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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'