Sunday, June 19, 2011

Find Your Inner Harry Potter: Become a PDF Wizard

I love pdf; it's da butterz.  It has made my life so much easier and my work so much more efficient. And, most older people (if u r old, im not talking botu u, im talking about those older than u, unless im really talking about u, in which case, sorry stby (but as an aside, i wd note that as professional shit-hurling primates we tend to age much faster than others mentally and phsycially so i think even the youngns feel pretty old most days...must be thre rancid putridity that our work product exudes...)) don't really know their left butt cheek from a baboon's cock when it comes to basic technology (i saw one partner once in a silicon valley firm tapping away on his keybaord with his two index finger...much like a monkey proly wood...), so doing fancy things with pdf quickly and correctly makes your job easier and has the inadvertent side effect of making you look like a fucking rockstar (lots of ways to leverage both these things - like doing things fast and then chilling whiel ppl stil thnk u r doing stuff - makign it seem like u r spendng a lot more time doing work then u actually r etc).  Anyway, here are few of the basic things i use pdf for frequently and how it speeds shit up:
  1. Hot Keys: as a basic thing, get to kno ur hot keys for everything. it makes things like one billion trillion times faster and saves ur wrists. sure u know ctrl v and ctrl c. even the fuckng monkey typing partner proly knows that. maybe. but y do u think korean and taiwanese kids always kick ur ass in starcraft or warcraft? becaust heyr fucking typing their way thru the game while ur dragfgin gur lil mouse around looking for what to do next. hot keys - not just forr  pdf - but for word and other stuff make shit much easier a better, especialy if its like 2AM and u find urself wondering how on gods fucking green earuth u wound up at ajob where u have to figur out how to insert a cross reference without the word "section" in front of the number. right. so next.
  2. Signature pages: always best to make pdf sig pages so that your retarded signatories don't mess up the word document before they print it out. best way to do this is just convert the doc to pdf and the delete all the unneeded pages. use the hot keys for deleting (ctrl+shift+d) - and here's a tip, if you need to delete all the pages up until a certain page, say the signature page, you can scroll or jump to that page, then hit ctrl+shift+d and it will automatically have the page number filled in, so just change the first page to 1, and subtract one for the second, and then you can delete everything before that. paralegals can do this but ive had so many that leiterally suck. ever had a paralegal ask you: "i finished the signature pages...but i wasn't sure if they were right because there were so many blank spaces on them....so i put in footnotes on every page pointing out where these blanks were..." yes, dumbfuck, the blanks r where people sign on the SIGNATURE PAGE. anyway, sometiems they do it in word, mess up ur tagline or document refernce and it doesnt look all consistent. no one gives a shit about this btw except ur senior, who will ask u to do it again if he/she is controlling enough, and many lawyers, especiallyt he odl school ones, r. when u do ur own deal its much easier, but if u just make a pdf frm the actual doc and extract out the sig pages u dont have to wory abotu that shit.

  3. Execution versions: after a deal's closed and you want to make a closing set or have an execution copy, rather than scanning something in its entirety, just convert the final doc to pdf, then insert the sig pages. you can insert from a file using ctrl+shift+i, or if you have the pdfs open, if you click on the 'pages' button on the left side menu, you can just drag and drop individual or groups of pages between pdfs. this is retardedly helpful. even before a deal is closed or priced or signed or something, i may have things ready to go, and if there are minor changes after that, i'll just make a small change in the doc and reinsert the one changed page. if i'm making a purchase agreement with form opinions at the end and other schedules and crap, or some spa with disclosure schedules and other exhibits and stuff, i usually have one pdf file set up for all the butt-end crap, one for the body crap, and the signatures and just con-cat-enate at the right time. god i remember the first time i was doing a pricing and someone told me to have all the current drafts of the opinions printed out, the PA printed out, and the signatures printed when they came, so that i could rescan it all in together at 4 am or whatever after we priced so that we cd send it out. what.the.flying.fuck?? there's no reason u need to do this, nor even b in the office fors oemthing like this. if u cant teach a paralegal and need to do it urself, have the banker call u when they price, get up from bed, slap ur pdfs together and distribute. i rememebr one time was up for a pricing with a senior and when we finally wer ready to finalize all this shit he came over and askd if we werr eady and he watched me slapp all this shit together in about 30 seconds all from my keybord and h e saidy, half drunkenly (not bc he was drunk but bc of lack of sleep) 'holy shit that's magical'. u can be magical too harry potter

