Sunday, February 20, 2011

Musings from the back seat of a cab

As included in the Company's monthly internal newsletter

It’s that time of year again, where my only connection to pop culture is Sandy Kenyon’s brash movie reviews (Why does he always pick the worst movies to review? No wonder all his reviews are harsh.) Come Thursday night, the thrill of answering the backseat Jeopardy questions feels cheapened by the fact you have played along with Alex Trebek the past three consecutive days. There are only so many times you can pat yourself on the back for knowing the name of Natalie Portman’s fiancĂ©’s name. If these ramblings mean nothing to you, then you have not taken an NYC cab home every night for the past two months.

Other crazy occurrences when it’s busy season include - you stop having to check your bank account every couple days because you know you haven’t spent any money. You can’t figure out what’s worse – that your pants don’t fit because you get no exercise all day or because you just ate cashew chicken for the third time this week.

People try to give me advice on how to get through busy season. They tell me things like spend Sundays sleeping or plan a fun getaway for the end of busy season, but I’ll tell you what works for me. Hypnosis. I spend the first five minutes of the day dangling a red pencil in front of my face chanting – “the balances will reconcile. The balances will reconcile. The balances will reconcile.” When in this trance like state, nothing gets me down. People yelling at me, clients complaining “I already gave you that support.” I move through it all in a daze. Granted I’m not very productive when in the trance, and I am pretty sure my engagement team is completely creeped out, but that’s when I start chanting “Don’t let the haters get you down.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Top Ten Pieces of Advice on Surviving Busy Season

As included in the Company's monthly newsletter

Submitted by engagement teams
1. Eat Silly Putty while watching America’s cutest kitty videos on YouTube. After that, you’ll look forward to going back to workpapers. Nicole Luft on Soc Gen.
2. If you are an auditor, pick NFL teams like the Lions, Browns, Panthers, Giants or Jets to root for. That way you won’t miss a thing if you work on Superbowl Sunday. Nick Iosifov on Morgan Stanley.
3. The video chat calling feature on messenger was implemented so you wouldn’t have to leave work and waste time seeing your friends and family during busy season. Nick Iosifov on Morgan Stanley.
4. Purchase ProActiv Acne Solution and apply generously. Chris Cryderman on KKR.
5. Go to the gym. Matt Lorie on Evercore Partners.
6. Get enough sleep. And shower every day. Benjamin Hong on Evercore Partners.
7. Try to make a Friday happy hour – or do some Saturday day time drinking, if possible. Michael Ho on Lehman SIPC engagement – Trade Unwinds Team.
8. Develop a really bad gambling addiction, realize you have no time to actually gamble, and then feel good about conquering your addiction. Jeff Macfarland on Morgan Stanley.
9. Sleep in every Thursday. And by sleep in, I mean, turn your clock back 3 hours and get an extra 2 hours of sleep. This way, you’ll still make it in an hour early on Thursday. Jeff Macfarland on Morgan Stanley.
10. Think about all the fun you’ll have shopping for new clothes, either to replace the ones you got too fat to wear or to replace the ones that were ruined by the nightly tears/greasy dinner orders. Jeff Macfarland on Morgan Stanley.