Everyone has a co-worker or two that does things that drive them up the wall. Bankers, it seems, have dozens of these colleagues. We asked several investment bankers what office habits have them gritting their teeth, and were flooded with responses. Anywhere from constant complaining, to general malaise, to even poor bathroom etiquette.
Here’s what they said. Many concern just investment banking, others are more universal.
Same old song
In banking, everyone works hard, everyone works late, everyone works during times when they wish they were with their friends and family.
“Complaining about working late or on the weekend or on your birthday” was my biggest pet peeve, said one investment banker. “No one gives a sh*t.”
Avoiding the elephant in the room
An MD or VP calls you at the weekend. You know exactly why they’re calling – to assign you work. But instead of just ripping off the Band-Aid, he or she asks how you’re doing, if you are busy or working on something.
“When your answers are irrelevant and his response will be the same no matter what. He is only calling to give you work – the small talk just makes it awkward.”
“People who think it is justified or important to take a normal length lunch break in the middle of a busy project with a deadline,” said another banker. People eat at their desk for a reason.
Cigarette breaks seem to be another point of consternation. “Feed your addiction on your own time.”
Passing the stress buck
“People who can’t control their emotions and talked to you all stressed out and pissed off because they have some other problem you aren’t involved in,” said one former banker. “Just calm down and get a grip, deal with your sh*t on your own time.”
“Salesmen who offer the discount after the customer has already agreed to purchase at list price.” This, by the way, happens in every line of business. It’s usually a young person’s problem.
Annoying phone etiquette
The guy who emails or texts you “call me” instead of just calling you in the first place.
Worthless pitch books
The co-global head of M&A at Goldman Sachs recently said that in difficult M&A markets, clients simply wanted to be ‘amused.’ The lower rung noticed.
“There was nothing worse than working on a pitch book that you knew was just a fantasy – an effort to maybe get a meeting on something else down the road,” said another investment banker who just left the industry.
The number of responses we received around bathroom etiquette was quite frankly shocking. Most aren’t worth printing, but know that your co-workers notice all the gross things that you do.