07 July 2005

I'm in London, working at the London office - the one right by Liverpool street. A bomb went off there this morning.
They evacuated the 100 Liverpool street office, but the trading floor building, 1FA was left to continue work. We had the SkyNews channel on all day and, needless to say, trading patterns were decidely non-standard. None of the subways (tubes) were running again at the end of the day so everyone was walking across London to get home or waiting two hours for a taxi. We have work as usual tomorrow, but I imagine it will be strange. There's already an echo of uncertainty in the air about resuming normal life. Is it ok to just continue? Shouldn't there be something different, something done or said?
It's also strange how muted the world's reaction seems. I mean, six bombs which could (as it stands now) be attributed to a new sect of Al Qaeda is big news. They threatened London after Madrid was hit and it would seem they have made good on that threat, but the market is down only 1.5% and the US market rallied in the afternoon. I mean, they target the US and the whole world is in uproar, they hit Madrid or London and it's news for a day? I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but, it seems like the rest of the world is saying "gee, that's horrible" and promptly moving on.
On a different note, being in the London office has been eye-opening. The attitude and expertise is very different here and I'm learning a lot. I'm also remembering how much I miss the UK and it's renewing my desire to move back here for at least a few years. One of the traders also let it slip that he's been getting "good reports" about me. Another mentioned that when he's got new or difficult things to get done it's "sort of known to go to [me]". There's been an awfult lot of negativity about the Stamford group in general coming out of London, so it was especially nice to hear they don't see me as one of the big failures. They actually seem to think I'm going to bring the whole team up... which leads to something else I realised.
I have always paid lip service to the idea of making your whole environment better, but it really hit me today. It's not enough for me to be good at what I do - it's about making everyone around me better at what they do. Being really good, being brilliant, is the ability to bring the average up; to bring out the brilliance in everyone around them. So I guess that's my project before I find something else to do. Like get promoted. Or take a job on a desk. Or go to med school. Something is going to change by December, but until then, it's about leaving trade support better than I found it.

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