Lesson 1, according the first chapter of Why I Left Goldman Sachs (“I Don’t Know, But I’ll Find Out”): the difference between a sandwich and a salad.

You needed to be very entrepreneurial and creative. Adding value as an intern often began with getting coffee for the desk every day; frequently, interns also did breakfast and lunch runs. You would literally take a pen and pad and go around to the ten or fifteen people on the desk and take everyone’s order. It’s a strange concept, but Wall Street looks at attention to detail as an indicator of how people are going to do in their job. If a kid keeps messing up the lunch order, he’s probably going to mess up something else down the line.

I remember one managing director– a few years after I’d started working at the firm– who was very sensitive about his lunch orders. He didn’t eat onion or certain other things. One day he asked an intern for a cheddar cheese sandwich, and the kid came back with a cheddar cheese salad. The kid handed it to him so proudly: “Here’s your cheddar cheese salad.” I was sitting next to the MD, so I remember the incident well. He opened the container, looked at the salad, looked up at the kid, closed the container, and threw it in the trash. It was a bit harsh, but it was also a teaching moment. The managing director joked about it with the kid afterward; he didn’t make a big deal about it. The lesson was learned.

Earlier: What Else Does Goldman Sachs Have In Store For Greg Smith?; Goldman Sachs Unimpressed By Sophomoric Writing Efforts Of Former Employee; Resignation Letter Reveals Goldman Sachs Is In The Business Of Making Money, Hires People Who Don’t Know How To Tie Their Shoes; Jewish Ping-Pong Tournament Participant / Sixth-Year Goldman Sachs Vice President Is Looking For His Next Challenge; Goldman Sachs Accuser Greg Smith (Might Have) Lied About That Which He Holds Most Sacred

84 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (84)

  1. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    He is more masculine than you.

    -Science

  2. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Sounds like a really good read so far, glad they leaked the highlights.

    -No one

  3. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    um. what?

  4. Posted by Everyone | October 15, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    The fuck is a cheddar cheese salad?

  5. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    tag

  6. Posted by B2b MD | October 15, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Back in the old day; MD takes dump in said container and then hands it back to the kid and tells him that consulting might be a better career choice…

    -Not Geazer Gas trader, but an old veteran of WS trading floors

  7. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    what did you expect?
    -everyone who read the op-ed

  8. Posted by PermaGuestII | October 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    "It's a strange concept, but Wall Street looks at attention to detail as an indication of how people are going to do in their job."

    Attention to detail is a strange concept that is unique to Wall Street?

    Memo to self: never fly South African Airways.

  9. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    worst hazing story ever

  10. Posted by Im_a_Dude | October 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Intern should be thankful he didn't get it dumped on his head.

  11. Posted by Guestido | October 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Don't quit your day jo… Oh wait

  12. Posted by Lambs | October 15, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    All my MD ever asked me to do was to put the lotion in the basket

  13. Posted by hopeful | October 15, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Why I Left Goldman Sachs : Liar's Poker :: Cheddar Cheese Salad : Cheddar Cheese Sandwich

  14. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Issuing a preemptive "cool story, bro" to all forthcoming leaked chapters

  15. Posted by lb | October 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I don't get it, it could be much worse if MD had tossed kid's salad

    LB

  16. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I toss intern's salads all the time

    -L Tilton

  17. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    That was an amazing, really awesome Wall Street anecdote! And the MD joked about it with the kid, even!! Note to self: get this on Kindle asap!

  18. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    This book sounds like amateur hour.

    – Maccabi games silver medalist

  19. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Some dumb WSJ article from last week.

  20. Posted by Cue Ball | October 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Bald guys. Try to keep up.

  21. Posted by Sean | October 15, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    That MD was being pretty lactose-intolerant towards this poor interns mistake.

  22. Posted by hardeeharhar | October 15, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    no story about searching for upticks or quotes on underwater aviation, inc?

  23. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Tough but fair.

  24. Posted by Jame Gumb | October 15, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    it puts the lotion in the Basket!

  25. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    If Goldman has come to little fucks not getting railed for messing up Shake Shack orders or god forbid Chiptole orders then maybe I will give some credence to this whole "Lost their identity bull shit"

  26. Posted by hardeeharhar | October 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    you're new, right?

  27. Posted by PermaGuestII | October 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    He couldn't get the upticks because he couldn't find the keys to the clearinghouse– even when he went to Jersey City.

  28. Posted by Annoyed | October 15, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Completely off topic, but any TV Ad Exec that approves the running a J.G. Wentworth should be subjected to public flogging while the damn ad runs on continuous loop on his ipod.

    There. I feel better now.

  29. Posted by pazzo83 | October 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    One time the guy at my local deli put mayo on my sandwich after I EXPLICITLY asked for no mayo, so I stabbed him in the hand.

    – WB Jennings

  30. Posted by wildebeest | October 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    cheddar cheese salad is the rhodes scholar national finalist of cheddar cheese products, behind the cheddar cheese sandwich, obviously.

  31. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    read it again

  32. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Goldman's official position on Smith's book just changed from nervous to embarrassed.

  33. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    um, yeah

  34. Posted by They Don't Care | October 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Highly doubtful – unless maybe you mean they are embarrassed that they hired him in the first place.

  35. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    That's what I was going for – now I'm embarrassed.

  36. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Goldman's position on this remains "doggie"…

  37. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | October 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Was it Uncle's? Vavala's? God forbid Tony's in New Canaan?

    Either way, I'm sure the lesson was learned.

