Of all the bankers to traipse away from the glass-fronted Lehman Brothers building in Canary Wharf yesterday, Edouard d'Archimbaud was perhaps the one who elicited the most sympathy.
It was hard not to feel sorry for the Frenchman as, besieged by journalists, he explained that, having had his arrival in London to start a new job delayed by last week's Channel Tunnel fire, he had not even made it as far as his desk before being told he was sacked. The 24-year-old's next step was perhaps understandable, given that he had just lost a salary of £45,000 a year.
"I went out drinking with friends," he said. "We went to some bars in Islington and I told them about what had happened to me. They all kept asking 'How can that happen? How can you lose a job on your first day?' but I told them that it is just life. Working in finance is like a game, everything happens very fast. That is the life we live and that is why we enjoy it."
After taking up a position as a systematic trader on Monday, M. d'Archimbaud awoke yesterday to the reality that he is now unemployed following a career at Lehman Brothers which lasted little more than an hour. He said: "My plan now is to go back to Paris. I've spent the day calling headhunters in France and sending them my CV. I haven't heard anything back yet but, hopefully, they will call me some news this week.
"I've just signed a six-month lease on a flat in Earl's Court. It's £180 per week and I won't be able to afford to live there without a job, so I've had to advertise it on the Gumtree website.
"I phoned my team at the Lehman Brothers office because I know they will need some people to work for a while. Hopefully, they will ask me to go back and help out but I don't think my name will be at the top of the list because I'm young and inexperienced.
"They said they would be in touch if they needed me but I fully expect to be formally sacked soon. I think I will have to find my own solution, which will probably mean going back to Paris to work there."
Before he does, however, M. d'Archimbaud has another problem. He said: "Because I expected to live in London for a while, I bought return Eurostar tickets in advance so I could go back and see my friends. Obviously I won't need them now, so I've been trying to sell them online."Reuse content