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“What are your plans for Thanksgiving?”
“Don’t your folks live in the city?”
Those are some of the worst questions a junior staffer at an investment bank can hear from his managing director. It means that there’s work to be done and the bank is scrambling to find bodies who can run spreadsheets.
The only wise response is to lie. Never let them know you will be anywhere near the office on a holiday. Tell them your family always celebrates in Aspen or something. Or, better, on an island in Maine with no electricity, cell phone access or internet.
But if you’ve already screwed-up and revealed you will be in town, you may very well be expected to work on Thanksgiving. No one will actually say you can’t attend Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, they’ll assure you that it’s just a couple of hours of work. It isn’t. They are lying. They are just time optimists. If you point this out they will just think you work too slow.
But just because you’ll be without friends, family or food on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean we don’t care about you. We’ve been there. We know what working tomorrow means. And after the jump we provide a schedule for those stuck churning Excel.
[More, a lot more, after the jump.]
Working For Thanksgiving: A DealBreaker Guide
7:00 a.m. The alarm goes off. Holy fucking shit. You are still wearing all your clothes from last night and have no idea how you got home. It really is true what they say about the night before Thanksgiving. Hit snooze.
7:15 a.m. Alarm again. Remember that you ran into that girl who was a couple years behind you in school. She looked good last night but now you’re not sure. And you think maybe that was actually her younger sister. Thank God your girlfriend is out of town until Sunday. Hit snooze.
7:30 a.m. Alarm. Your feet actually touch the ground this time so you get out of bed. Stare at yourself in the mirror. Maybe missing Thanksgiving won’t be so bad. You are already getting a bit fat anyway.
8:00 a.m. Shower. Think about how if you get into the office early enough you can probably still make it to Thanksgiving.
8:20 a.m. Get back in bed. There’s no use going into the office in this condition.
10:20 a.m. Wake up in a panic. Dress quickly. How did you sleep so long?
10:45 a.m. Decide to call car service. If you are working on Thanksgiving, the client is definitely paying for your ride.
11:00 a.m. Streets are weirdly empty. Cab driver is very talkative. Think about what how happy your ex-girlfriends are these days. Comfort yourself with the thought that their new boyfriends earn less than you.
11:20 a.m. Stop at Starbucks. Realize it’s almost noon.
11:30 a.m. Finally sit down at your desk. Check emails. Stuff from MD. Something from the lawyers. Nothing from anyone else. Check DealBreaker. Of course those lazy kids aren’t working today.
12:00 p.m. Notice you’ve been staring out the windows for too long. Start work.
12:10 p.m. Decide to write an email to that girl from the bar last night. Decide against it. Finally arrive at something witty to say: “We should have done that along time ago.” Then wonder if you actually had done that along time ago. You can’t remember. Delete. That was a good move because it wasn’t actually witty anyway.
12:30 p.m. Now you are really going. To the bathroom.
1:00 p.m. Back to Starbucks. Defnitely need more coffee.
1:30 p.m. Run into that guy you remember from those training classes when you first started. You had no idea he was still here. Tell him that you stopped into the office just to avoid the chaos of your family for the holiday. He tells you the same story. Realize you have always hated him.
2:00 p.m. Call from MD. Tell him it’s going well. Reassure him that you’ll be done soon. He just asks you to email the working group when you are done. There’s lots of noise in the background. Realize you have always hated him.
2:30 p.m. Take a break from work to look for that website that had those nifty Excel tips. Don’t find it. Go to ESPN.com instead.
3:00 p.m. Call your mother. Tell her you’re going to be a little late tonight. She’s very proud that you have such an important job that they can’t spare you even on a holiday. Realize you have always hated her.
3:30 p.m. Take a break from ESPN to call girlfriend. It goes straight to voicemail. Suddenly you miss her a lot. Why did she have to go away for the weekend?
4:40 p.m. Vow to stop reading the internet and get back to work and really crank this thing out. Dinner officially started at 4 but it always gets going late. You can make it if you put one solid hour of work in right now.
4:50 p.m. Scroll through cell phone numbers. Compose a mass text message to everyone who you don’t know for certain is out of town. “Hey! You still in town. Let’s get together tonight to recover from our families.” Realize this is the saddest thing yor’ve ever written.
5:30 p.m. Go out for a slice of pizza. Pizza shop is closed. Even the pizza guy isn’t working today. Run down to deli instead. Deli guy offers to make you a turkey sandwich. Consider putting his hand in the meat slicer.
6:00 p.m. Check ESPN.com one last time. Try not to think about how badly your bets are doing.
6:30 p.m. Start working in earnest.
6:45 p.m. Call your mother and tell her there is no way you are making it.
7:30 p.m. Email from managing director. “Didn’t see email? Did you send it before you left the office? Hope your Turkey Day is going well!”
8:00 p.m. Your emotions are totally dead. You and Excel are one.
9:00 p.m. Go out to Starbucks. It is closed.
10:00 p.m. You’ve been using the wrong set of numbers all day. All your work today is useless. Throw stuff from your desk. Scream. Think about quitting.
10:30 p.m. Email from MD. “Hey. You sending that tonight. If your forgot, can you log on from home and send it?”
11:30 p.m. As it turns out, that first set of numbers were the right ones. It’s only been the last hour and a half that’s been wasted. This night can be salvaged.
1:30 a.m. You’re finally done. Compose email to working group. “Sorry for the delay in this. Had trouble logging in to server from my parent’s house.”
2:00 a.m. Arrive at the bar. Bartender asks how your Thanksgiving went. Makes a joke about being alone. Think about stabbing him.
2:30 a.m. Actually, the bartender is okay. You’re really drinking now. Wild turkey, for Thanksgiving.
3:10 a.m. Text the girl from the other night. “We shuld hav dun that eelier.”
4:00 a.m. Don’t remember this part. But you really wouldn’t want to anyway.
7:00 a.m. Alarm goes off. Go back to work. Get text message from girl from Wednesday night. “I’m sorry. I lost my phone and don’t have my numbers. Who is this?” Delete her number.