There's apparently an easy way to tell who the partners are over at Goldman Sachs.
Here's something courtesy of Greg Smith's Why I Left Goldman Sachs.
The 'Partner Laugh'
'This occurred when the trading floor was dead quiet and suddenly you heard some kiss-ass VP erupting into fits of laughter and slapping his knee in response to some joke the person by his desk was telling.
The longevity and high pitch of his laugh would tell you that the person by his desk was a partner. (A close relative to the Partner Laugh was the Custy Laugh: short for Customer Laugh. This sounded just as fake, but was reserved for sucking up to your biggest clients and usually was louder and built up at a more gradual pace than the Partner Laugh - only a trained ear could tell the difference).
The other way to pick a partner out of a lineup: they were always tanned - even in the winter months'.
One of the other gems from Why I Left Goldman Sachs, is where Smith he tells of the origin of firm's intern elevator rule.
It all started a few years back when Josh, an intern and 'son of a billionaire', 'committed a gaffe that resulted in a rule that to this day is laid down to all Goldman summer interns: When you're in (a firm) elevator, do not say anything. It doesn't matter what - a joke or even a remark about the weather - just keep your mouth zipped. You simply never know who might be in the elevator with you.
Josh learned this the hard way. He was riding up in a full elevator on a day when the head of the Chicago office was coming to speak to all interns, and when someone mentioned the event, Josh chimed in, 'The head of the Chicago office ? Who the f.ck cares about the head of the Chicago office ?' You guessed it: the head of the Chicago office was standing at the front of the crowded elevator'.
Old Josh apparently never did get a permanent job at Goldman.