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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Back to the grindstone

When I was at Midland, we had a trainee we nicknamed “Perf” because, while he thought he was perfect, he was really a complete and utter jub. I don’t know whatever happened to him, but I did suspect it was him who’d sent in the CV.

“Summer’s gone
days spent in the grass and sun
but I don’t mind
to pretend I do seems really dumb”

I only wish I could be as cheerful as the Boo Radley’s. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the return to work after my holiday a bit of a struggle. In fact, any sense I had of feeling relaxed had evaporated before I even could to set foot back in the UK. That’s because the train I was coming back on broke down in the middle of the Channel Tunnel, leaving me and my family, including the dog, stuck in a foul and festering environment under the English Channel for several hours.

My mood had scarcely recovered before I was back into contacting press officers. While most of them are good, there are a few who seem to relish being obstructive. I’ve always felt that being a press officer must be the easiest job in the world when you respond to all questions with ‘no comment’. It drives me nuts, so this week I have added a couple of names to my little black book.

On a lighter note, my mood improved dramatically when I went into the Euromoney office and was forwarded a CV that someone had sent to my esteemed editor. When I was at Midland, we had a trainee we nicknamed “Perf” because, while he thought he was perfect, he was really a complete and utter jub. I don’t know whatever happened to him, but I did suspect it was him who’d sent in the CV.

I don’t think I have ever read such an ostensibly impressive record of achievement. But my editor is hard to please, despite the applicant’s strong credentials: a stint at Oxford University reading books, followed by a spell in the FX market working for Credit Lyonnais, where he, “created a new trading and sales desk covering all foreign exchange and money market products to major institutional and high net-worth clients around the globe.” This desk, “generated 90% of all revenues made by the bank in Europe”. Apparently.

I know Lyonnais was up shit creek in the mid-1990s, but that’s still a very big claim. I’m amazed the bank let him go.

The applicant then moved into journalism with the same apparent level of success. Even though my editor didn’t have anything for him, he didn’t seem perturbed. “To be honest, I am earning more money than I could ever earn with you, as a freelancer. Currently about £200,000 per year. I had to apply to somebody to get my housing benefit, otherwise they would could (presumably he means ‘cut’?) it off, so sorry for wasting your time. You made the right decision, chief,” was his bizarre response.

We thought it was the right decision too.

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