Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1125 : I’m feeling (un)lucky !!

Heard this story from someone at work today. Am assuming that there is nothing confidential/personal about it, so this can go in here. Most probably its an apocryphal tale, but its damn insightful and awfully funny :-)

Lets call this person who told me this story as Bob. Bob was trying to illustrate how irrationality/superstition can play a role at even the best of firms.

So picture this.

Bob sees a senior trader sitting with a huge pile of documents on his desk. He is working furiously on these documents. He is throwing one sheet into the waste paper basket and the other onto a separate pile on his desk…and the cycle continues. At the same time he is talking to others and indulging in all sorts of distraction(s). So Bob walks upto him and has a conversation.

BOB : So ST, what are you doing with this pile? Whats this pile any way?
ST : I am shortlisting candidates for a trader position. The ones on the desk are shortlisted and need to be scheduled for interviews.
BOB : (laughing) : Of course not(you are not shortlisting :-)), ST, you are throwing every alternate document into the bin….and you continue to do this, while you are talking to me. You are not even looking at the resume.
ST : (in all seriousness) Thats the point, BOB. I don’t want any UNLUCKY bastards (traders) on my team.

As I said before is probably apocryphal, but it is indeed a fascinating and illustrative story. I loved the way the guy narrated it.

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