Last week, a boy flew away in a balloon, high over the skies of Colorado. That it later turned out there was no boy in the balloon hardly mattered — for those few intense hours, offices across America were gathered around their television screens, chatting, worrying, and making jokes. But some people, finance people in particular, couldn't leave their desks. They couldn't even discuss the upsetting matter with anyone online, because chat programs are banned at most big businesses, as is personal e-mail. This is how the below situation came to pass, when a worker at Natixis Bleichroeder Capital Management, toiling away alongside his Bloomberg terminal, just couldn't stop thinking about that little boy in the balloon.
15:21:03 NBCM WORKER: HI
15:21:03 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: Thank you for using Bloomberg HELP! We have received your question, and a live representative will be with you momentarily. Thank you for your patience.
15:21:09 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: hello
15:21:51 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: how can I assist?
15:22:03 NBCM WORKER: any ideas on how we can get this kid out of the hot air balloon over colorado?
15:22:08 NBCM WORKER: b/c i am totally consumed by this
15:22:22 NBCM WORKER: and noone at my work is offering anything sensible
15:23:07 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: I wish I knew of a simple solution
15:23:25 NBCM WORKER: i mean is this helium going to slowly leeak out?
15:23:36 NBCM WORKER: or should we send the seals in with some chutes?
15:24:01 NBCM WORKER: and where are the parents in all this. im sorry to be venting. i just feel like i dont have anyone to talk to
15:24:38 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: please talk to me about it
15:24:49 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: I feel the pain.. I wonder that the kid is thinking up there
15:25:00 NBCM WORKER: this issue is bigger than just kids in hot air balloons
15:25:12 NBCM WORKER: its a lack of parenting in this country, its dispicable
15:26:25 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: Im sure the parents will never leave the kid alone
15:26:47 NBCM WORKER: i mean what did they have this balloon tied down with? 4 lbs test berkely trilene?
15:26:56 NBCM WORKER: like i have on my trout rod?
15:28:58 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: im sure we will find a lot of answers once this situation is resolved
15:29:17 NBCM WORKER: 6 year olds cannot hardly wipe their own bums let alone climb in a homemade hot air balloon and friggin set it free
15:30:12 NBCM WORKER: in other news apparently the dad was on wife swap, so now things are adding up. the dad, as if building a hot air balloon like a boyscout isnt bad enough, is a scum bag
15:31:06 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: karma
15:35:16 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: Patrick, hopefully the kid will be fine and you can get back to work. Is there anything else I can assist you with?
15:35:47 NBCM WORKER: too much to handle in 25 mins before the bell. but i thank you, kindly
15:36:15 NBCM WORKER: HEY WE GOT IT DOWN!!!!!!
15:36:24 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: NICE
15:36:55 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: thats great news, hopefully the markets will close high
15:37:00 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: thank you for using bloomberg help!
15:37:01 NBCM WORKER: exactly
15:37:03 NBCM WORKER: TY
15:37:17 NBCM WORKER: you'd make a great psychiatrist
15:37:46 BLOOMBERG HELP DESK: thank you
Full disclosure — this exchange has been bouncing around the finance world this week, and the worker in question has been touting it on his Bloomberg header. If it's not real, we don't want to know.