What is The Meanest Thing You've Ever Seen a Superior Tell a Subordinate in the Office

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After a long day of watching our dickhead CFO haze the new analysts with his miserable sense of humor, I've been reflecting about some of the biggest dickhead moves I've ever seen a superior pull on a subordinate in the office. I think my top three are...

1) During Christmas party a drunk Senior Analyst cuts a new Analyst's hermes tie off (by force) to celebrate him passing his first deal through IC. Apparently the tie was a gift from his parents and he didn't come from a lot of money so it was special to him. Said Senior Analyst eventually got pushed out of the company. From my understanding he wasn't fired but was told that there wasn't a place for him to move up in the company.

2) My CFO walking up to the new Leasing Analyst and saying "Oooof, geez, that sucks. You got a bad draw there." When he learns she works in Leasing.

3) VP literally stops acknowledging an intern halfway through the summer because he (the intern) keeps asking really basic questions at really bad times. The guy would literally walk past the kid and refuse to look at him when he'd say hi. Didn't know whether to laugh at or cry for the kid.

Comments (79)

Funniest
Aug 20, 2018

"Dwight, you ignorant slut!"

  • Michael Scott
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  • ij29824DE
  •  Aug 20, 2018

"Add more comments"

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Aug 21, 2018

I read an article about Jeff Bezos grilling his employees. One of my favorite lines was, "Are you just lazy or incompetent?"

I know a Broker, "John", who was repping a buyer, apparently the listing broker, "Dan", had bad blood with "John". Dan didn't even present John's offer, the place sold for $35,000 less than John's offer. Was a dick move, board of ethics did nothing.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Aug 26, 2018

Wtf? Does this sh*t happen often without any consequences?

Aug 27, 2018

I wouldn't call it often, but every occurrence is definitely more often than it should. It was a probate deal with no surviving family members and the guy's wife was the probate attorney. No collusion there...

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

Aug 27, 2018
SoCalRE:

I read an article about Jeff Bezos grilling his employees. One of my favorite lines was, "Are you just lazy or incompetent?"

I know a Broker, "John", who was repping a buyer, apparently the listing broker, "Dan", had bad blood with "John". Dan didn't even present John's offer, the place sold for $35,000 less than John's offer. Was a dick move, board of ethics did nothing.

that really screws the buyer more than anything. WTF. No one said anything ?

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Aug 22, 2018

Got a couple that comes to mind:

1) After about a month in my FT position I got pulled into the corner office. My MD asked if my parents lived in town and I said no. He replied "Well, then you're not special to anyone in this city." and followed up with a 10 minute rant about how useless I was and that he could hire 100 other kids to do my job. All of this was because of a minor feeding problem from a Bloomberg terminal into a spreadsheet.

2) Said MD pulled another analyst from my class into the office to ask why he seemed to be unfocused at work. The analyst said it was because his gf had moved out and got cut off with "Do you wanna know why she moved out? Because you're a little whimp."

3) Senior trader in his sixties (Been around since the crash in '87) would walk over to an intern, who was clearly not cut for S&T, every day and ask him "So... What do you want to be when you grow up?"

There's also the general hazing, but that is usually between peers and more light hearted. You can't make this shit up.

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Aug 22, 2018

Number 2 is brutal... using something personal like that against you in a moment of anger crosses the line.

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Aug 22, 2018

Agreed. The MD in 1 and 2 is just an ass. #3 is equal parts brutal and hilarious.

Aug 22, 2018

No, Number 2 is a case of a stupid analyst. No one cares if your girlfriend moved out. When your boss tells you you are unfocused you don't give him excuses from your personal life, you apologize and immediately correct the mistake.... Millennials...

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Aug 22, 2018

I agree in that, there's a line between professional and personal life. It would be like if you were in the NFL, you're coach doesn't want to hear you're having a bad game because your gf broke up with you.

On the other hand, MD should have been a little lighter. More of, "hey, that sucks, I feel you. But we have to get this done so I would appreciate if you could focus."

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Most Helpful
Aug 22, 2018

There's no way to keep personal life out of the office unless you're a sociopath. Things in your ACTUAL life will impact your professional life. Sooner everyone learns this the sooner everyone can stop pretending to be Gordon Gecko wannabees.

