When I was a young analyst on a marketing desk my daily life was punctuated by large periods of verbal abuse coupled with moments of utter disillusionment with my vocation of choice. However often times my introspective moments would be interrupted by further verbal abuse. This was helpful.
In some ways working under such conditions is akin to being in an abusive relationship. As much as you hate your tormentor when they leave you find yourself thinking "oh they're not really that bad, they're doing that for my own good…that's just how I learn and understand things." That being said, being asked to "cheer up!" the day after a grandparent passed away isn't exactly constructive advice
In any case this led me to channel my internal angst in a couple of directions. One of them was practical jokes on fellow analysts. Why other innocent fellow analyst were the target of my jokey jokes is beyond me. Hey, life isn't fair. I mean why do prisoners commit crimes versus each other? Why do postal worker go…well…postal on others? I didn't create these moral quandaries, I just follow my role.
Now I guess I could say that I've matured past the stage of rearranging keyboard letters or making bizarro signs around the floor, but I haven't. I'm the same 29-year old who goes home each night and spray people walking along the riverfront with a Super Soaker out of my window. If criminals can argue that they suffered from momentary insanity as a cover-up for out of character behavior, I think normal citizens in the workplace should be able to argue that Momentary Sanity is a plausible reason for acting out in a such a manner.
Listen if all this sounds a touch overly dramatic then just think about this: if you need to take extra toilet paper from work because you're never able to get home in time before the late night drug store near your apartment closes, you'll understand the messed up mind state that you can find yourself in.
The other unfortunate way that I would exhibit Momentary Sanity was through the the kind people at Bloomberg. In some ways there is nothing funnier that messing around with people who's sole job is to be kind and helpful. The best part is that you don't even have to subscrive to the news service to get in on the action! Pranks included:
1) Calling the Bloomberg operator (212-318-2000) and trying to order a pizza, repeatedly.
2) Conferencing in two Bloomberg operators so that they think they're helping each other...this one works best if you conference an operator from the UK (+44-20-7330-7500) because the accent makes everything so much funnier
3) Calling the Bloomberg operator on the West Coast (415-912-2960) and claiming that all your market information is being delayed by 3 hour versus the NY market levels
...and so on and so forth. While Mike Bloomberg may be our city's mayor, his little news service has been keeping one Indian kid sane for at least 7 years...