Don't Do It: Advice From A Father To A Son On The Trading Floor

Photo: AP

Here’s a nice parable we recently heard that should be a mandatory lesson for any young Wall Streeter.”Traders are always chewing gum,” this guy said. “So there’s always a bunch of gum at the bottom of the urinals.”

Urinals on trading floors are doubly disgusting because everyone’s coming in from a drunk night out and it’s gross.

His (former) supervisor bet him to pick out a wad and keep it in his mouth for 30 seconds. He said he would pay him $10,000.

Weigh the options. It’s not that bad to hold some nasty gum in your mouth. It’s just 30 seconds and it’s 10 thousand dollars. Then again.

So he called his dad, who is also a trader.

“This will follow you,” his dad told him. “The story will get around and you will always be the guy who ate the pissed-on gum. Don’t do it.”

At the time, he was just getting started. Now he’s glad he didn’t chew the gum.

Now that’s some good advice from a trader who is older and wiser.

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