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Controversial
Aug 22, 2018

Gay millenial proves my point.

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Aug 22, 2018

I think there's plenty of space between Gecko wannabe and "Oh man, I'm so sorry, take a few days to suck your thumb in the corner while listening to Radiohead on your airpods." Agree with ironman32 on what the dude should have said.

Aug 22, 2018
NoJobProspectsInSight:

There's no way to keep personal life out of the office unless you're a sociopath. Things in your ACTUAL life will impact your professional life. Sooner everyone learns this the sooner everyone can stop pretending to be Gordon Gecko wannabees.

Yeah, but the point is that you shouldn't use it as an excuse. Shit happens, everyone gets that. The answer isn't to give the sob story, it's to apologize for being distracted and say you'll correct the mistake.

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Aug 26, 2018

True that we all to some extent bring our personal life with us to work. But this guy's personal life is affecting his work which affects other people's work. His boss has a right to say something.

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Aug 26, 2018

I agree with you.

Every last MD has lost may significant personal relationships in order to achieve their level of success. You can apologize to your analyst buddies (maybe even an Associate) for being a dick with the excuse of being a heart-broken little emotional faggot, but if you think an MD should be giving you sympathy, cutting you slack when your performance is poor for losing your first significant personal relationship, you are delusional, ideological, emotional, ignorant, and also stupid.

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Aug 26, 2018

Oh goddamn it. Just noticed your username. Did I just get trolled hard?

Aug 28, 2018

You get these breaks if you are older than 30, which seems to be my constant refrain on this sight. As an anecdote, my wife just had her summer intern "pull her back" and got a doctor's note saying she had to work from home for 2 weeks. 2 EFFIN WEEKS!!! I herniated 3-discs in my back and literally couldn't walk, I was out 2-3 days max.

Younger kids/adults lie because they used to be able to get away with it. When you are sick on a Monday morning, it's probably a lie , that's why you go in for at least a half day and leave early.

Aug 22, 2018

Gay millenial proves my point.

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Aug 22, 2018

Ok, forget the specific detail of the girlfriend. See it as a personal thing happening to you affecting your work. Its not good if it does but once you explain people should try and be a bit more understanding. The personal thing can range from girlfriend moving out (which for some can be tragic) to the death of a relative. Would you be so callous with anything in that spectrum? If you are, you're a shit superior.

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Aug 23, 2018
The Pharma Guy:

Number 2 is brutal... using something personal like that against you in a moment of anger crosses the line.

Aug 22, 2018

He would have fired me in #1 because I don't think I'd be able to keep a straight face. Brutal but funny.

Aug 22, 2018

At a deal screening meeting attended by many executives including the CEO. An analyst who modeled the economics of the project was asked to explain one of the assumptions in his model. After his somewhat unclear explanation, the CEO, with his deep and protruding voice, said "that is one of the most bullshit assumptions I've ever heard."

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Aug 22, 2018

Heard my boss having a phone interview and he asked the kid if he was bothered by the fact that he wants to work for us more than my boss wanted him to.

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Aug 22, 2018

To a woman on the legal team: "And you fucking cunts think you deserve health care?!"

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Aug 22, 2018

This sounds more like a passive-aggressive thought you had than something anyone would say

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Aug 22, 2018

Sounds more like a lawsuit waiting to happen

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Aug 22, 2018
bankerbrokeranalyst:

Sounds more like a lawsuit waiting to happen

He passed away recently. Wont disclose name to avoid legal liability but the firm is located in St. Louis. The place is notorious and the online reviews are hysterical.

Aug 22, 2018

Shit, the first one tugged my heartstrings there. If I was that kid, it would have been pretty damn tough to not lay into the senior analyst.

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Aug 22, 2018

For real. Woulda stabbed him with whatever he used to cut the tie off with.

Aug 22, 2018

Yeah it was not cool. The kid was a laid back dude though so I'm sure he didn't linger on it too long. Plus everyone kinda liked him better after it because he took it well.

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Aug 22, 2018

My coach to me: "get off the field and let the good players practice"

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Aug 22, 2018

This one hit home. Coach once said as I tried to hop into a practice play,'' can we get a real player instead''. Hurt but at the end of the day by most objective measures I'm doing better now than he is.

