In late August, after crushing the only web or Windows games that aren’t firewalled on the system, there isn’t much left to do but count the minutes until you can Seamless dinner, and wait for the pre-train dump off. Even though MDs are on vacation, financial Circadian rhythms maintain that a ton of work needs to be dumped on you right before or after dinner.
Side rant: The work-induced-boredom DB challenge, a perfect game of hearts - 4 hands, shooting the moon each time (pictured, and one of our finer work-induced-boredom accomplishments). Most online games are stonewalled these days at the banks. Once Yahoo games were ripped (no TextTwist!) from JPM we had to get creative. Some ideas - NabiscoWorld has a good Hold’em game, and you could always have the investor relations screen an alt+tab away. It also never hurts if someone uploads a NES emulator on the shared drive.
Other DB work-induced-boredom challenges:
Freecell game #1941: Considered the hardest deal in the first 32,000. It's beatable, don't cheat! (this took us about 20 minutes but less than 10 re-deals... it's all about where you start)
Minesweeper on "expert" in under 100 seconds: Good luck! (we can't even touch this, and word is that if you're really good you beat it in under 60, which is scary)
More rants and summer suggestions after the jump, including some thoughts on the theme parks you aren't going to this summer.
Other summer work activities include making wistful checklists, or thinking of what you could be doing this summer if you led a normal life. Have you been on vacation yet? Have you hit the links at all? Have you hit up a theme or water park? Heck, have you even been to Shake Shack?
The infamous “Project Pleasure” (the worst, most devious, un-ironically named, I-banking horror story of a project) happened in August. Project Pleasure was especially cruel in that it involved theme parks, which we certainly weren’t checking out. Of course when due diligence actually involves something fun, it becomes anathema to the project.
This year, when it comes to theme parks, the general trend is that revenue is slightly up from last year on flat attendance. You can hear the Six Flags’ sponsor Elmer Fudd saying, “Shh…Be vewy queit. We’re waising ticket pwices.” Minyanville’s Justin Rohrlich takes a look at the Themed Entertainment Association and Economics Research Associates report which shows slow theme park growth and a 2.2% attendance increase.
The common scapegoats for crappy theme park performance are weather, fuel prices, ticket prices, and capital reinvestment (new rides). Since most of these factors aren’t exactly favorable at the moment, theme parks have had an easy time explaining sluggish results. The only problem is that the importance of these factors on theme park attendance might be exaggerated, according to a 2005 study by students at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
The study claims that:
-Ticket prices soar above inflation rates but attendance remains flat, meaning rising ticket prices aren’t a deterrent
-Weather doesn’t really deter people factored over a whole theme park season
-Higher fuel prices may prevent people from going on real vacations, and theme parks may provide a close-to-home substitute
-New rides maintain attendance but don’t necessarily increase it
Maybe more people are just stuck at work over the summer. While you wait for more time to pass, here’s another thing you could perfect, right at your desk!
A Soft Summer For Theme Parks [Minyanville]