by Georgevine Moss
Mike Dallas stared at the numbers changing above the elevator doors. The roomy space was packed with suits, briefcases and dangling financial newspapers. Mike stood in the middle of it, pinned to the spot, motionless and pale like a corpse in a casket.
The elevator got lighter by several dozens of pounds on the 30th floor; on the 40th he was the only one left, briefcase in hand, tie loose and sweat beads all over his face. Of course he was the only one left. This was his floor; everyone else was at their desks, working. Everyone else wasn’t late. Everyone else wasn’t him.
He rushed out the elevator and continued with a run, one that could easily pass as a brisk walk in case anyone looked up from his screen and noticed him. To get to his desk he had to go through the maze of cubicles that had taken over the once clean space just like mold spreading on a nice slice of bread, unwanted and perilous to your health. He did so like an excellent skier sliding down a remote mountain, an avalanche waiting to crush him at every passing moment.
Mike dropped to his chair and stared at the computer screen in front of him as he typed in the password. In a few seconds charts had taken over the three screens on his desk. Also struggling for his attention were several red and blue squares flashing with ever changing prices like strobe lights in a drug-addict’s mind.
Without wasting any time Mike got to work, putting lines wherever he could think of and drawing Fibonacci retracements wherever he felt it was right. He was skimming the economic calendar on Bloomberg when his cell phone started vibrating in his pocket.
He stared at his wife’s number on the small screen with his thumb hovering over the “end call” button. Several seconds later he answered the damn phone.
“What?” he said. He rolled his chair closer to the desk and began fiddling with the mouse, scrolling through pages filled with fun words such as “debt”, “collapse”, “earnings” and “GDP”, but he did not actually read anything. His brain was like a steam engine, hot and fuming. “You want to talk about it?”
Mike only left her enough time for a heavy sigh. Then he ended the call with a short monologue. “You want a divorce. Got it. Talk to my lawyer. Oh, wait. He is your lawyer too. And you are screwing him. Guess he won’t be looking for my bests interests, is he?”
He sat in his chair feeling stupider than ever. Surely he could have thought of something to say that would actually hurt her feelings instead of just reiterating the facts that made him sound like a failure, yet he hadn’t.
In the midst of his happy thoughts the phone on his desk began ringing. Mike picked it up and answered with the same charming tone he had talked to his wife. “What?” he said. At which point he realized this was his work phone and his face turned white.
“Mr. Johnson would like to see you in his office,” a very calm, female voice blared in his ear. She wasn’t screaming but he got a headache anyway.
“An hour ago.”
Mike tried to swallow but his mouth was dry. “I’ll be right there,” he said.
He stood up, straightened his tie and began the long walk to Mr. Johnson’s office. So his boss knew he’d been late that day. So what? He’d never been late before. But what if Mr. Johnson asked why he’d been late? Would it be better if he said he’d overslept? Probably.
There was none of the usual pleasantries once Mike was in Mr. Johnson’s office.
Mr. Johnson, a tall lean man in his eighties, sat behind a grand oak desk. “The day of reckoning has come,” he said in a grim voice that matched his black three piece suit.
Mike stared into Mr. Johnson’s steely blue eyes and all he could think of was of vodka and ice; maybe because his brain was frozen and he felt sick.
“Today will determine your future in this company,” Mr. Johnson said.
Mike was stupid enough to joke about it. Well, try to joke about it. “Oh, so there is a future,” he said, smiling. “I was a bit worried about that.”
“You should be,” Mr. Johnson said, not smiling. “What I need from you today is a technical analysis report for GOLD, S&P 500, EUR/USD, CABLE, EUR/AUD, USOIL and ASE.”
“But, sir, I don’t trade the Athens stock exchange index.”
“I know. I added that one for fun. You are allowed to make one trade. You better make it a successful one.”
Mike decided it was best to be concise. “Or?”
“Or you are fired. Any more questions?”
“But I’ve been doing nothing but losing so far, you can’t honestly expect me to do this?”
“That’s a very good plea Mr. Dallas. If, by any chance, this doesn’t work out for you perhaps you should consider becoming a lawyer?”
And with that helpful suggestion the meeting was over. Back at his desk Mike began charting his future, his wrist watch loudly ticking away the minutes. Tick, tick, tick…
Mike Dallas entered the GBP/USD trade. Is he going to keep his job?
8/31/2011 15:30 EST
SHORT SELL at 1.21500
BUY at 1.12500
STOP at 1.36500
SHORT SELL at 1.34450
BUY at 1.23950
STOP at 1.42000
LONG BUY at 1.82400
SELL at 1.98500
STOP at 1.70000
SHORT SELL at 1.62400
BUY at 1.61200
STOP at 1.63500
LONG BUY at 1.43750
SELL at 1.50500
STOP at 1.39000
SHORT SELL at 88.88
BUY at 84.45
STOP at 92.20
LONG BUY at 916
SELL at 1160
STOP at 720