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Aug 22, 2018

I've seen #3 before.
Analyst was sending out multiple emails a day to data providers with "Any updates?" in the subject and cc'ing everyone in his command chain.
VP finally got fed up and told the analyst not to email/contact him anymore.

Aug 22, 2018

psychopathic sober boss (who openly acknowledges how insane/mental/demonic he is) brought a senior associate to tears in the middle of the trading floor because of how badly he criticized him...it would be too long to repeat all of the ruthless things he said to him, but my personal favorite was, in the middle of the rant, "I haven't had a drink in 9 years! and Im this fucking close because of how crazy your incompetence drives me!"

Aug 22, 2018

People that are "sober" are out of their minds. Hate to admit it but it's a huge red flag for me. When someone's sober I assume they had some underlying personality flaws thay lead them to develop substance problems in the first place. Then all the willpower they have goes to remaining off the sauce but in the meantime all that pent up frustration has to go somewhere.

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Aug 22, 2018

I've had the opposite experience with people coming from that background, tend to be pretty on top of their shit and don't make a big deal out of the fact that they're sober. IMO it's extremely dependent on the person and what they did once they got sober; i.e. whether or not they actually addressed those underlying issues or just let them fester.

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Aug 22, 2018

I think if someone goes on a long rant to you, the best way to respond (and put them down in a great way) is to meet and keep their gaze throughout the bollocking then just say 'Sorry, did you say something?'. 99% sure it'll get you fired but if the guy is being a cunt its worth a shot.

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Aug 22, 2018

Psychotic VP. I kept my pens in the drawers and not on my desk, personal preference, wasn't a big deal. Dude just had a baby and was running into a meeting on maybe 2 hours of sleep. "Oh, the fucking banking analyst doesn't have a single fucking pen on his desk, completely useless." As I turn around in my chair to hand him mine, he's out the door.

Comes back after an hour, and I say "You know, VP, instead of swearing at me and asking me for a pen like a human being, I have at least a dozen pens in my desk. I'm an analyst and I recognize that, but don't speak to me like that"

VP's response "You had a shit GPA from a non-target, you're lucky to even be here."

Bottom line, take hazing like a man, but don't allow yourself to be verbally abused. Stand up for yourself if you're mistreated.

Left the firm 3 months later voluntarily, VP was gone a month later. He picked a bad time to buy a house and have a kid.

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Aug 22, 2018

Dude sounds like a POS. It would have been understandable if he had apologized later, but following up with that comment shows his true colors. The best revenge is pity - people like that are clearly miserable and insecure inside.

Aug 22, 2018

We were consolidating a legacy satellite office into HQ about 2.5 hours away, and having monthly in person departmental meetings about the integration and other things. The longest tenured employee in the department's (who happened to work in the satellite office) wife was nine months pregnant. The new boss gave him shit in public about asking if he could call in because he didn't want to be that far from his wife when she was that pregnant.

They never set up a call-in. He did get the last laugh, however. His wife went into labor DURING the meeting, and the boss looked really bad.

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Aug 23, 2018

Well, while insults/4-letter words are usually ranking quite high, i think it was something about asking someone else, how the have been able to finish school or why they are even here in the first place. After reading some of the other entries here on the other hand, i got the feeling my bosses are kind of missing in the pure-sadism area of leadership. Gross stuff.

Aug 24, 2018

These honestly don't seem that bad... I feel like I have seen a lot worse just from my own analyst days. I'll share just two prime examples.

First one: At a MM IB firm, I'm with my class of first year analysts, it's the first day. We are sitting around a conference table with an MD who is in charge of one of the most important industry coverage groups and he asks everyone to go around and tell a story about themselves that they think is interesting. He then proceeds to humiliate each person based upon what they say, which obviously makes each following person even more nervous. Won't repeat specific stories because they would be too identifiable but suffice to say it was a 20 minute exercise in pure sadism. No other reason for it.

Next one that comes to mind: at some sort of company party, maybe Christmas party or something, and it's probably the first time any analyst has been able to mingle in a slightly informal manner with senior leadership. A fellow first year, kind of nerdy Chinese guy with glasses, goes over to say hi to this up-and-coming young MD and join the circle. MD cuts off him off mid sentence and says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot you work here for a second, I thought you were the Chinese delivery guy." He then proceeds to say to the other senior bankers, "Do you know why I love this guy? He has no life! No girlfriend, no friends, no family, nothing, he just sits at his desk and grinds for me all day, every day." This MD alone I could tell like 5 more stories about.

