Personal which goldman mds to invite to the rooftop

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personal: which Goldman MDs to invite to the rooftop bashes my roommates and I used to throw on the forty-third floor of 41 River Terrace; what to wear to a formal engagement party in Central Park; when Turnbull & Asser was holding a sale, and which sales guy to ask for. On one of our first days at Goldman, Phil pulled me and a couple of other junior analysts aside and gave us some advice that I’ve never forgotten. “Everyone here is a salesman,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re a trader, if they’re a quant, if they’re a salesperson. Everyone is selling something.” His point was: never assume that people are not trying to advance their own agendas. He opened my mind to being a little bit skeptical (as opposed to being cynical), to giving a hard (but not necessarily harsh) look at what might be behind requests and compliments. He advised me to be alert to people, even people senior to me, trying to win my favor. You can never be sure where people are coming from, Phil said. When I asked Phil if I ought to accept Connors’s invitation, I watched with fascination as his tactical computer processed advanced algorithms. It didn’t take long. “I think you should go,” he told me. “You do?” He nodded. “You need to show these guys that you can have fun, that you’re part of the gang,” he said. “That even though you’re a young guy, you’re not too nervous to go hang out with them.” So I went to Vegas. Unlike Connors and the other, more senior people—he had invited fifteen guys in all, including nine from Goldman—I didn’t take any time off. I was too junior to do so. (Connors left after work on Wednesday and didn’t return till the following Tuesday.) I flew out on a Friday evening, landed in Las Vegas close to midnight, dropped my bags off in my room at the (newly opened) Wynn Hotel, and, as instructed, proceeded to the Lure Ultra-Lounge on the outskirts of the main casino floor to meet Connors and crew, who’d been in town for two full days drinking steadily. ——— The light was purple; the music was pounding. To Connors’s credit, despite the fact that he was swaying in his seat, the first question he asked me—he had to yell to be heard—was about a big total return swap derivatives trade we had done earlier in the day with a large pension plan. It had gone just fine, I told him. He smiled woozily. Nine or ten of us, a half-dozen Goldman guys—including Bobby Schwartz, aka the Jewish John Kennedy—plus a few of Connors’s old pals from college, business school, and elsewhere, were sitting around a table laughing loudly enough to compete with the music. People were slapping the bridegroom-to-be on the shoulder: he was the cool guy, the magnetic guy, the reason everyone was there. The waitress was a knockout, a ten; the drinks kept coming. A managing director from a regional office—everyone called him Bill-Jo; he was, by far, the senior Goldman guy at the table— was buying: vodka soda was the drink of the night. I had two, and felt a nice buzz. Then I had a third.
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