  38. Posted by VonSloneker | October 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Hell yes.

    – Sleestack

  39. Posted by Matt L. | October 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    This guy gets a seven figure advance and I can't even get the bar to let me put on a like, 2X leveraged forward marg position* without posting cash collateral, meh.

    *And they weren't even interested in all the potential upside for them vs. just selling me regular margs, and I had made all the charts and everything, what gives?

  40. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Can't wait for his follow-up book: "Why I Look Like a F***ing Googly-Eyed Cantelope from Outer Space."

  41. Posted by Viniar Vineyard | October 15, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Worst comment ever.

  42. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Yet there you go throwing your hat in the ring.

  43. Posted by next flite | October 15, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Black pilots ?

  44. Posted by Ricky | October 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    He looks like Karl Pilkington…and writes like Karl Pilkington

  45. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    Motives. Examine.

  46. Posted by pmco | October 15, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    At least they buy they own food. Back in the days when I was an intern, my MD used to eat my muffin every morning.

  47. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    But if you add "fuck" it's not plagiarism, it's awesomeness

  48. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    1st sentence: Ebonics?
    2nd sentence: euphemism?

  49. Posted by Hey | October 15, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    You should read mine.

    – A. Lohse

  50. Posted by MIT | October 15, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Goldman Sachs not top bucket shop on Wall street no more. They HR say english too poor, so I no offer. I get offer from JP morgan and purchase dream exotic car in first year. I drive my bmw z4 by goldman building laughing, you lose, again lol. I sometimes put top down even when weather chilly lol

  51. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    In Soviet Russia, intern wears cheddar cheese on face after major screwup.

  52. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I gave you my bank details, never got the $80 million, can I get an update?

  53. Posted by Stevie Boy | October 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    No sweetie, for breakfast you ate MY muffin

    – L Tilton

  54. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Stop.

  55. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Would it surprise anyone that he got the 7 figs to write a salacious book and then squeezed 7 figs from GS to pen something innocuous?

    -fellow crafty Jew

  56. Posted by Guest | October 15, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Fucking

    there, fixed

  57. Posted by Milton the MD | October 15, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    I said: no salt, no salt.

  58. Posted by Main Street | October 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I feel like the entire episode could have been avoided if the MD didn't explain his order like a faggot. Next time maybe he'll ask for, you know "a grilled cheese."

  59. Posted by I WIN | October 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Our MD always made us get his coffee. When we got the full time to analyst, we had our coffees delivered by the new interns.

    Also, interns could NEVER write down the orders. Imagine remembering 6 people's exact orders, and let me tell you – some of them wanted the strangest most detailed combos.

  60. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Interesting! You should write a book!

  61. Posted by Charlie | October 15, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Where is the leaked content?

  62. Posted by Mel | October 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    I once heard it said that the best training for a successful trader was a stint as a short order cook.

  63. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    his eyes are too far apart.

  64. Posted by Ms. Smith | October 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Best leaked part went down his Mama's leg…. should have been a bl*wjob.

    -His Mom

  65. Posted by G. Sandusky | October 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    "tell me about"

  66. Posted by guest | October 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    maybe the author has a faggish memory

  67. Posted by Goodstorybro | October 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Chapter 2: How you took a dump in the Goldman bathroom could make or break your career. I remember this one associate who was top of his class at Wharton and wicked smart. He walked into the can with an Us magazine discreetly tucked under his arm. A Managing Director passing him out the door pulled it from his arm, tossed it in the garbage and handed him his copy of the Bank Credit Analyst. A harsh lesson indeed but a valuable one.

  68. Posted by Walter Sobchak | October 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    wall street is boring

  69. Posted by Jamie | October 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Wanted Cheddar Cheese sandwich, intern brought CDX.NA.IG.9 instead

  70. Posted by Bobito | October 16, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Dude was an a*****e and wasted perfectly good food. Has my complete disrespect, and clearly has no idea how to properly run a business, or be a manager. Bad with people, and wasteful with resources.

  71. Posted by Brudda | October 16, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    Yourself . Kill

    – Red Tails

  72. Posted by John | October 16, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    First intern who actually believed the "attention to detail" line about getting lunch. They really just want someone to get their lunch and not screw it up. No one actually believes its an indication of being a good banker.

  73. Posted by wideclops | October 16, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    you called?

  74. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    You can say "article" here. Fixed it….

  75. Posted by long'un | October 16, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Stop it please.

  76. Posted by long'un | October 16, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Right…well said. About time someone stood up for the cheese salads of the world.

  77. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Thanks for that valuable insight. Always a please to hear from you, champ.

  78. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Chapter 3: Once I stayed in the office all night fixing the fonts on a powerpoint deck – and nobody ever said "thanks".

  79. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    *Their, fixed

    Citi Grammar Quant

  80. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    We fronted $1.5mm for this crap?

    -Who ever thought it would be a good idea to give this guy a book deal.

  81. Posted by Betty Crocker | October 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    The officical GS Intern Cheddar Cheese Salad Receipe

    1 can (29 oz.) green gage plums, drained and pits removed
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    1 cup chilled heavy cream, whipped
    1 or 2 drops green food coloring

  82. Posted by Alpha_Bets | October 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    It's that thing where a woman of questionable hygiene shoves her butt in your face.

    -Stefon

  83. Posted by gUEST | October 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Smeared all over the pages of the book.

  84. Posted by Intern | October 16, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Can't wait til Geazer Oil Trader realizes you confused him with a gas guy…

    Mind the details, Tonto.