Aug 26, 2018

Holy shit that second one is fucked up. Tell us more.

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Aug 26, 2018

Serious prick. Hope some day that nerdy guy is his boss. Or starts his own multi million dollar biz and can pull a similar line to utisike his services.

Tell more stories!!

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Aug 27, 2018

That is a dick move coming from young MD. Do tell us more please.

Aug 30, 2018
capitalflows:

....
Next one that comes to mind: at some sort of company party, maybe Christmas party or something, and it's probably the first time any analyst has been able to mingle in a slightly informal manner with senior leadership. A fellow first year, kind of nerdy Chinese guy with glasses, goes over to say hi to this up-and-coming young MD and join the circle. MD cuts off him off mid sentence and says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot you work here for a second, I thought you were the Chinese delivery guy." He then proceeds to say to the other senior bankers, "Do you know why I love this guy? He has no life! No girlfriend, no friends, no family, nothing, he just sits at his desk and grinds for me all day, every day." This MD alone I could tell like 5 more stories about.

A kid tortured me through middle school. He made my life a living hell for three years before I went to a better place than he did when we graduated.

He's now with a big law firm that focuses on AM and SEC proposals. We aren't their client just yet, but are working with their biggest competitor, and may need more legal help than they can provide. I'd really like to see them added to the roster just so I can ask that he can be removed from the project with prejudice based on past experiences. I'm probably the non-C-Suite individual second most involved, and twenty years later this would be delicious revenge.

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Aug 30, 2018

Holy crap dude get over it. You're a grown ass man holding grudges over middle school? Unless he raped your sister, don't ruin a guy's career because you got pantsed 20 years ago. I'm now starting to think you deserved to be bullied

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Aug 24, 2018

I've actually gave a boss a beat down for pulling disrespectful stunt before, years ago. Pulled up on him while he was getting coffee. I can deal with criticism, I don't tolerate disrespect. You destroy personal effects of mine, I will catch you off work grounds.

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Aug 26, 2018
DollarSign T:

I've actually gave a boss a beat down for pulling disrespectful stunt before, years ago. Pulled up on him while he was getting coffee. I can deal with criticism, I don't tolerate disrespect. You destroy personal effects of mine, I will catch you off work grounds.

Go on, elaborate....

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Aug 24, 2018

Hazing from a self-proclaimed asshole Partner ("Partner A") during my first year as an associate at a MM IB firm.

1). It's about 1am, and I'm the most junior member remaining in the office (working late with two Partners, an MD, and two VPs to grind-out a deliverable). One of the VPs asks how my GF was doing (she had recently been going through some stomach issues). I begin to answer, but then Partner A suddenly turns to me and asks if my GF sleeps with me. Before I could respond, he says "hopefully she isn't pregnant!" I chuckle, and say "no, no she isn't", and let the VP know she's going to see a GI specialist the next day. Partner A chimes in again and says "fuck that, you should take her to a veterinarian!"

2). Partner A routinely calls one of the assistants in our office a fucking retard. Both to her face and behind her back.

3). A couple of the assistants complained to HR about Partner A, which let loose a minor shit storm with false allegations being thrown around, so Partner A brings all the analysts and associates into his office one by one for interrogation. By the time it's my turn, I let him know that I wasn't involved, and vouched for another colleague as well. Partner A says, "yeah, I figured that much. (Colleague) is a bigger pussy than you are."

4). (Not mean, but still interesting). Was able to leave work early on Valentine's Day to get dinner with the GF. Partner A told me to make sure I get a BJ.

In my second year now, and now Partner A treats me with respect (or as much respect as he's capable of treating others with). He may be an ass, but he's incredibly smart and I've learned a tremendous amount from him.

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Aug 26, 2018
VikingSt0rm:

Hazing from a self-proclaimed asshole Partner ("Partner A") during my first year as an associate at a MM IB firm.

