Every year we make employment offers to summer interns, usually academic types who’ve completed a Masters in business or finance. Although I’ve noticed recently that a few creative ones have been lured in, seduced by the golden handshake of a few thousand pounds, in return for their adventurous streak, demonstrated on their CV as still-life modelling, or such like.
As a welcome to City reality – also known as leaving your soul at the reception desk every morning – we managers are required to host an induction day. Each of us has to attend the whole day and talk for an hour about each of our business areas to a bunch of wide-eyed new starters holed up in a conference room in a five-star hotel.
The day always starts with a cringe inducing ice-breaker exercise, where if I had a tenner for each of the times I’ve heard a new-starter claim working in the City was their dream, I could have bought up the entire stock of Dior shops across Europe.
This time around though, there was one particular boy who stood out from the crowd, but not in a good way. On striding over to the podium to deliver his scintillating all-about-me speech, I noticed that his trousers had definitely had an argument with his shoes, as there was far too much Christmas-themed sock filling the gaps.
He talked about being a PlayStation wizard, as I tried to prise my eyes away from the Rudolph twins that were grinning from his skinny ankles.
Rudolph Boy ended his speech by stating that the MD needed to watch his back as he was going to “rise like a phoenix, once he was cut loose”. The MD chuckled as he tapped Rudolph Boy’s name into his handheld, while maintaining an icy glint in his eyes that left me under no illusion that Rudolph Boy may have already crashed and burned.
The highlight of the day was when our star trader deigned us with 20 minutes of posturing as he took questions from the enraptured audience.
No surprise who was first off the mark. Rudolph Boy flung up his arm and yelled: “Will I earn the most money by working in your department, and what about girls?” Star Trader replied, making no reference to Billy Connolly, whose lines he had stolen, with: “Well, to answer your first question, I’ve got a queen looking out of every pocket. And to your second, forget handsome, rich wins, so even you could be in luck if you ditch the outfit, mate.”