Ever wondered what goes down ?
Here's something courtesy of Greg Smith's Why I Left Goldman Sachs.
'Every employee at the company, high or low, was called into his or her manager's office and, in a ten minute meeting, told the amount of his or her PATC ('per annum total compensation'). The amount combined base salary with bonus; bonus per se was never discussed. You did the math yourself, in your head.
Nevertheless, the meetings were known as bonus meetings, because for everybody above analyst status, the bonus was the Main Event, the big deal.......
The bonus meetings were much like the firings. People were called into a partner's glassed-walled office, and everyone outside could see exactly hat was happening. The difference with Bonus Day was that the meetings usually proceeded from the most senior people to the most junior.
The partner in charge of your group would sit in his office and, outside, at around 6.45am, the phone lines would start ringing. The most senior's person's line rang first. He'd go into the room and then emerge ten minutes later with a poker face. The next person would go in and then, ten minutes later, come out with a poker face. And so on, down the line.......
The one rule that was hard and fast was that the meeting lasted ten minutes, and not a minute more. If you were disappointed with your bonus, you could speak your piece, - and then, at the ten minute mark, the partner would say, in effect, 'Thank you, the meeting is finished. Accept it'.
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