Unreasonable Expectations

Before anyone starts, I understand that this is I-Banking, and that slave-driver bosses are a commonality. However, I think my situation might be a bit extreme, and I was hoping to see if there's anyone out there that could relate.

I work at a well known MM bank as an analyst. I loved this job for the first few months - I loved everything about it. The hours were harsh, sure, but I expected that going in.

However, everything changed when we hired a new VP that I was assigned to. This was about ~3 months ago.

In one word, this guy is the epitome of an asshole. He is the stereotypical banker: failed marriage, chip on his shoulder for not having made director yet, etc. He has something to prove.

I get reamed out by this guy on a daily basis. Not for doing something incorrectly, but because I didn't do something that he didn't ask me to do, but that he expected done. And these aren't obvious things. Furthermore, I have pulled more 110-120 hour weeks these past few months than I did my entire first year. He -alone- expects me in at 7AM every morning, even if I was in till 5-6AM the night before.

I am physically, and emotionally sick. I am scared to go into work everyday. This just feels like absolute torture.

Someone slap me if I'm overreacting, but I don't know how much longer I can do this.

Comments (29)

Mar 27, 2014

buyside recruiting baby

make sure u go to a client so u make his life a living nightmare

speed boost blaze

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Best Response
Mar 27, 2014

Sorry to hear that man. Don't really have any advice, except telling him you'll be in at 7:01am tomorrow because his ex-wife took a long time in the shower.

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Mar 27, 2014
broadstbully:

Sorry to hear that man. Don't really have any advice, except telling him you'll be in at 7:01am tomorrow because his ex-wife took a long time in the shower.

LOL

speed boost blaze

Mar 27, 2014

Approved.

Mar 27, 2014
broadstbully:

Sorry to hear that man. Don't really have any advice, except telling him you'll be in at 7:01am tomorrow because his ex-wife took a long time in the shower.

If only.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been tempted to "tamper" with his coffee in the morning.

Mar 27, 2014
GoldPeak:
broadstbully:

Sorry to hear that man. Don't really have any advice, except telling him you'll be in at 7:01am tomorrow because his ex-wife took a long time in the shower.

If only.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been tempted to "tamper" with his coffee in the morning.

"Like, omg, I have no idea how all that meth got in his coffee"

Mar 27, 2014

And you had to drop his kids off at school - while you're at it.

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Mar 27, 2014

Can he respond to reasons? Does he think you are some kind of doormat?

I have had bosses like this. What I do is to make sure that my boss knows that I don't take **** at work. I switch off the phone at 7pm (the company issued phone), I don't respond to emails after that time. I never show up before 9am. If my boss needs something done or wants me to pass something on, he has to do it between that time. If my team has to finish something, I will try to do my best, but again, my boss has to tell me that between 9am and 7pm and he can't call me at 7pm and say I need this done by 9am.

Can you talk to the guy? He might be thinking now that he can walk all over you and that you do whatever he tells you to do.

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Mar 27, 2014
j-phone:

Can he respond to reasons? Does he think you are some kind of doormat?

I have had bosses like this. What I do is to make sure that my boss knows that I don't take **** at work. I switch off the phone at 7pm (the company issued phone), I don't respond to emails after that time. I never show up before 9am. If my boss needs something done or wants me to pass something on, he has to do it between that time. If my team has to finish something, I will try to do my best, but again, my boss has to tell me that between 9am and 7pm and he can't call me at 7pm and say I need this done by 9am.

Can you talk to the guy? He might be thinking now that he can walk all over you and that you do whatever he tells you to do.

Do you work in M&A? I haven't really seen this type of rationale - it's frankly unheard of. I imagine I'd be packing up my desk pretty quickly if I said that.

Let me know if this has worked for you in banking - it's worth a shot.

Mar 27, 2014
GoldPeak:
j-phone:

Can he respond to reasons? Does he think you are some kind of doormat?

I have had bosses like this. What I do is to make sure that my boss knows that I don't take **** at work. I switch off the phone at 7pm (the company issued phone), I don't respond to emails after that time. I never show up before 9am. If my boss needs something done or wants me to pass something on, he has to do it between that time. If my team has to finish something, I will try to do my best, but again, my boss has to tell me that between 9am and 7pm and he can't call me at 7pm and say I need this done by 9am.

Can you talk to the guy? He might be thinking now that he can walk all over you and that you do whatever he tells you to do.

Do you work in M&A? I haven't really seen this type of rationale - it's frankly unheard of. I imagine I'd be packing up my desk pretty quickly if I said that.

Let me know if this has worked for you in banking - it's worth a shot.

My background is ECM and DCM. So, you can't even reason with your boss?

I think the point is to manage his (and your colleagues') expectations of you. If you always say yes to every request, you can never go home. And if you stay in the office every night until 2am, everyone expects you to continue to do that in the foreseeable future.

Mar 29, 2014
j-phone:

Can he respond to reasons? Does he think you are some kind of doormat?

I have had bosses like this. What I do is to make sure that my boss knows that I don't take **** at work. I switch off the phone at 7pm (the company issued phone), I don't respond to emails after that time. I never show up before 9am. If my boss needs something done or wants me to pass something on, he has to do it between that time. If my team has to finish something, I will try to do my best, but again, my boss has to tell me that between 9am and 7pm and he can't call me at 7pm and say I need this done by 9am.

