Life Work Balance

One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer, for $8,000

franzia.jpg The New York Sun explores the refined palettes of hedge fund managers who are trying too hard to get wasted, while DealBook muses on whether an alcohol downgrade is necessary in these troubled times.
Hedge fund managers may love their $4,800 cognac, but we’re thinking hedglings still prefer the best kept alcoholic secret in Manhattan – the Silk Road on 81st and Amsterdam. We’re talking free unlimited generic box wine (no primo Franzia here) and cheap Chinese food. You can even drink for free (from a plastic glass) while you wait for a bunch of Columbia students with fake IDs to free up a table. Be warned – the Silk Road is a dangerous road, and one of our former banker colleagues has never traversed it without getting a police citation in the ensuing evening.
We all know about the places that try to peddle $800 shots to finance suckers, but what are the best places to realistically throw back a few in the city? Criteria could include, quality, atmosphere and price, almost like a Zagats for taking the edge off those banking hours.
Put in your suggestions below.
When Hedgies Drink Box Wine, That’s News [DealBook]
Taste for Booze Is Fine Among Hedge Funders [New York Sun]

Can’t buy me love

Can't Buy Me Love 2.jpg According to a recent study in the Journal of Socio-Economics, the “happiness” of not spending your life at a bank can almost equal those gargantuan bonuses that were paid out this year (or the ones analysts are about to receive).
The University of London study run by social economist Nattavudh Powdthavee surveyed 10,000 Britons and placed them on a “life satisfaction scale.” Using some shadow pricing regression analysis and other wonderfully fuzzy math, Powdthavee determined the dollar amount it would take to move from point to point on the scale. The study concluded that the following differences in one’s life were worth the following amounts annually:
– Increase in health from SeamlessWeb-ass to excellent: $631k
– Increase in face time with friends and relatives from rarely to most days (in the workplace of life, there is such thing as face time): $179k
– Talking to (non cube) neighbors more often: $79k
– Getting married (to something besides your most recent model): $105k
Powdthavee does concede that removing some letters from his name would be worth at least $500k annually, and that most people do choose to take the actual money made from work, rather than the implied payoff from better health and relationships. You can always buy that gym membership, and Amanda Peterson’s new dress.
Good health, relationships make us happier than money, new study says [Leader-Post via Freakonomics]

Breaking News: You can’t leave finance

monkey_cage.jpg Blame it on the rain (without the messy suicidal trappings of Rob or Fab) or the bleak Monday morning realization that it isn’t a short week and that your bosses still haven’t checked out for the summer and that you actually have work to do – but as it turns out you’re stuck in finance. Check out what other jobs pay, or actually, don’t check it out, it’s too depressing. Thanks for that subtle poke – leaving finance is the first sure step toward pauperdom, especially in Manhattan.
Turns out that following that pipe dream (we realize many of you have PIPE dreams, but again, this assumes you’re weeping on the floor in the fetal position of a 277 Park Ave bathroom stall and not enjoying it) is a bold, yet ultimately stupid move. Whether it’s leaving your fund to become the Pirate Parrot (mascot salary – $35k, and not condescending to think that you’d want to be the Philly Phanatic), ditching banking to be the “let’s get ready to rumble” equivalent of your own fledging ultimate fighting league (announcer salary – $33k, screw “the octagon,” real fights go down in “the dodecahedron,” (motto – more sides, better fights) although stupid Pay Per View still isn’t biting), fleeing trading to oversee careless gambling in another form (gaming services salary – max $40k, and pretty tough to get tips past big brother when they’re in chip form), or casting off equity research to ride a more predictable roller coaster (theme park employee salary – $14k) you’re pretty much permanently cashing out.
The bars of that Weberian iron cage you’ve trapped yourself in just got thicker. Enjoy the “polar nights of icy darkness,” or don’t read the following article and convince yourself that being the world’s first space veterinarian is the right move after all. Happy Monday!
Fun Jobs: Do They Pay? [ via MS]

It’s not an IB analyst!

The Guinness world record for sleep deprivation has been broken and to the complete shock of anyone who’s worked in IB, the record breaker is not an analyst. Some random guy from Cornwall (Tony Wright) managed to stay awake for 11 days and nights. His recount, from the BBC:

During the record attempt, Mr Wright noticed his speech becoming incomprehensible at times and colours appearing very bright [now imagine he was trying to use Excel, perform line edits in pitchbooks or re-size bar graphs]. A webcam and CCTV cameras monitored him 24-hours a day [more impartial, less vindictive, than a pregnant staffer]. He argues that parts of the human brain require a different amount of sleep [the part of the brain that spreads industry comparables needs none] and it is possible to stay awake and remain functional for long periods. He said the hardest part was staying in one place – Penzance’s Studio Bar [Goldman’s London office] – in order to prove that he was not popping out for a sleep.

We think if the record for sleep deprivation isn’t held by an analyst, the banks really aren’t trying hard enough. I once has the misfortune of witnessing an analyst in my old group pull 3 all-nighters in a row, with only a few hours of sleep several nights prior. You didn’t want to be near this guy on Friday afternoon of that week, trust me. My personal worst week was without irony called “Project Pleasure” (because it involved amusement parks – becausee that’s somehow Tech, Media, or Telecom related) and involved several nights of going home, taking a one hour nap and showering, with the added bonus of getting yelled at by the staffer for leaving the bank and being unresponsive for 2 hours from 5am-7am.
Share your horror stories (or email: tips at dealbreaker dot com).
Man claims new sleepless record [BBC]

Stop Being So Slutty At Work (Or Stop Being So Worky)

no_2.jpgRemember when warned you to stay away from marrying a career women? Well, it seems they’ve now decided to rectify this error against sexual egalitarianism—by advising women how to avoid paying too much attention to their careers.
That may not be the explicit theme of the series of articles is running under the headline Life-Work balance. But look at the evidence: the series is edited by two guys, and all but one of the articles is written by women. Even more: most the people quoted in the articles seem to be women. (We’ll admit, we only skimmed them and then sent them to Bess.) You get the point: chicks explaining why they don’t work much to their male bosses.
The most unfortunate thing about the series, however, is not the part about putting women back in the kitchen. It’s that the article on “How to Say ‘No’” is not about how to be less slutty in the office. Because Lord knows we need to read something like that around DealBreaker. Fast.
Life-Work Balance []