  4. Converting into pdf: so there are two ways to convert something to pdf. for a doc, it's really easy, assuming you have acrobat pro or some decent software at your shop, you should have a built in function for this from the tolbar menu. but you can also just print into pdf, it makes the same thing. this is helpful for turning anything you can print into a pdf - website, email, picture, deltaview blackline etc. without saving it first or doing anything fancy. its helpful to have shit in pdf, bc u can markup on the doc using the comments tools (see below), which means u can do a lot o shit remotely that a typical old fart monkey may believe u need a scanner or the 'office' for. just remembenr, anything u old farts cd do, we can do better, with technoloy.
     
  5. Converting from pdf: And, if you want to convert pdf into a doc, there's a way to do that decently too.  You won't preserve everything, but if i'm in a time crunch or i just want to run a quick blackline to see if the text is different and don't have time to outsource this to word processing or a secretary or something, this is important.  If the pdf is not text readable already, go to Document -> OCR Text Recognition, and then scan thing using OCR. Now it's text readable. Then, go to Advanced -> Accessibility -> Add Tags to Document (this step is important because it will take all of the funny line breaks in your pdf when you normally copy and paste readable text).  Then highlight the text you want and paste into a doc. You can either paste straight and try your luck with the formatting. If it is disastrous, then use ctrl+7 to paste the text as unformatted text - good for just running blacklines etc. (There are other paste special options too if you need to explore - use the file menus to explore.) you'll catch all the page numebrs and random footers and headers, but those will be easy to ignore in a simple blackline (also, depdnngin on ur blacking program, u can probably presrve formatting int he blackline dpeending on what u use as the original and modifived versions - so play round with that too).

  6. Editing/Typing: ever need to fill in a date on a signed document? fix a tagline or something else? you can use the typewriter tool to directly type text on any part of the pdf and you can even customize the text too.  If you ever need to 'erase' or block out some part of a document, you can just create a blank box or text box to cover the area up. the typewriter lets u type in a basic font to fill in forms and write in dates sand stuff. but u can acces the properties bar to change some of the aspects and for toher object - like the text box, and commenter tools (below) - like the color, shading, opacity etc. all v helpful. and, just for a finishing touch, if i dont want peopel to know i typed this stuff in on pdf rather than hand-writing it or whatever for whatever reason, or more importantly, if i want to make sure that people cannot edit the text boxes or stuff i've typed in when they receive the pdf, rather than physically printing and rescanning, u can just print to pdf to basicaly flatten the image (think photoshop).  all these little things help circumvent the waste of time and energy to print something out and then re-scan it, especially if you are not in the office and don't have a scanner.

  7. Commenting: this is by far the most useful feature of pdf for me, and few people realize you can do this.  just make sure you are showing the comment and markup toolbar and you can use the tools to easily markup a document on screen.  This is exceedingly helpful when you don't want to run to the office to scan something, whether late at night, on the weekend, or if you're just playing hooky.  I typically just use the callout tool to write comments, then draw the arrows to where they should be inserted, and then little pencil marks for deletions. You can even copy and paste text from other documents (e.g., riders) into callout boxes. Even when i'm in the office, it's just become faster and easier for me to do this for quick comments. saves paper too. I use any number of the tips above in concert - say i have a prospectus that i have some minor comments on, i'll just extract the pages (or delete the unwanted pages), comment on screen, save, and off they go.  no printing. no illegible hand markups.  printers, subordinates, etc. will appreciate it alike.  and if u can teach this to ur old fart monkeys, maybe theyll start using it too and save u some ridiculoulsy stupid assignment whree u get a hand markup of something they could have done faster by themsefl or whatever. then u can just pass taht shit on to ur word processor. here's a like explaining all of the things you can do with it: pdf guide

