Chaos on Wall Street

In response to the Daily Blogging Prompt Chaos

Yesterday, I watched on video the film “The Big Short.”  The first time I watched it, I could hardly understand anything at all even when they were demonstrating examples of an idea with a visual metaphor.  However, I thought I would give it another try, and the second time I watched it, I understood much more, but not everything.  I had an IRA that I cashed in around 2006.  I always regretted doing that, but if I hadn’t I might have lost it or some of it in 2008.

However, the film did remind me of a few jobs I had on Wall Street back in the 1970’s, when I worked as an office temp.

One job I will never forget even though it was only for one day. There were two brothers who shared an office and they screamed at each other all day long without any intermissions.  When they weren’t screaming and fighting with each other, they were yelling into their phones.   Later in the day, their father showed up.  With his sons yelling in the background, I looked at him as though I couldn’t believe that his two sons were for real.  The father calmly said his sons were just relieving tension, or letting off steam.  He smiled and as though it were nothing, and that I shouldn’t pay any attention to it.

Before or after that day, I never worked in an office with that continual level of anxiety.  To go through something like that day after day, a person would really have to love money.

The man who was my immediate boss that day was much calmer, but still rather tense. He acted as though the two brothers constant screaming in abject anger, as it appeared to me, was nothing.  It just went with the job.

At this time, I had just graduated from college.  My boss asked what my major was, and I replied “English.”  He looked at me as if I were totally nuts and as much told me so.  Who in the world majored in English.  There wasn’t any money in that.  Later in the day, he realized that he had been quite curt to me when I told him my major:  he tried to amend his tone by saying something nice about English.  I can’t remember what, but it was just silly to me, because I knew how he really felt about it.

After that day I don’t remember ever working in the Wall Street area again.

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