The Trader: That's life in the dynamic City soap opera

`Don't be ridiculous! Who would model themselves on a TV show character?'

OUR NEW trader Kirsty arrived for her first day looking relaxed, happy and bronzed - as bronzed as anyone with red hair and milky skin ever can. "It's out of a bottle," Laura said, just a touch dismissively. "Look, no freckles. See?"

Laura's less-than-generous comment may be prompted by jealousy. While the rest of us are a bit washed out, Kirsty looks almost healthy. That compulsory paid month out of the market that former employers insist on is one hell of a tonic. If not for the tedium of interviews, I'm sure everyone in the City would resign at least once a year. What this means is that Kirsty is also blessed with an exhausting amount of get-up-and- go. The only member of the team who has more is Simon, our annoying new junior salesman. "Shame it isn't got-up-and-went," mutters Laura, darkly. "I'd be cheering even before the door closed behind him."

Unfortunately, dynamism is one of those things that's better in theory than in practice. You can tell this from reading all those profiles of business types in the papers. "Well," friends and former colleagues say, "the thing about X is that they're so - dynamic." You know, however, that what they're really itching to say is: "They're bossy and ruthless and they never listen to a word anyone else says."

Kirsty may well be turning out to be dynamic, too. She has made it perfectly clear to the FX boys that she'll be taking none of their nonsense. They, in return, have nicknamed her "BB" - and I don't suppose they mean it as a flattering reference to Brigitte Bardot. "I don't think they have any for me to break," says Kirsty when I mention this. "Anyway, I've been called worse." Somehow, I can believe it.

What I'm not so sure of is whether this toughness goes through to the core or whether it's merely skin deep. A thick hide is a handy attribute in the rough and tumble of the trading floor, and it's easy enough to go a stage further and find you've donned an entire set of armour, too.

"I know who she reminds me of," Laura pipes up after Mrs Hughes has rattled out of earshot with the coffee trolley. "The Scottish one in This Life - who drank too much and behaved like she didn't give a damn about anything. Do you think she's modelled herself on her?"

I laugh. "Don't be ridiculous," I tell her. "Who ever heard of anyone modelling themselves on a character in a TV show."

Laura gives me an amused look that says she prepared to wait for the moment when I eat my words.

The moment is not long coming. The team has retreated after work to The Cat and Coleslaw for a few large vodkas and some beef and mustard crisps, and while the boys play a terrifyingly competitive game of table football (Rory and Simon vs Jaap and Findlay), the rest of us are having a good chat.

We have already discussed how handsome Jaap is and what a shame he's our deputy boss and therefore off limits; the dangers of work romances; the unlikelihood of anyone ever having a fling with Simon, and the near- certainty of someone giving him a thump very soon ("I'll do it," says Laura); and the people we do like and admire.

"Oh," says Kirsty. "That's no problem at all. Did you ever watch This Life, the series about the lawyers?" I nod weakly, and Kirsty carries on.

"Well, maybe it's just because I'm Scottish too, but I always wanted to be the Daniella Nardini character." Laura smiles.

Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth gamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

Test Lead - London - Investment Banking

£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game