Monthly Archives: December 2011

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

To say I was too busy to post anything in the last couple of months would be kind of a lie. Yeah, work’s been busy, but not that busy. Spending a lot of time in the office is never an excuse for doing nothing with the time you spend outside of it.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve sold my soul to the finance industry and I’m currently supporting an online spread betting system for people with so much money they don’t know what to do with it. What’s spread betting? It’s based on normal stock market trading, so if the price of a unit of gold is £10 and you buy 5 of them for £50, then the price of a unit goes up to £15 and you sell what you’ve bought, you’ve made yourself another £25. In spread betting though, you don’t actually buy any gold; you buy a contract that says we will pay you the difference if the price goes up, and you will pay us the difference if the price goes down. Oh and we’ll loan you a load of cash so you only have to pay a percentage of what you buy.

That means that you could buy 1000 units of gold at £10 a unit for only £100 (normally £10,000). We put up the other £9,900 and if the price goes up to £15 a unit then you’ve just made 5 grand! FROM £100! But wait, there’s a catch… If it goes down to £5 a unit then you owe us 5 grand. Not so keen on the idea now are we?

Suffice to say it’s a very complex game with rules, patterns and strategies like any other, but with the potential for going bankrupt. People who do it successfully will sit in front of their 4 widescreen monitors all day looking at hundreds of numbers flashing yellow and red, watching 24 hour market news updates and reading nothing but the business columns of various newspapers and websites while they sip on their lattes, smoke their Davidoff cigarettes and dine on sushi served from gold platters balanced precariously upon the collective breasts of 12 virgins lying naked on the snow-leopard rug in front of the fireplace. I’m a troubleshooter though – the man who puts out the fires and greases the wheels that keep this machine running. I will often pick up the phone to hear some bloke going on about how “there’s no pricing on UK Equities. Legacy looks alright but the tick data doesn’t seem to marry up. Can you take a look please?”

“Sure, um, tick data? Let me just… Mmm… No it still looks like it’s still ticking.”

“What? Did you even hear what I said?”

“Yeah man, Equities… Equities… Legacy and shit innit. *long pause* Can I just put you on hold for a minute?”

I am actually getting the hang of it now, which is comforting because I’ve been here for nearly 3 months. The learning curve is massive, the pace is frantic, the atmosphere is professional… It’s a very exciting place to work and I frequently look at my watch at 16:30 only to wonder where on earth the rest of the day has gone.

So you must be wondering what the title is about then. “If he’s happy here then what’s all this about going somewhere?” I hear you ask. Well, my company allows its clients to trade on many of the markets around the world including NZ, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Europe and the US. That means we need to offer 24/7 support as well which, at the moment, means night-shifts once every 4-5 weeks. Very soon after I joined however, my boss announced that they are opening an office in Singapore and would any of us like to go there to live…

My initial reaction was no, definitely not. I’ve only just got back from Japan and got a house, job, mobile phone contract, etc. I’ve been moaning about the lack of sausages and mash for months and now I’m going to throw all that away again!? Yet over that weekend I got to thinking about it. The main reason I came back from Japan when I did was to get into my career and start to take it seriously, but now I’m firmly within my chosen career and they’re offering me the chance to go and live abroad again. Ever since my trip around the world in 2006 I’ve been banging on about how travelling is the holy grail and how it makes you into a better person, and it was in these very pages that I spoke about comfort zones and how important it is to shove ourselves out of it every now and again, so why does my mind just seem to want to buy a rug, a lounge chair and a sideboard, and stack it full of vinyl, vintage memorabilia and lava lamps?

Now, I can see you there, reading this and getting all excited about the prospect of a whole new adventure to read about. You’re probably peering through your hands at the screen barely able to read for fear of what I might say but completely unable to stop, quietly chanting…Whispering… “Go Bobby, go. Do it. Go.”

Probably.

It’s true that from a blogging standpoint, a move to Singapore would be the refresh that Ramblin’ Man needs; the next adventure that stops it from becoming a relic; an archive of all the interesting things I used to do before I bought some long-johns and an egg poacher, but I can hardly go to Singapore just to keep a blog going can I?

Ultimately the decision will have to be based around what is best for my career, and what is best for my happiness, and at the moment, I’m sorry to say, the sausages and mash seem to be winning.

One more week to decide…

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