Fran from Queens, who works at a hedge fund, writes in with an interesting predicament.
Dear Bud Fox News, I’m the office manager at a small hedge fund in Manhattan. One of my responsibilities is the office decor. I’ve tried my best to make the place look professional but also welcoming for investor visits. To be honest, I think the office looks pretty good. The problem is that my bosses, who are the fund’s three portfolio managers, are not happy with the office plants. I’ve attached a photo of the one that drives them particularly nuts. I’ll admit that it’s looking a little strange. They’ve started making inappropriate jokes about the shape of the thing; they call it “Fran’s Phallic Fern.” And recently one of them told me that this plant is a test of my ability, that if I can’t get the thing to grow, they might “need” (his words) to think about replacing me. He gave me some BS about “having to step up and take ownership.” Can you please advise me on this? Thanks, Fran
Dear Fran, what you have in your photo is an artificial office plant. No amount of watering, feeding, or chatting with it will do anything to make it grow. So there’s a good chance that you’re the victim of a practical joke that’s gone on way too long, a real possibility considering you’re dealing with PMs at a hedge fund. Your typical hedgie has a sense of humor formed in a crucible of unthinkable nerdiness and often dirty lucre, and his misfired jokes wouldn’t put a smile on the face of an easily amused schizophrenic strung out on methadone. Another scenario is more troubling but probably more likely: Your bosses might be so stupid that they don’t realize that the plant in question is fake. You see, despite all the fancy degrees and the use of terms like “convexity,” some hedge fund pros are unadulterated idiots. Continue reading