Attention to Detial Is Overrated

Welcome to The Street: Every single day you work on Wall Street you develop an obsessive compulsive disorder for formatting errors, grammar errors, periods at the ends of bullets… etc. You start to become that Psycho VP or that “Managing Associate” you have always hated since day one. It is a slow process. You don’t notice it until one day it happens.

It happened to me. It will happen to you.

The event: You walk into a restaurant ordering up some sort of sushi so you can pretend you’re living a healthy lifestyle on the company’s dime (ignoring dem dere 100+ hour work weeks mind you) and you see it…

A typo on the menu.

You: “Man this place is hilarious there is a typo right here! I see it man you guys catch this?”

(the dinner group goes silent)

Them: “Dude you’re looking for typos on a Menu at the sushi joint. Who are you [insert psycho VP])”

You: (place head in hands and realize you’ve succumbed… you would sob but they are really just eye drops from the previous all nighter)

You’re about to jump off the 27th floor of the building (of course that one slightly more prestigious bank is on the 29th floor) and if you are lucky you come to an important realization. You realize attention to detail otherwise known as ATD also known as OCD and depression doesn’t really matter that much.

You know what matters? The Art of the Ghetto.

The Ghetto: You’re laughing at this thinking that it can’t be serious… but it will save your career many times. You know what separates that middle tier analyst/associate from the Top Tier? The ability to ghetto a model, ghetto a presentation or ghetto last second changes and make them appear correct! As you know perception is reality on Wall Street.

For those that have not had their first fire drill… take out your iPad Mini Retina display with flappybird installed and jot down the following bullets:

Excel with the White Cell… Ghetto: So your client wants a “quick edit” to the model we all know this means you have to respond in 4.767189 seconds or else your VP is going to be pissed. You can quickly ghetto the model by using white font in the excel spread sheet to run calculations. Insert the quick change and flip it to the VP for review… give them a print out… meanwhile over in your cube you are secretly correcting the documents during review time.

Cardboard Box Ghetto: Oh so your client wants to quickly hide pieces of the presentation. Open that Power Point presentation and do the following “Alt + I + X” followed by “Right Click + R + T”. This process can also be called “Alt-R-IT” (say that last one out loud as a single word).

Now you have a moving box to cover up any last second issues on the page. IE: move this shady text box around to cover up both errors and parts of the presentation by bringing it to the front. Don’t forget to hold down CTRL+Shift to make sure you’re moving the box perfectly horizontal or vertically. Repeat the process of “turning the document quickly” and secretly fixing it on your end.

**Pro Tip** PDF versions usually move the box up and to the right slightly so make sure when you cover up some ridiculous formatting error like an extra $ sign in the top left of the chart that you adjust the 0.001 inches to make it work. This may just be a dated hardware issue so find out the issues with your computer in advance.

Gang Line Ghetto… Word: Similar to the text box white ghetto the biggest SOB in the world is the border  issues on a word document/presentation made in word.


Get used to clicking Alt + I + P + A… and we are not talking about IPA beers here man. You can grab any sort of quick line to make it seem like you were a good peon and correctly messed with each border appropriately. Slot them all in and proceed as usual (fixing it on the DL while in review process).

Fire Drill Gentrification: Well we’ll probably catch some heat for the phrase gentrification but remember we’re trying to clean up all the ghetto we made before the turn comes in.

– For excel your smooth move is F5 go to special select objects … Delete. We all know that was some serious ghetto you just pulled off

– In addition, if you had a lot of white cell secrets in there… highlight the trick cells (usually on the right side of the model) and go back to F5 go to special … select constants

– For word documents select one of your objects and click TAB to get to the fake ones

– For Powerpoint you can simply drag and grab… a rare time when using a mouse usually doesn’t matter too much

The After Math: One day you eventually get promoted and you are one of those VPs correcting the work. You’re gonna catch some ghetto in one of those presentations.

You: “Dude this is a text box and white cell man can you fix this before the next presentation we’re gonna reuse this a lot”

Disgruntled Analyst: “Ahh okay ya sorry about that, just thought the presentation was done”

You: “I know good work on the speed but… we need to make sure all the files are clean in case there are edits”

Disgruntled Analyst (seems to be upset with you)

You: I’m not being mean… I’m living the dream”

*** How about you Star Analysts and Associates? What are your secret ghettos?


  1. GTM says

    I don’t work on Wall Street and never have, reading this blog has changed my view on how Wall Street works.

    Interesting stories, still waiting on those game posts though!

  2. Associate says

    Funny stuff, the ending is classic, when you start catching the last second edits and have to tell them to fix it. Especially since you were making the same last second changes only a few short years ago.

    The twisted games we play.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Quite true. You’re looking at the hard copy of the document and you know for sure there is something ghetto’d in the presentation. You don’t worry about it and just check it once the presentation is over.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      That was probably meant to be a joke but it is actually extremely accurate.

      The ideal Candidate would be:
      1. Ivy League finance
      2. Extremely exceptional MS Excel/PPT/Word Skills
      3. Great attention to detail
      4. Ability to work under extreme pressure

      • Badavumba says

        Your post got me laughing hard. I’m a software engineer in finance and love your mindset.

        Desktop publishing is somewhat taboo in nerd circles because it’s “so easy”.

        Bankers could easily pick up advanced programming simply because they have less room for fucking around with excuses. Just they have bigger fish to fry. Attitude + Intelligence = Winning. Anywhere. Anytime.

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