We're in the home stretch of bonus season.
The homestretch of bonus season on Wall Street is marked by the quarter pole of October. It's a tricky time of year because the mental figures have already started to form in management's head. Your boss will have a pool of money to divide up between you and your co-workers. It's free swim. Sometimes in effort of getting that extra 100k, you end up making it worse. So please be careful out there - because there's no life guard on duty at the bonus pool.
Here's a list of the DOs and DON'Ts leading into bonus season:
DO learn all the lyrics to Frozen. Inevitably your boss's kids will make a visit around Thanksgiving. Small talk with management offspring can go a long way. If the boss's kids like you, the boss likes you.
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DO clear your browser history
One questionable click on a link from your degenerate friend could turn a bonus meeting into an HR and compliance meeting.
DO get coffee with your boss
Talk about everything except your bonus, the future, ways to improve and philosophical career advice. By saying nothing about your bonus, it says everything about your bonus.
DO wear your worst suit and tie once a week
You need the money.
DO make a list of every mistake you've made the prior year because they're going to come up
There's nothing worse than responding, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that," when stepping on a land mine in the conference room.
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DO go to one charity event
Do it for the kids.
DO offer to work the day after Thanksgiving
It's a half day and it gets you out of whatever god-awful plans your significant other has already made.
DO lower your husband or wife's expectations
Just remember: He or she has already spent half of your bonus.
DO burn all receipts
It's OK to file expenses in March but as you get closer to bonus season, let it go. Do the math: Let a couple hundred dollars go - your bonus is worth a couple more decimal points.
DO go into the office a few days early
Make up an excuse to send some emails. They're looking at the time stamps and 6:36 am looks good no matter what you're typing.
DON'T talk about fantasy football
It's basically Dungeon and Dragons for jocks. We already heard you bragging about who you drafted in the 7th round (insert yawn) back in August. When you talk about trading imaginary players instead of trading stocks, it screams: LOW BALL ME!
DON'T make a speech at the holiday party
I saw a younger guy do this once and it went over like a fart in church. Nobody cares what you think and you're not that funny.
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DON'T leave your resume on the copier or printer
DON'T hit reply all - EVER!
DON'T talk to your boss's boss
Nothing good can come from it.
DON'T drop your half-eaten burrito in someone else's garbage can
If you don't want to smell that stank burrito, what makes you think I do? And put the damn cream cheese away in the kitchen when you're done using it! Any and all food offenses on Wall Street are punishable by death and it COULD get back to the boss.
DON'T lobby for an invite to the Super Bowl party
There will be plenty of time to do that in January once the check clears.
DON'T announce any big purchases
If you talk about your new Range Rover and upcoming vacation to Necker Island, it will appear that you might not need the bonus as much as others.
DON'T do cocaine for three days straight and then fake a mugging
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DON'T threaten to leave because everyone knows you aren't leaving until you have another offer. Idle threats = Spiteful bosses.
DON'T pick a fight with your nemesis
You must pretend to be a team player. If you want to seek revenge, break into his apartment and poke tiny pin holes into his condoms.
DON'T talk to the press AND definitely DON'T call yourself an "uberconsumer."
Do I really need to explain this? You may recall Phil Potter: He was the 25-year old hot shot who went from being featured in a New York Times article to the back of a milk carton over a weekend.
Commentary by Turney Duff, a former trader at the hedge fund Galleon Group. Duff chronicled the spectacular rise and fall of his career on Wall Street in the book, "The Buy Side." The paperback edition comes out June 17 and Sony bought the TV/movie rights to the book. Duff is currently working on his second book, a Wall Street novel. Follow him on Twitter @turneyduff.