GSElevator New Job Survival Tips; Walmart Tuition Assistance; New Pokemon Game

The Water Coolest

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Hey weekday warriors. A few weeks back, we announced a collaboration with John LeFevre, the guy behind @GSElevator, the author of Straight to Hell and the king of brutally honest advice.

We’ve got tricks, tips and hacks lined up for you over the next few weeks … starting with an updated classic from the @GSElevator archives: how to survive a new job

  • People love to talk about themselves, so ask your new colleagues questions that get them in their comfort zone. A big part of your first impression is how you make people feel about themselves.
  • Come up with dismissive and condescending nicknames (Chico, Fredo, Bubba) for fellow trainees you consider to be possible threats. Work at it until they are adopted office-wide.
  • Show some leadership by organizing drinks and nights out with fellow new hires. Get them wasted, especially in the presence of senior colleagues.

Check out the rest below …



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Walmart announced yesterday that it will be offering employees tuition assistance for those pursuing associate or bachelor degrees. Employees will have to contribute $1 (Bob!) per day and pursue a degree in business or supply-chain management. Sorry to anybody looking to take up Sanskrit.

The world’s largest public employer won’t go it alone. They’ve partnered with Guild Education, an educational benefits provider. The partnership estimates up to 68k employees could enroll in the program.

Bentonville’s finest is hoping that the benefit will help retain employees. The retailer recently raised its minimum wage to $11, expanded paternity and maternity leaves, and already helps employees complete high school courses and pass the GED.

One catch is that the students must enroll in one of three nonprofit schools: the University of Florida, Brandman University (California), or Bellevue University (Nebraska). One of these is not like the others.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If I didn’t have a college degree I would work at Walmart just to do this. Since I do have one already, I want to work at Guild Education. Tuition subsidization consulting is SO in right now.”



Polaris, the maker of recreational vehicles that just scream “mid-life crisis,” plans to add sea-faring vessels to its portfolio. The motorcycle, snowmobile, and ATV maker will buy Boat Holdings for $805M. Super original name, guys.

Boat Holdings, a redneck yacht club mainstay is best knows for its luxurious pontoon boats that can fetch up to $250k. Last year, Boat’s revenues hit $560M.

This play will add surf to Polaris’ turf-centric repertoire. Getting its sea legs will allow the company to balance out the seasonality of snowmobile sales. But the market for boats isn’t without pitfalls: it’s highly cyclical and dependent on discretionary income. The US boat market still hasn’t recovered from the Great Recession.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Only guys who call beers “brewskis,” refer to their son as “sport,” and took their team to states in ’84 buy “party barges.”



Nostalgia is a dish best served reheated every 18 months, or at least that’s what the makers of Pokemon think. Nintendo, piggybacking off of the success of the mobile Pokemon gaming craze will be releasing two new titles for its Switch console, in November. Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Evee will be available on November 16th.

Along with the games, Nintendo will also be releasing a Switch controller that’s shaped like a Poke ball, in case running around your neighborhood trying to catch fictional monsters with your hybrid tablet wasn’t realistic enough.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Poke-land, however, with social media users complaining about the game’s lack of a sophisticated combat system, among other features. Nintendo, seemingly anticipating this backlash, announced a second game coming later in 2019. It appears that beggars can indeed be choosers.

90’s kids aren’t the only ones that are happy with the news. Shares were trading up 4.3% in Tokyo on the news.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Between the Zelda re-release and Pokemon, Nintendo has a pretty solid business plan in place if they can somehow find a way to make millennials immortal.”




  • Warren Buffett has confirmed that he proposed a roughly $3B investment in Uber, but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement.
  • De Beers is launching Lightbox Jewelry, which will sell man-made diamonds that guys will surely try to pass off as the real thing. Prices will start at just $200.
  • Despite halting sales of assault rifles, shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods were up 23% yesterday on news of better than expected sales.
  • The Trump administration is not planning on extending the EU’s exemption for steel and aluminum tariffs. The tariffs will be 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.
  • Amazon is now offering perks to Prime members at additional Whole Food’s stores. Can you say “discounted asparagus water?”
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +1.26%
    • S&P 500: +1.27%
    • NASDAQ: +0.89%




  • Do the coffee runs. It shows confidence and a lack of pretense. Just don’t screw it up. If you can’t be trusted with coffee, how can you manage something important?
  • Leave a jacket on the back of your chair so people can never be 100% sure if you’ve left early for the day or are taking a long lunch.
  • Never tell the first offensive joke, but always have a good one saved up for when your seniors finally trust you enough to share one with you.
  • Acknowledge the Caddyshack and Fletch references, but don’t make any yourself. You have to earn it. And don’t initiate the fist bump that comes with “Charge it to the Underhills.”
  • Ask the secretary for the travel schedules of the senior members of the team for the week ahead. They will think you are being proactive, but now you know when you can sleep in or head out early on Friday.
  • It’s OK to make a mistake or ask a question. But don’t ever ask the same question or make the same mistake twice.
  • Don’t offer to buy drinks when out with your seniors. You can’t afford them, and it won’t score any points.
  • Your boss’s jokes are always funny. Period. And if you are at the receiving end of a joke, laugh with it. If you take yourself too seriously, no one else will. There are no “safe spaces” in the real world.
  • Shut up about where you went to college or what fraternity you were in.
  • Let your boss set the tempo when it comes to rowdy nights out. Don’t be afraid to join in, just make sure you’re the first one in the next morning.

Make sure to check out our podcast with John for more advice, stories that didn’t make Straight to Hell and insight into what John is up to now.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.