May 8th 2009
On this auspicious Friday I’m a very smug little stockbroker indeed. The weekend is almost here and I’m in possession of 80,000 shares of Pantheon Resources which I bought at a price of around 11p per share a couple of weeks before. They’re now 19p per share. I have a God awful smile on my face; you know that one where your nostrils start to quiver excitedly like a dog that’s sniffing another dog’s arse? Maybe not, but that’s what I imagine it looked like.
It’s 7:50 a.m. and my office is buzzing with 200 people going here, there and everywhere in preparation for the morning auction and the opening of the markets. The noise is deafening: an orchestra of shouts, worried mumbling and hushed weeping by those traders who are crapping themselves about gambles gone wrong the day before. I pore over the six computer screens which loom above me. It used to be kind of intimidating at first, having all these monitors bearing down a bit like a rapey robot, but over the last year or so of 11 hour days, five days a week, I’m well into my stride.
Yeah, things are going pretty fucking well this morning. Should be a good, if generally regular day. Definitely no risk of any suicide attempts from the office roof garden, you wouldn’t think. Not at all.
I sit on the edge of an aisle and look straight down it to the left of my screens; there is a man standing with his back to me, balanced on a ledge with a drop of over 200 feet. His name is John Wilkins* and he's my direct boss. He has a wife and three kids and is on the verge of throwing himself to his death.
Now, it’s very difficult to say how you’re going to react in a situation like this until you actually end up in the shitty position of it happening. Are you going to freeze? Leap out of your seat and save the day? Or shout ‘JUMP YOU BASTARD’ at the top of your lungs if he’s not one of your favourite colleagues? As it turns out, none of the above. Whilst I sat there trying to work out whether the whole thing was a besuited mirage because maybe I’d accidentally stirred MDMA rather than sugar into my morning coffee, one of John’s friends, a senior trader, had already darted out of the office and onto the roof garden to try and persuade him to get down. After a few minutes, several hundred held breaths, and much awkward silence, he finally did.
I remember, precisely, the moment he did too. 7:57 a.m. The morning auction had already started and within seconds, everyone was back at their desks, tapping away frantically and looking for the best opportunity to make a quick buck.
Just shows you the power of money, really. Even a potential suicide can’t stop the endless march towards profit. Sometimes greed, really, isn’t good.
June 22nd 2009
It’s a Monday and Hawkins-Blythe Investment Co.* are having their annual big broker bash. An exchange of ideas and witty conversation, as well as bodily fluids and coke bags in the disabled toilets. No one does a party like the Square Mile; who cares if it’s a Monday? (Naturally an intentional move by stingy organisers in a failed attempt to reduce the bar bill.) Over 95% of the people present are earning a six figure salary. Rolexes adorn wrists, Church’s brogues shield feet and Oliver Peoples glasses perch on rich faces.
Just thought I’d give you a bit of a background to the evening. Everyone got pissed and had a good time but who wants to hear about that. The fun bit’s what follows; if you can call almost fucking a drunk woman with one leg funny (it is a bit isn’t it).
How does one get oneself into such mischief, I hear you ask? Is it by taking advantage of the free champagne at the party til you’re pretty legless (GEDDIT)? Kind of. But it’s really very simple; I wasn’t tricked, bundled into a bag, kidnapped and taken to a hotel to wake up with the offending fake limb wedged up my arse. But when your mate at work John* whispers in your ear ‘this female broker next to me lost a leg in a car accident and wants to shag me’, you sort of sit up and take notice. Pretty bloody quickly, as it turns out.
Thus, I found myself with John and another colleague, romantically named Shitty Bryan*, in the back of a cab and on our way to a certain hotel that’s forged a stern reputation as the late night fondle destination of choice for city types. (Shitty Bryan, if you were wondering, got his nickname due to his quite unconventional sexual habits and disastrous luck with the female species. After licking the anus of his girlfriend, she ‘accidentally’ shat in his mouth. Bryan was far too honest with his colleagues and we were far too uninventive when it came to nicknames.) Anyway, moving swiftly on.
As we pulled up at the hotel in question, if you could call a squalid sex dungeon with a breakfast buffet a hotel, I pretended to be a gentleman and let Linda*, the lopsided broker in question, out of the cab first. Essentially, I wanted to see if she had a limp. Part of me still assumed the whole thing was an elaborate joke and that she didn’t have one leg at all. Maybe she had a cock instead. Or maybe she was just a normal woman who enjoyed sex with strangers... I was still undecided at this point, but I can confirm she passed the no limp test with flying colours like a total LEG-end (sorry).
The room, as I remember it (and remember it I do, vividly) was less a pleasant place to lay one’s head and more what I imagine a holding cell in Guantanamo Bay to look like. Nevertheless, after laying out a few lines of grade A Bolivian marching powder, which we took in turns to greedily consume, Shitty Bryan boldly made the first move. And no, he didn’t poo on her, which would have been unconventional foreplay at its finest, but to our surprise stroked her hair, kissed her neck and slid a crafty hand down her thigh.
As a still pretty inexperienced 18 year old, who a year previously had indulged in sex only a handful of times, I was faced with a decision. Do I stand up, do a Duncan Bannatyne and say ‘I’m oot’ and leave the whole squalid thing as a filthy escapade that I righteously left before it got too out of hand?
I wish dear readers that I could say I did. Actually, nah, fuck it, I don’t. It was hilarious. I could have left when she (willingly may I add) detached the leg, or when it fell into my path. But no.
As I stood there, semi-naked with a 30-something woman’s prosthetic limb in my left hand and her bare ass in front of me, all I could think of to say, aloud, was the following:
‘To spank, or not to spank?’