1). It's about 1am, and I'm the most junior member remaining in the office (working late with two Partners, an MD, and two VPs to grind-out a deliverable). One of the VPs asks how my GF was doing (she had recently been going through some stomach issues). I begin to answer, but then Partner A suddenly turns to me and asks if my GF sleeps with me. Before I could respond, he says "hopefully she isn't pregnant!" I chuckle, and say "no, no she isn't", and let the VP know she's going to see a GI specialist the next day. Partner A chimes in again and says "fuck that, you should take her to a veterinarian!"

2). Partner A routinely calls one of the assistants in our office a fucking retard. Both to her face and behind her back.

3). A couple of the assistants complained to HR about Partner A, which let loose a minor shit storm with false allegations being thrown around, so Partner A brings all the analysts and associates into his office one by one for interrogation. By the time it's my turn, I let him know that I wasn't involved, and vouched for another colleague as well. Partner A says, "yeah, I figured that much. (Colleague) is a bigger pussy than you are."

4). (Not mean, but still interesting). Was able to leave work early on Valentine's Day to get dinner with the GF. Partner A told me to make sure I get a BJ.

In my second year now, and now Partner A treats me with respect (or as much respect as he's capable of treating others with). He may be an ass, but he's incredibly smart and I've learned a tremendous amount from him.

Sounds like a funny guy to work with, just as long as he's not the type to be this way with work material.

Aug 26, 2018

A guy that constantly calls an employee a "fucking retard" sounds like a funny person to work with? Man do we glorify complete assholes in finance.

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Aug 26, 2018

We had one guy who was kind of a bumbling associate, but a really nice guy. We'll call him Burr.

After another instance of Burr messing something up, I, the analyst, remark to the senior MD to whom Burr reports, "Well, to Burr is human." He laughs and responds, "To Burr, is to err."

He would constantly kvetch about this guy's fuck ups, but he was nice enough to do it behind his back at least.

Aug 27, 2018

"A first year analyst at Jefferies can model this correctly, unlike you" - VP to 2nd year PE associate, not jokingly

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Aug 28, 2018

Happened a long time ago... A 3rd year Analyst wanted to move from an office abroad for family reasons. He interviewed with this Partner and a VP and left to catch his plane back home. While coming back to their resp. offices through the open-space floor full of juniors, the partner said to the VP (while rubbing his hands): "I've just taken the piss out of this kid, he'll join as a 1st year Analyst. So we get an Associate for cheap Analyst money". I was a fresh associate at the time and we all looked at each other in astonishment.

Kid joined, was not bothered by that treatment (he eventually heard about it from us over some drinks), a hard working very smart guy, got a double promotion one year later.

Fast forward a few years later, the kid left to join the M&A dept of a big client, a large blue chip. Needless to say he was not interested in hearing from this partner, when the latter slimed during his farewell (and pitching for business thereafter). Moved to close some of the largest deals in his industry globally (multi-billion transactions).

I wonder how the savings this partner made when hiring him compared to the potential fees foregone... but hey, you can't change some people!

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Aug 28, 2018

15 years ago I saw an MD throw a stapler at the back of the head of his secretary.
Knocked her right out.
She was walking away from him so didn't see it coming.
He wrote her a $75k check as soon as she woke up just so she wouldn't sue.
I think he got off easy.
She could have taken him for much more.

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Aug 28, 2018

"an analyst wouldn't make this mistake" to a VP2.

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Aug 29, 2018

If you're in your early 20s and complaining about personal stuff (that's not immediate relative sickness/death), then it wouldn't surprise me if some of your older school seniors gave you some shit (or even worse remain silent and put a cross against your name - believe me this is a great way to ensure you don't progress within the company).

If you sign up for shit like M&A, you ARE signing away your 20s. They're not hiring you because they think you're just smart, they think you have the time, stamina, and focus to devote the majority of your life to the task at hand. You are also being paid as such, with the prospect of making a lot more in the future. If you want your work life balance then go back to a normal job that pays less and doesn't require a lifestyle change.

That said, managers who are unable to direct their frustration in a constructive manner are simply inferior to ones that can't. There are some fields where it can be constructive to turn on the fire for fuckups, but a lot of the examples here don't seem to be that.

Aug 29, 2018

"Hey you are wrong again..."

and this happened when the senior suddenly got into the junior's work folder at midnight and decided to check his incomplete work before the junior handed in his work

Aug 30, 2018
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