Craigslist Scam
April 30, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: Un-Wordy | Tags:

WARNING:  Any e-mail from this domain is a scam  Read the ridiculous offer below


How was your day? I will like to informed you that i contacted my bank to confirm if your payment has been mailed out , I was made to understand that instead of the actual amount of  the item, the bank made out check for $2,000 The payment was already posted before I was informed about this but is a little problem which we can handle with care.
I wouldn’t want this to delay the sale, as I have rectify this with my Bank and all you do once you have the payment is to take it to your Bank and have it cashed and you will then deduct the money for your goods plus a $50 (the cost of running around).
The excess fund on the payment will then be wired to my mover via western union that same day so that she can come for pick up as I already plan on using the excess on the payment to offset the cost of the previous shipments she has undertaken on my behalf. Do let me know if I can trust you to have the excess fund sent to my mover. Thank you.


You know it’s a scam because

1) this dude is sending $2000 for shitty IKEA furniture that I ended up giving away for free to a neighbor

2) he is having these items shipped to me. If you have the money to get things shipped, then WTF would you buy used IKEA furniture

3) According to Craigslist this is a classic example of fraud. The buyer sends you a check of excess amount, you check it, wire the remainder to the shipping company or whatever, and then the bank comes after YOU for payment when it turns out that the first check was a fake….

SO, Mr. James Bailiy—FUCK YOU.  Lets hope people google you and this post comes up. Ass hole.


What To Do When You Get Laid Off—Steps to Survival

I was laid off back in November 2007, and this is how I have kept my sanity:

One: Take time off. I got laid off from an investment bank so you can imagine that free time was somewhat of a luxury up until my layoff. It was necessary for me leave NY for a bit (3 weeks) and decompress back home, which happens to be a cool city by the beach.

Two: Think about the job you just lost. What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? Do you want to go back to a similar role? Hell, if you could have the perfect job what would it be?

Three: Review your severance package over a glass of wine. Did they screw you? Did you get health insurance for a few months? Unless daddy is a millionaire who will foot your legal bill, there is probably little you can do to change your severance package. Sign the package and drink your wine. There is nothing you can do about it….but, please learn from the misdeeds of your ex-employer. Promise to treat your own employees better should your future uber-successful MD self ever have to orchestrate a layoff.

Four: Have fun making an excel model of your financial situation:

  • Checking Account + ING Account + Liquid Assets + $405 unemployment benefits/week = What you have
  • Rent + Utilities + Cable + Going Out Expenses = What you need.
  • Figure out how many months of float money you have, and plan your job search accordingly

Five: Start talking to recruiters…assuming you are emotionally ready to look for a job and are confident that that is the job you want. Here are some recruiters that I found to be helpful:

Six: It’s time to create a daily routine now that you are back in your apartment looking for a job. Here is a glimpse of mine:

  • Wake up at 9am
  • Make coffee and play with the internet for awhile (gmail, facebook,, bloomberg, dealbreaker, favorite blogs)
  • Be productive for 3-4 hours looking for jobs, studying for the GMAT/LSAT/CFA/Etc, etc.
  • Work out for 2 hours
  • Grab lunch somewhere (if you’re poh, then make a sandwich)
  • It’s summer time, so chances are that you can find a cheap happy hour with a few of your other recently laid off friends.
  • Watch some tv
  • Go to sleep

Seven: You need to start thinking about a Plan B. Mine was going to business school so I studied for the GMAT, applied to a few programs and chose to study somewhere in the Midwest. Your Plan B might include grad school or perhaps moving to a new city or maybe teach English in Spain for a year—-if there is a time to hit the “start-over” button in your life, it is now. Use this opportunity.

Eight: Know who your friends are and use them for support. The whole layoff process is quite a roller coaster. First you are angry that you got laid off, then sad, then freaked out, then confused, then freaked out about the future, then etc etc etc. Your good friends will be there for you, so will your family and other support mechanisms like Church/Therapy/Etc.

Nine: Relax. Think Macro. Think long term…life is long, and it is normal to experience at least one bout of unemployment in the 80 or so years that you will live. You are not the first nor are you the last person to get laid off. In fact, last I heard there were 48,000 of us roaming the streets of NYC, London and whatever banking city is out there going through the same exact motions. You are smart and ambitious enough to have landed a good job in the first place…this is not a worst case scenario. Getting laid off and then being diagnosed with a terminal illness or getting laid off because your entire industry is being outsourced to India…those are worst case scenarios. Keep this in perspective.

Ten: This is by far the most restorative thing that I have done since gotten laid off—GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY—Find a nonprofit and spend a few hours a week helping them out. I volunteer at The Door, an after school center for inner-city kids in NY. I help them study for the GED or the SAT or practice their reading, whatever. It’s fulfilling and it gives meaning to my dance with a massive layoff. Look here to find other interesting volunteer opportunities in your hood.

Doing It
April 24, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: Links that rock

Doing it, doing it, and doing it well.

How To Get Laid Off

Word to your mama.
This guy says some pretty good stuff—and, having just found out about another round of layoffs tomorrow April 22nd at a bulge bracket bank, it’s a timely article.

Good luck guys—everything works out.

