RealJobs: Brett Wilzbach

Happy Jean Claude Van Damme Friday!

That is my all-time favorite way to start a Friday, and the above usually finds a way to get into my morning notes, bloombergs, or e-mails. Friday’s tend to be a little lighter in the Sales & Trading industry. Thursday nights are when a lot of customer events happen, so it’s not all too uncommon for Friday’s to start out with a solid fried-egg and cheese and 20oz coke combo.

By this point it’s been a long week and things generally die down. In the winter months senior guys cut out early for New Hampshire, in the summer months it’s the Cape. It’s small fries like me that do the brave march to 5pm, which generally resembles a bit of a screen-staring contest. Friday’s are also the one day that it’s socially acceptable to do things a little more ‘loose’ than our usual professional decorum would suggest. My partner, friend, and mentor, Matthew M Twist, salvages the low hours of the Friday afternoon to send out that one colorful article he’s been waiting to send out to his client distribution all week. Today is going to be a jump ball between a Wall Street Journal clash of titans; “Should you get your Work Spouse a Valentine?” meets “Are Mom Jeans and the Fannie Pack back?” Last week he sent out a gigantic, extremely disturbing looking Bloomberg Bunny to commemorate the Japanese Year of the Rabbit to our entire customer base; with no explanation whatsoever. Now THAT is customer touch.

It’s also generally fair game to add a little theater to the firm’s ‘hoot’ system (this is like a giant walkie-talkie that all desks in the firm have to hear each other for information and for hedging trades with our UST Government desk). Twist started out our mixtape Friday with a nice ensemble of Antoine Dodson’s hit single, “Hide your kids”…..while I thought the Super Bowl sensation “Black and Yellow” would add a nice finishing touch. Hopefully no trader in the firm lost money in not being able to trade over the hoot while the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra was busy at work up here.

As you can realize, at the end of the day, there is a lot of down time in the sales industry; just like there is with a lot of jobs. Yet, What I most value about this job is the people. We don’t sit in cubes, we have zero privacy, and yes, we sit side by side on a glorified bench for double the amount of time we spend with our significant others. Yet, it’s the humor and the banter (thanks Aoiffe) that makes this job bearable and which creates amazing relationships. We rarely have board-room meetings and rarely have lunch outside. We mind the trenches, eat at the desk, and are slaves to the phone. I never thought being so stationary could create such dynamic friendships.

Thanks for spending the week for me. Next blog will be from my spring break; wristbands required!


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