  8. PrntScrn: This really isn't a pdf thing, but it can be and helps me out a lot too.  whenever i need or want to capture something i see on screen, whether it be a picture, a snippet of a blackline, some DD document i can't print or save, i use a program called fullshot that can capture screen shots of any region window, etc.  if you don't have a similar program, you can also use the prntscrn button which copies the whole screen to the clipboard - you just then need to crop it to what you want using ms paint or photoshop. depends on what ur firm has for prgrams.
anyway there's a shitload more u can prolly do with pdf, even some unwholesome stuff....but uh will let u figure that stuff out. harry potter didnt get everything handed to him.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Law Firm Expensing: Playing the Game

    Expensing is an art. just like michaelangelo chiseled a naked dude from rock, japanese ppl turned slutty carton characters into high priced commodities, and slinging together words that kind of rhyme monotonolsy to fantastic basslines and samples of random 60s-90s tracks rakes in billions, so shall the corproate monkey lawyer extract every cents worth of value from the pieces of shit he flings around all day. expensing aint just a tool for restitution, but it's a chance for you to really get value for your time; i.e., if you're working late or on the weekend, this is one way to make yourself feel better about it. the way you take advantage of it though depends on your individual firm or office policy. here are a few obvious or not so obvious principles i follow to maximize the shit out of this shit:
    1. Monetization. the major underlying principle for all things expense-related is, how do i turn a reimbursment, which ultimately is kind of downsidde cuz its a deferrd p[ayment, into an upside for me? generally spaking im talking about a) not a lot of money, b) not out of my pocket for that long, so the deferall doesnt affect me at all. but when it comes to the reimbursement, there are lots of ways to benefit. like using ur credit card, which gives u presumably some points or something. almost never use cash unless it's not an option - because then the only tangible benefit is the value of the good ur getting for 'free'. lets say u have a comp that u wdnt use urself but maybe u can use it to...donate. tax benefit. or maybe there's some other type of formal or informal rewards/partnership system u can pump into with ur comp. or maybe u can comp two cab rides or car rides or a meal and you just didnt get ot odo it or the client gave you a meal or you mooched off someone lese or something...theres gotta be someone else in ur city that u know that has a receipt u can have. now thats free fucking money. it depends on ur city, what's available to u, etc., but that's just general principle square numero uno primo.
       
    2. Always use. Whenever you have a comp you can use, use it.  that's just basics. If you are working OT or on the weekend, even if you have leftovers you are going to eat, end up walking places or someone is cooking for you or something, if you don't use your comp, you are basically throwing away ur money. it may not be much, but i think ever bit counts. So, even if you don't need food, buy something for tomorrow, buy something for next week, go get groceries, buy a bottle of win, a six pack, buy a food gift for your gf/bf or mom or neighbor, buy a lot of juice, buy snacks for the office, buy snacks for home, buy ridicluousy expeisnve hot dogs and churros at the ballpark, got o costoco and get a gallon of cream cheese, order something online, buy something that sounds edible, buy food and give it to a homeless guy, find a place u can buy food and donate it to charity directly. whatever.  If you didn't take a taxi or car to the office, but took one somewhere else for something else - save that receipt instead.  it's all about capturing your value. so on one level there's monetaization, creatinga tangible benefit for urself regardless by gettings ome sort of rewards points on ur credit card, at some shop/store/restaurant/hotel/partener program, tax beenefit, relationship cred or whatever, and then on another level there's like ur actual sustenacne. like if u ate already but always wanted to try that tiny $25 jar of gold flake-lined truffle oil-poached david hasselhoff-licked caviar garnish sold at ur neighborhod snootymart, its time to put that comp to work. no one wd ever ask you, if u even have to give ur iteimzd receipt, whether u really ate what u ate for whatever meal. and if they did, so the fuck what, just say u did. ur a snooty monkey bitch, u can do what u want!

