Here is one of hundreds of reasons senior investment bankers make life for analysts worse than it already is: Voicemail.

First of all, no one under thirty uses voicemail unless they are making a joke. If you make a call and the person does not pick up their phone, send an email. That’s why they gave you the BlackBerry, right? Picking up a voicemail is slow and there is no way to file it.

Also, people must stop using inept management tactics like the “red bomb.” This is when a senior guy wants to tell you something, but instead of calling you and risking that you’ll answer the phone and therefore be able to ask a question, (like What’s the deadline?), he goes directly into the voice mail system to leave you a message.

It’s a red bomb because you get the red light on your phone that means you have a voice mail, and a bomb because you know only someone internally can do it, and it must be a senior guy because no one else would do it. If you’re sitting at your desk and all of a sudden you have a voice mail, and you know your phone hasn’t rung, you’ve just been nailed by a red bomb.

17 replies
  1. talkingmike
    talkingmike says:

    I was about to take you to task for pepetuating superfluous emails, but you quickly redeemed yourself.

    If it is a quick request or question that can be easily answered, there is no excuse NOT to call first. Sending email when a quick phone call will do is akin to sending the silly “Thanks so much!” brown-nose email after someone has responded to you.

  2. Investment Banking Brother
    Investment Banking Brother says:

    I agree 100%. If the person picks up the phone, a phone call to answer a quick question is fine – but after three rings and no answer, you better hang up before it goes to voice mail. Just as bad (maybe even worse?) as an actual voice mail is when someone hangs up once they realize they’ve been put through to voice mail, yet I still get the voice mail notification.

  3. Body Interned
    Body Interned says:

    That is soo true! Interns/Analysts do enough grunt work already. No direction, no complete instruction, no concern for other projects and priorities…Generation Y is in for a real wake up call…that or management is going to wake up to them. I’m on the Gen Y/GenX border interning in London. Even at a startup boutique, where I rant about my experiences in my ibhell blog, there is no kindness to the little guy. I sit in the same room with the chairman and he’s an ass! He will send emails all day and once he waited until 7pm on his way out to tell an intern HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He was trained in New York 15 years ago…no surprise.

  4. Body Interned
    Body Interned says:

    PS- visit my blog if you like these kind of rants/discussion. it seems as if nowhere on the net in 2007 is there a place for analysts and interns to vent. ibhell.blogspot.com
    If you happen upon this post from 2006, come over and join the discussion at Investment Bank Hell.

  5. The Cartographist
    The Cartographist says:

    “If it is a quick request or question that can be easily answered, there is no excuse NOT to call first.”

    This is why we have instant messenger; later, when you’re wondering whether she told you to make all tabs blue or red, you can retrieve the log file and answer your own question.

  6. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “Picking up a voicemail is slow and there is no way to file it.”
    Fast forward 1 1/2 years later after this post was written.
    My VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service allows me and is set up to record a voicemail as a wave file and sent to me as an email. Therefore when I’m on the phone and at my computer and decide to ignore the warning tone of an incoming call, my email notifier tells me someone has left a message with the text in the email giving me the telephone caller’s number. What really blows my mind is that I’m paying less than half what I did with my traditional service with much more than twice as many features.

  7. Warren
    Warren says:

    I agree 100%. A voice mail is like a burdain that is hard to deal with. It is the first difficult step of the day that i cant wait to get over with so i can get to my emails…

  8. Paula
    Paula says:

    I hate voicemail. But please, don’t assume that everyone gets a Blackberry from their work just because that’s true in some industries on some levels.

  9. Al M.
    Al M. says:

    That sounds like a really silly, passive-aggressive way to manage a business. The thought of red-bombing someone never crossed my mind. You learn something new every day I guess.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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