Friday, January 27, 2006


A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below.

Descending a bit more he shouted, "Excuse me, can you help? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago BUT I do not know where I am."

The woman replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40/41 degrees latitude, north, and 59/60 degrees west, longitude."

"You must be an investment banking analyst", said the balloonist. "I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"

"Well", answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct but I have no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I am still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all, if anything, you have delayed my trip."

The woman below responded, "You must be a Managing Director."

"I am," replied the balloonist, "But how did you know?"

"Well," replied the woman, "You don't know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it is my fault."

Hahaha... so true. My former managing director was exactly like this. One example is after working on a document for hours with an associate, he rips into the document on how much work it needs. After a couple hours, we get back the document and he says to us, "I'm so glad that I corrected this document or it would have reflected poorly to our clients." The associate and I looked through the document and found a couple grammar changes and a sentence or two were reworded. It was only a couple months into my time with this firm, but in the open office space I stated to the associate out loud, "What was that? What was that drama over nothing? Does he add so little value to this firm that he needs to pretend he's actually doing something?"

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