    3. Maximize like maximus. Whenever you have a comp you can use, max it out. If your comp is $30, don't buy McDonald's (or don't buy just a little bit of McDonald's if thas what u want, or buy it AND get something else u will really comp). Again, what you don't use is just wasted. If it's more than you can eat, share it or save it. One time i heard a story of someone comping a SHITload of really cheap food and the expense approver person denied it because "there was no way one person could eat so much". WTF! well there are two things you can do if you worried about this: (1) if you keep a consistent practice of ordering a lot, you can build a history of eating a lot to back up your argument, and (2) get in good with the expense approver person - this has loads of benefits. or u can just stand firm and say u got fucking incredibly stoned cuz u ve been working so hard and ate all the dam n food so fuck off. that works 65% of the time id say.

    4. Timing is everything. Rationalize everything else.  If your comp technically kicks in after a certain time on weekdays, and you have just ten minutes before that time, stick around! work on ur blog til u leave. watch movie trailers. take  a walk.do something else first. A banker friend told me his comp doesn't start til 9:30PM, so everyday after work he goes to the gym and by the time he's done he's ready to expense. most times tho, it shldnt even  matter if ur past the time or not as long as uve billd more than x hours per day. u can rationalize it either way if u need to. e.g., if u have to bill 8 hours on a weekday, lets say u like to eat at 6pm, and go home at 7. but u end up working at home til 10. can u comp taht shit? of course. and if anyone bugs u about it, u can tell them u were working til whatever time, u just were at home working late and u wd have had to take the same meal and car at a later time anwyay except u had to do X at some point, or work better at home or really had to feed ur fish or something. as long as u can make a good arguemnt in ur head u shld feel confident to do whatever u want. all of our expenses 99% of the itme r passed on to clients anwyay so no one cares as long as its under teh budget and theres some semblance of accountability and comfort u can give. Or, lets say you are working on the weekend and have 2 hours of billable work on each day, but your comp doesn't kick in until you get to 4 on one day...who's to say you didn't do both of those things on one day. nobody but ur lameass self. A variant is what if u have an easy day and r out of the office by 4 and have billed 6 hrs, but then at 9 something comes up and u work past11, so u have over 8 hours billed which may be barely enough for ur comp...but i think th fact u worked late is fair enough. i'd rationalize that during those hrs, u forgoed wat time u wd have had to make ur own meal, or get X so had to do with Y blah blah, or that u wd have had X anyway or something. most people won't look at the receipts anyway.
    5. As your subsidy.  a lot of times ill end up with a comp but then already have plans to eat with someone, or several people. sharing is caring dawg. pay for that shit  maybe ull get something else out of it or just score some borwnie points. if its under ur comp, amazing great. if its over, by some uve subsidied. i'd raher pay $5 for a great meal than lose 5 on a bunch of cheap take out. ive heard some place make u itimzie ur receipts or show how many people u ate with. heres wat u do, u submit it and just tell them u ate everything except the extra drink the other person had, because they alread y ate and were just joining u. OR u get the waiter to mark u down as one person. OR, you order take out and eat at home or something cuz then it wont show up. OR sometimes places will still do handwritten receipts. askt hem to let u write it up. going to a big birthday dinner? pay with ur credit card, get hella points, pick up cash for everyone else and comp ur own portion. u dont even have to eat ur own comp, u cd have jack shit and pick up someone else's tab (good idea if ur lookin for an extra receipt too...)
    6. Traveling. i had a post about this previously i think. basically expensing while traveling is a bit of a gold mine in terms of value to urself and tangible value u can pull down. bc a lot of times u dont have written or unwritten limits, no one knows where u r, when, what ur actaully doing, etc. u cd be in some  undergroun d bar sniffing coke out of a donkeys buttcrack getting  ahandjob from a midget prostitute, and comp the gourmet meal u eat directly afterwards.
    7. In addition to standard reimbursements for meals and transportation for ot, there are lots of other creative reimbursements that may apply too. 
      • Summers. we were all there. and it happens every year. belts have tightened a bit since the crash, but the golden goose still has some egss to lay i think. depends on ur office but almost everyone knows the game. lunch at all the places ud never eat on ur own. dinners, drinks, events at the playboy mansion. tangential stuff too shld always be treid to tie in summers...having drinks with some buddies? all up a sumemr to drop by to 'fit' the bill.
      • Bus Dev. it's like the year round summer. courting the business ull never stay around long enough to give a monkeys schlong about. some partners do this for a living but trust me they know (but sometims dont tell u) its actually much better for them and the firm if the relationships start out at the stage where its not obvious theyr playing the role of the obsequieus pussy licker they r now. so theyll encourage it. assuming u can find a banker that has time to spare.
         