Can you talk to the guy? He might be thinking now that he can walk all over you and that you do whatever he tells you to do.

This is just laughable. You don't ever show up before 9 or even respond to emails after 7 pm? Hahahaha.

Mar 29, 2014
j-phone:

Can he respond to reasons? Does he think you are some kind of doormat?

I have had bosses like this. What I do is to make sure that my boss knows that I don't take **** at work. I switch off the phone at 7pm (the company issued phone), I don't respond to emails after that time. I never show up before 9am. If my boss needs something done or wants me to pass something on, he has to do it between that time. If my team has to finish something, I will try to do my best, but again, my boss has to tell me that between 9am and 7pm and he can't call me at 7pm and say I need this done by 9am.

Can you talk to the guy? He might be thinking now that he can walk all over you and that you do whatever he tells you to do.

Don't do this. I work in corporate finance and I still respond to important emails/texts/phone calls from work late at night and occasionally on weekends. Not being willing to work more than 45 hours a week is not the solution. That said, I would try to transfer, life's to short to be ruining your health working for some crazy VP with a complex.

Mar 31, 2014

You must be making this up. What kind of DCM/ECM banker never shows up to work before 9 am?

Mar 27, 2014

Sounds brutal. Life's too short, tbh. Figure out how to get transferred or switch companies.

Mar 27, 2014
CorpFinanceGuy:

Sounds brutal. Life's too short, tbh. Figure out how to get transferred or switch companies.

Trying to move into buyside. Deal activity is kind of dead right now though - it's really a sellers market. I wouldn't be going to a mega fun so this is an issue.

Mar 27, 2014

Next time he asks you to stay late on something whip out your phone and tell him you've gotta text his ex-wife that you can't make it to dinner.

Mar 27, 2014

The key to dealing with unreasonable expectations is managing expectations. The next time he dumps crap on you to do, tell him you would be happy to but you won't be able to get it done right away because you have limited bandwith at the moment (e.g. you are working on X, Y and Z for MD 1, MD 2, MD 3, etc.) Deliverables to an MD always take priority over a VP, so there is no way he can argue with you. He will then have to backoff, so instead of expecting you to deliver something right away (thereby forcing you to pull an unnecessary all-nighter), he will have to settle for getting it tomorrow or even the day after.

If that fails, talk to the business unit manager or staffer, whoever is in charge of allocating the work in your team and explain the situation to him/her. There is no reason to be pulling multiple all-nighters in a row unless it is absolutely necessary, and in this case, it doesn't sound like it's even remotely necessary.

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Mar 27, 2014

This really good advice. You aren't working in a bubble and you can't be the only person seeing this guy's behavior. Manage expectations and ask for some cover from an Associate/VP that you trust on your team.

Mar 29, 2014

I have been in such a situation before. It is a very common psychological effect. When you join a job, you want to be perfect. You also want everyone else to be perfect, especially your juniors. Anything less than perfect annoys the hell out of you.

I was in such a situation before and that too with my immediate supervisor who would sit right next to me staring at my screen literally every second of the day (obviously exaggerating, but you get the point). It was even impossible to stand this guy for a few seconds. His presence was annoying as f**k and over top of it, I had to sit right next to him all-day-long. The only thing I did was I took the shit and kept my mouth shut. Few months down the line when his over-excitement and over-enthusiasm of the job subsided to get-the-shit-done-and-get-the-f**k-out, he was so much better and would be so nice to me. I ended up getting positive reference from him that led me to get better jobs later.

Long story short: do the right thing at all times. When his new-job excitement subsides, he would come and kiss you.

CAUTION: At no point of time you should try to argue or fight-back with this guy. If he gets this sense, oh boy, you're a fucking toast.

(Throw silver bananas if this makes sense.)

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

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Mar 30, 2014
Ambani:

CAUTION: At no point of time you should try to argue or fight-back with this guy. If he gets this sense, oh boy, you're a fucking toast.

I would never ever think of doing such a thing. But could you please elaborate on what would/could happen in that hypothetical situation? Thanks! SB'd you btw :)

Mar 30, 2014

Sure! In that hypothetical situation, he will have a very bad/negative impression of you, which is very difficult to overcome. He would start making your life difficult (if already, then more difficult). And you absolutely don't want to work for someone who hates you and is deliberately trying to make your life difficult. It is degrading to your personality and directly/indirectly affects your future opportunities. Long story short, bad idea to be in bad terms with your immediate supervisor.

And thanks for the SB, btw!

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Mar 29, 2014

One last advice: Take him out on a coffee/lunch(es) and try to be more personal with him. It would be difficult to give a hard time to someone you are so personal with.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Mar 31, 2014

Get the hell out of there dude, buyside or not. Figure out what matters most to you and forget everything else. Life is way too short for that shit.

Apr 1, 2014

Well, I don't think he should get out of there just quite yet, at least not before trying to deal with the issue. As he mentioned, OP enjoyed the firm/job prior to this guy joining, so it may be just as easy as talking to either the VP, the staffer, or the group manager, or some combination of those people if one avenue doesn't work out. If he has any credibility with his group and his group has some baseline sense of reasonability, then that could work.

At the very least, if that doesn't work out, you're not any worse off if he decides to get out.

Apr 1, 2014
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Apr 1, 2014
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"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."