Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Blooming marvellous

I decided to try taking different trains on the underground this morning to try to cut down my journey time a bit, which worked, but it seems that absolutely EVERYONE who lives in my area goes this way too - the stations were absolutely heaving with commuters and I narrowly avoided being pushed onto a train by a wee woman wearing white gloves who shouted. A lot. I'll try to get a photo of the 'pushers' tomorrow morning as it's actually a really good system - they keep people away from the edge of the platform until the train has arrived and then shove as many people as possible into each carriage.

I spent this morning at the Bloomberg office (in the Marunouchi Building, next to mine) being trained in how to use their 'Bloomberg Professional Service'. I want to leave RBS and work for them - their office is the coolest and most futuristic 4 floors of a building that I have ever been in! And, most importantly, all the food and drink in the uber-modern canteen area is free! You walk through a tunnel that's lit with eerie blue lights to get from the reception into the main concourse.

Then, running diagonally across the whole floor is a stream of stock exchange tickers and figures. Also at one end of the office is a massive aquarium - apparently one of the CEOs liked fish!

You can also see a bit of the cafeteria seating in the photo. All the food and drink (and there's plenty choice) is completely free to employees. I think it's to try to persuede you to stay in the office over lunch and carry on talking business. I was a bit jealous as I accidentally ordered tofu instead of chicken for my lunch (they looked really similar) and at that point in time, I wanted something that didn't have a slimey texture. A lot of Japanese food seems to be slimey or chewy or an odd combination of the two, which is great if you're expecting it, but not if you think you are biting into chicken...

The weather was so stunning today that I decided to take some photos of the views from my building:

The first one shows Tokyo Station and the other two show the Imperial Palace and Gardens (the last photo is actually the view from Bloomberg's building, but their view was better!).

I spent the afternoon learning about options and swaps with the office's dollar options trader. Also, I've started researching the kind of stuff I'll need to know for my 'JSDA Securities Sale Representative Class-2' exam. I'm hoping to sit this (the Japanese equivalent of the FSA's exams) whilst I'm here with RBS as it would be more than fantastic for my CV - most people don't get to sit it until their first year in a graduate position. If I pass, it also means I might be able to study for the 'Sales Rep Class-1' exam and sit that too, and that one includes a lot of the options stuff that I started learning about today. If (and that's a really big IF) I pass that one, then I would actually be a fully qualified trader and could pretty much walk into a position at any financial instituion in Japan. All together now: "Oooooooo."

I had a bit of a wander around the other buildings in the financial district after work this evening, mainly to try and suss out where the good places to get lunch are! The Marunouchi area is very similar to Manhattan - all the buildings are new skyscrapers with fancy interiors and even fancier shops, sitting next to a large park that acts a bit like a small version of central park. It looks even more like New York once it's dark.

Oh, and I still haven't unpacked yet. Oops.

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