      • Office Events. trying to build some team spirit? start a sports team? weekly happy hours? pro bono cause? plunder ur office coffers if its in the name of the firm they ought to pay for it. ur helping their image not urs. ur just reaping the benfit off of their dime and thier time.

      • Others. there are others. use ur own monkey brain!


      Tuesday, June 7, 2011

      Bored...

      Okay so you've successfully dished off, escaped and dodged all ur work, its a chill day and u have shit to do. what do u if u r in the office, have nothing to do, but for whatever crazy fucking reason, dont want to b a man...and go play golf.

      here are some ideas about shit u can do around the office that's fun. do i speak from experience? perhaps. do i advocate for every person? absolutely not. just some cool cats. in no particular order:
      • get psyched optimus prime coming back to fuck the shit out of some decepticoncs
      • watch optimus prime fuck the shit out of some deceptiocns previously
      • get psyched about what video game ull get next 
       
      • play flash games
      • make wild bets on the stock market (for those of you that have restrictions on buying and selling equity securities or otherwise, grow a pair. unless u r trading at the levels that would rise to the level of some actual government scrutiny or u r actually trading on mnpi then it is not gonna matter and no one will notice. ive known people who hapen to own stock in companies they do deals for and the partners have said dont even worry about any conflicts cuz the ownership is so far under 1% not even trump wd give u the time of day. AND, if u really are scared, u can probably trade options or other derivatives regardless)
      • start a startup, thas how tim ferris did it
      • have some environmentally friendly snacks (note i actually have a much better preparation but thas somewhat of a trade secret)
      • read the "news", the newz, the newz, the news or something funny 
      • watch zach galiflangikaialksias come on inappropriately to natalie portman or charlize theron unfairly lead the fat bastard on
      • watch some of the greatest shows on tv
      • drink; get drunk
      • read a blog, and if ur a chick and want to know how ur supposed to dress to give all ur bosses hardons at ur summer job, read this blog ('professionally' put together blog with plenty of nice pictures)
      • lock urself in a bathroom stall and play games on ur bb
      • avoid eye contact, do a typing test
      • nap under ur desk
      • go hang out with other monkeys in ur office
      • call up old friends
      • learn to become an epic wingman
      • horde office supplies
      • doodle
      • uh...leave the fuckin office! :o

        Wednesday, June 1, 2011

        Conning the Con Call

        i remember one time, okay many times, i been stuck on some really fucking stupid conference calls. but one time in particular, jesus, it was like fifty different parties on this call, at 8 AM, for a conversation between two people, neither of which was me. so why the FUCK was i on it? i eventually hung up. but i had asked the banker whether we needed to be on. and of course, they said it would be good for us to be represented. translation: "i'm too lowly/retarded/lazy to think about ur question and i'm not paying for your time anyway so i'm just going to ask you to join". this is the default thought process in our field. sure, our world is going to pieces, our natural resources are depleting, energy crisis impending, not enough people recycle, but when it comes to the world of finance, expense is no object. literally. it's some ethereal concept that's gets passed on to the next sucker like a hot potato bc cash is created from thin air and everyon's pockets are lined with it. but really, that mentality doesnt work for me, and not just because i dont really get a cut of that golden lining, but also cuz i value my time and didn't end up twisted and thinking impossible is nothing....

        anyway, i dunno how got to that...i'm writing about how to extricate oneself from stupid fucking calls. i dunno why so many people, especially bankers, feel like it's so much more efficient to "have a call" about something rather than email or writing a letter. honestly sometimes i feel like writing a letter wd be better, cuz then at least it forces people to think about what they fuckign say before they say it, and then actually make decisions rather than resolve to think about stuff. which ends up happening a lot.

