the bridge and deserves to have his nasty attitude broadcasted to the entire world. Stand up for yourself, escalate it to HR, especially considering that you have already lined up another job. I know it's going to be stressful, but it is a necessary and rewarding experience.

Again, you're worried about "burning bridges". This guy not only texted you inappropriate things, but he then used a disagreement that you had to sink you. Additionally, it seems like your team is aware of his behavior but sided with him. Do you think they care about you at all? There's no bridge in this situation, just a mirage of one. This asshole is going to continue to ruin the careers of people below him unless you do something about it.    

Array
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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Feb 28, 2021 - 3:41pm

I am mainly worried about the impression that gives off to senior management, the whole thing "makes me famous" for no good reason. I already got my bonus paid so this doesn't impact my future (especially because my old firm has offered to bring me on).

I am trying to weigh the cost and benefits - I honestly don't care about burning bridges with this particular guy, but more worried about everyone else.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 1, 2021 - 11:10am

He clearly wasn't worried about the impression it gives off to senior management, f**k him up!

Mar 5, 2021 - 8:01pm

It won't "make you famous" given if you take action it'll likely be sealed off with a non-disclosure unless you preemptively provide the transcripts of the texts to media.

Conversely, you'll probably be known in finance circles as the person who outed someone but honestly I was in a similar situation (person never said anything in writing though) and I wish I had the chance to get that dick let go. If you don't go to news sources or litigate, I think outing this guy won't really affect your professional standing in the industry or beyond. I'm not going to offer my opinion as this is super subjective but hopefully this could help.

  • VP in IB-M&A
Feb 28, 2021 - 4:41pm

Mid-level banker being slandered here: Not surprised my analyst is posting on WSO when he should be working on the pitch materials I requested last night.

I need those slides now, nerd!

Feb 28, 2021 - 5:00pm

Your reputation is the cornerstone of your power. You can use it to intimidate and win, but if it becomes tarnished, you open yourself up to being vulnerable to attack. Make your reputation impenetrable, and predict attacks before they occur.

Feb 28, 2021 - 5:23pm

Find another job but ruin this guy before you leave.  Make an example out of him.

Get busy living
  • 1
  • Intern in RE - Comm
Feb 28, 2021 - 7:47pm

This is NOT snitching. You ain't from the hood homie, you ain't know what snitchin is. Burn him. NEVER LET ANYONE WALK OVER YOU. DESTROY HIM. Fuck your team, they don't take your side when the other dude is clearly in the wrong than burn them with him.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 28, 2021 - 11:22pm

The oppressor reaps what they sow. An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot...

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Mar 1, 2021 - 2:26am

He's already buried you. Leaders of your firm don't care about you or him. There is no bridge anymore. If you escalate it, they'll fire him. He's a POS. You should escalate it to HR. You are leaving and have nothing to lose. If you know partner-level people in other groups, you should raise it to them over coffee. Tell them you're having a tough time, it's toxic, someone went out of their way to preemptively bury you when you had no intention to report their actions. Now you are evaluating all your options (nuance being you may opt to publicly trash the firm / HR headache or lawsuit). The good news - even if you leave on a bad note - the second you are in a position to potentially create a fee event for your former bank, they'll pretend nothing happened and try to be your friend. Individuals behave the same way. They weren't personally involved in the conflict. Can't give too much detail but have been through something similar. Incredibly toxic guy was ruining everyone's life (making weaker analysts cry regularly) and burying analysts he didn't like. He thought he was safe because of his title but he didn't produce any revenue. Will never forget him openly bragging about how much he thought he was going to pay in taxes. Only to be told not to come in for the next few months then ultimately fired. Was awesome to watch that fuck pack up his office. He shouldn't have picked fights and buried analysts with much nothing or at least much less to lose. He's at a shit bank now and those of us that got blowback from taking him out are all in great spots (better banks / PE / HF). This happened at a well known bank.

Mar 1, 2021 - 10:37am

said it before, will say it again - whatever you write could get circulated so edit/self censor/choose your words accordingly.

accept the job with your former employer, sign the paperwork, and make this your resignation letter. if it were me, I'd send to my immediate boss, their boss, and the individual in question

Dear Sirs/Madams,

I've greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with you over the years, and am excited to begin the next chapter of my career with XYZ. I wanted to leave you with his letter so you can more completely understand the reasons for my departure

[if it were me, I'd insert some nice comments/experiences about your time here, naming names of people who left a positive impact on you]

Unfortunately, not all of my interactions were so positive, I'd like to address my last 360 review with [PUT THEIR NAME HERE] to tell you my side of the story. It all began on November 47th, and we were working on the merger between bumble and grindr when our collective stress got the best of us and we began conversing with more elevated emotions before, ending with a text conversation in which I was referred to as [INSERT THE INSULT HERE WITH SCREENSHOT]. At the time, I did not think much of it, and chose to move on and continue with my work. However, since this conversation has bled into my performance review, I also wanted to set the record straight because I have been accused of several things which I believe to be untrue for reasons I will outline here

[here, I would list phrases within the 360 which are untrue one-by-one and tell your side of the story]

It is not my intent to tell you how to deal with your current employees or what should happen as a result of this resignation letter, I only wanted to make sure my side of the story was heard. I wish you success in the years ahead.

Sincerely

A dude you shouldn't fuck with ever again

Many of you may think this is too aggressive. in my opinion, if you're telling the truth and not going to the press or trying to get this person fired, why not? two wrongs do not make a right, but this is not that. you MUST protect your name and reputation. you can set the record straight in a professional manner by stating fallacies and facts side by side, letting them be the judge. I think you have no reason to fear reprisal if you are telling the truth and not seeking publicity/punishment for others with your statements.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Mar 2, 2021 - 4:05am

I've experienced something similar as a first year IBD analyst and I resolved it in a fashion that made the mid-level guy (a lateral associate) look like a complete moron, and he left a few months later as no MD wanted to work with him. The 28-year old (at the time) idiot was working on profiles for his last 2 months. 

It is critical you do not let that person walk over you, both because professionally that's a bad outcome and personally because you're not a door mat. If your impression is that the mid-level banker expects no consequences, it is because he thinks he can walk over you. Other people in your company will be aware of what is happening (stories spread like wildfire), and while people will likely think of him as an asshole, they will see you as a pushover. Ignoring what other people think of you, do you want that for yourself? Young people can and should be vocal, not just in the deal team setting but in political matters like this. Advocate for yourself. Mama didn't raise no b***h.

It goes without saying, you should choose your fights wisely. This is a wise fight to pick, as it is your reputation at stake through something that is in writing. Obviously you have to weigh the strategy of exactly how you do this - i.e., is the mid-level guy respected in the group? How much political power does he have? What is your reputation in your group? What do you want to achieve exactly (his review being rescinded, or do you want some more broad acknowledgment that he's an idiot)? What evidence does he have that could be used against you? 

As his review is in writing, I would proceed to make your side of the story known (as you have evidence!), and shape your communication in a way that is not confrontational or exasperated, but instead measured and factual. By doing that, you come off far better and more mature than someone who is several years older than you, and you have the added benefit of eliminating the view of you as a pushover. It will be a very, very bad look for the mid-level dude if you vocalise your side of the story in a measured way.

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