MBA Admit Weekends—Top Ten List

Admit weekends and more admit weekends. It’s fun and exhausting, but I will shoot someone if I have to go through another round of “Hi, my name is Deborah. I formerly did xyz. My goal is to do abc after I graduate.” Ugh. So boring.  Here are some observations:

  1. Do beer goggles apply to schools too?
  2. Note; 1/3 of the students are married, 1/3 are in “committed relationships” and 1/3 are single
  3. Remember thinking that there weren’t thaaaat many hot people in your undergraduate program? Yeah. Those numbers get worse.
  4. DO NOT be the douche bag in the mock class that insists on shouting out the answer to every question unless you want to relive your 4th grade memories of getting smacked by a dodge ball.
  5. Fit—It’s important. You must decide if you like upscale martini bars vs. 2am last calls vs. all night parties with beer bongs
  6. “My goal is to revolutionize the nonprofit sector and then start my own VC fund.”  Either everyone has a freakish amount of self-clarity for their age or they lied through their teeth when they wrote their application essays.
  7. Networking—work on that hand shake. You don’t want to be “Death Grip Ned” or “Sweaty Debby” or “Limp Tim”
  8. “I got into HBS but I just loved the people at Fuqua” Does everyone go to the best business school they get into?  Does it really matter what school you go to if you are smart and driven? Do they lie about which schools they are choosing between? Does any of this matter
  9. An MBA is not a 2 year vacation—it seems to me like first years are swamped with works, summer recruiting, and networking. I’m just saying…
  10. Get ready to gain some weight, because pizza and beer are major components of business school

Also, in case you missed it, here is a somewhat amusing spoof of the Wedding Crashers movie….Admit Weekend Crashers:

Part I

Part II

No Se Que Hacer
April 13, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: Links that rock | Tags:

My new favorite song video (check out the amazing graphic design) by the Argentine (?) group Raro.

Justifying Business School
April 7, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: MBA, Wordy | Tags: , ,

I discovered the Business Week MBA forum, where people post thousands upon thousands of comments ranking programs, picking programs apart, defending programs, etc.  One major common denominator that weaves through nearly every thread in the forum is the following:  MBAs gel with Banking/PE/VC or Management Consulting.  Every once in awhile, the thread will include the ideas of someone who works in something completely outside of finance/consulting (i.e. nonprofit).

Why is there so much mystique around banking? Obviously, the money is a driving factor here. During good years, even junior bankers come out with $100k-$300k payouts (salary + bonus).  I’m not sure how those figures look during bad years. MBAs usually get hired at the associate level, so I’m guessing that’s a $120k salary (if not more) and a bonus that is anywhere from 1x to 3x the base salary  (depending on the year, of course). As an associate, the hours probably aren’t that bad…then again, my associates would have to work weekends, stay late at night, etc, and my group wasn’t that insane. Associates in other groups would stay past 2am on a good night.  Still, it’s a lot of money…and I can see how that would be desirable.
Then again, I wonder if people understand the trade off. You get paid for the time you spend at the bank. I did it for 6 months before I burnt out/got laid off during the first round of fixed income cuts last year.  I worked long enough to know that it sucks to stay late every night, it sucks to be utterly exhausted on Fridays from a long week at work and not enjoy Saturday because you have to put 10 hours in on Sunday.

Fine, I was an analyst….pay your dues and life will improve (less hours) even though the paycheck goes up by a lot. Then again, I know guys (VPs in PE, MA, etc) who get paid very well, have minions under them to crunch the numbers late at night, love what they do…but sometimes have to cancel a trip with the girlfriend, not attend their buddy’s bachelor party in Vegas, not go to their best friend’s wedding in the Caribbean….because they had to stay and work. Their hours are “better” (12 hour days instead of 15, only 5 hours on weekend) but there is something to be said about their lack of freedom.

It seems like people who go get an MBA want to go into banking or consulting.  They are attracted to the deal environment, the type of work demanded of them, and the money.  The Money, really. I guess $150k for school make sense if you stand to make at least $200k out of school.

I respect the rush to banking when we’re talking about someone who worked in banking before, has/knows what it takes to succeed in the field, and wants an MBA in order to advance into a management position. I get that.

But, and I say this after talking to a bunch of people, a lot of the MBA graduates going into banking have no banking experience….I recall talking to one ex-nonprofit worker who is looking forward to her summer stint at an IB this summer.  I wonder, does she know what she’s getting into or is she intoxicated by the mystique that surrounds banking?

What if you don’t want anything to do with banking or consulting? That’s my case. I got into every school I applied to and got quite a bit of money from the programs as well.  One top 5 school, one top 10, two top 15.

I guess I’d lean towards the Top 5 school if I wanted to pursue banking. It would be easier for me to get a job since more banks recruit from there and more alumni go into banking. Then again, all of these schools push out bankers which means a) banks recruit and b) alumni presence. Is the Top 5 school the best option?

Either way, I don’t want to do banking. Or consulting….so do these schools lose their perceived competitive advantage? Does the ranking of the school begin to matter less as the accomplishments and drive of the individual becomes a more important success factor? Does an accomplished and driven person benefit from the recruiting office of a top five school if he/she pursues a career outside of the office’s key strengths?  Does an MBA matter outside of the first job out of school?  Does the school make the person, or the person make the school?

I don’t think there are clear YES or NO answers to any of these questions.  All I know is that Steve Jobs dropped out of no-name college before founding Apple. I know that Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard before founding Microsoft; I’m fairly confident he would have been just as successful had he gone to Princeton or Random University. I also know that most people don’t have what it takes to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Most people are smart enough to do well, benefit from friends/contacts that open doors for them, and then rise the ranks by working/proving that they have what it takes to get promoted.

I’m rambling. My point is this—-Individual character traits (intelligence, personality, drive) drive success.  Access to a strong network helps, but only marginally if your intentions are outside of the strengths of that network.  If you don’t want to do banking/consulting, then I wonder how valuable that network will be….so how do you determine which MBA is best for you?