        k nuff gripe. i guess there are a few things i do i try to do shorten/get off calls. of course depends on the circumstances - like if u r on a call where:
        • other people from your firm are on
        • the topic is ancillary to your role
        • involves more parties than necessary (including u)
        • it's an 'update' call for a cap mkts deal
        • call will probably be conducted mostly in another language (that you don't speak)
        • it's optional and for your own benefit, so someone tells you
        in all these situations, seriously, fuck the call. someone will followup, prepare an update or do something it's a waste of ur time. my god i remember on one deal, i forget if i wrote about this once, but the bankers on the deal really REALLY wanted to get the deal done (whose fault was it that they were too incompetent to realize that they should have planned it better for the past six months) and then mandated not just weekly update calls, but daily update calls. because, of course, so much happens in the span of 24 hours that we require everyone to stop what they are doing and get on a call for 45 minutes to go through an agenda where half the people say "same as yesterday". it's telling when the calls go from 45 minutes to 15 minutes, when the people that are supposedly mandating the call are noticeably missing from said calls, and when after everytime someone asks a question the invariable response from the askee is "sorry, i wasn't listening, can you say that again?". and to add ludicrousness to crazybrainness to bananas, there were times when there were other calls, called by the bankers, on 'important' issues, whose timing conflicted with the update calls....just guess what happened. that's right! update calls were moved to later that day, because it obivoiusly doesnt make sense to have one call to cover everything or that the 'imporatnt' call coudl actually be a sufficient update.... THAT said, if it's kinda  slow, i may dial into these calls, write a blog entry and bill the hour....

        now there are other situations where your presence is quasi-needed, like when there's a smaller group, you may be the only person (but again not so important you are on), you are covering for someone else, etc. No matter if it's this case, or even one of the situations above but u feel bad about just not getting on - sometimes you just need an excuse. here are some good ones i've had success wtih:
        • the line/connection didn't work (maybe they didn't get enough lines, maybe your line is bad) - works well when u r dialing in remotely. couple this with a few dial in + immediate hang-ups, so u get that tone in and tone out, hey at least you tried!
        • blackberry problems. everyone's been there. ever had ur bb freeze? ever dropped the pos and it literally falls apart? i wd drop my thing five inches onto a carpet and the back would fall off, the battery would come out, the keypad would pop off, all the individual keys fly out of the keypad...u get the picture. and then the best/worst thing, once u reboot, it takes like ten minutes to start up again. anyway, just turn ur phone off so that people who try to call u to tell u to join will assume ur having problems. and trust me, they'll get over it.
        • scheduling conflicts. if this is during the day, chances r u cld have meetings, other calls, fire drills something. if u r the main guy, this will prolly just postpone the inevitable. but if u r just one o many or the call is really ancillayr to u, life will go on without u.
        • just say no. if the call is stupid, and u r working with someone that also has some decent common sense and is not jsut some monkey, u can probably huddle and tell the requester that a call really is not needed and the time would be more well spent actualy doing work. a lot of times this can work if u r dealing with the right people. especially if u r talking someone out of, say, the daily update call by suggesting as straightfaced as u can an hourly update call.
        • pull the ethics card. worsk fro meeting too. the rule is that lawyers cant be present or listening in unless counsel for the counterparty is also present. works better for meetings cuz there's a lot more involved than getting on a call.
        • dial in conspicuously, drop off surreptitiously. like my banker buddy who balled with me, got on his call and contined to ball. if u say that ur on in the beginning but somehow got disconnected and cd not reconnect etc. wroks well.
        • run away. if u r dodging ur own phone rather than a con call, just don't pick it up. whether it's someone who cd potentiallly give u more work or just a wild card or if its friday afternoon, just bolt. tell ur secretary to cover. go to the hospital. go for a coffee. if its important theyll email u. if u get an email to call someone back. ignore. if its really urgent they will make the effort to call u. likely eveyrone is just trying to get shit off their plate and give it to you. fuck them! do ur own goddamn work!
        anyway i think the only time a call is really necessary is when you want to avoid, say, putting things in writing, or have some legitimate discussion/negotiation that warrants real-time responses.