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
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine