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The MBA Jumps Ahead

The MBA Jumps Ahead

November 28, 2016

Chapter 29 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

Shortly after the report that recommended closing down the gold consignment business, bonus time rolled around. Bonus time was always an exciting time of the year at Philipp Brothers, and it fell between the Thanksgiving Holiday and Christmas. There were never any reviews of progress for employees during the year. A single sheet of paper contained all the information of your performance, your bonus for the year and a new salary level for the upcoming year.

I looked forward to my first bonus as a full-fledged traffic clerk. The previous year, I received a couple of grand as a bonus and a small raise. However, this year I thought the number would be higher given my rise into the white collar class at the firm. My expectations were not that great given the problems that had besieged the company but I knew I would get a bump. I was hoping for $5000 and the same amount of an increase in salary.

Ray Nessim and Elias called me into Ray’s office for my review at the beginning of December. When they told me that I would receive $10,000, 500 shares of the company’s stock (worth another $20,000) and a $10,000 raise I was speechless. I could not believe my good fortune. After informing me of my numbers, Ray said, “Excellent job on your project.” As I walked back to my desk, I thought to myself, I am now in line for a trading job when one becomes available. Trading was the Holy Grail, the position that every lehrling hoped to achieve.

Meanwhile, a new arrival to the traffic department, a guy named Rafe Pirutinsky was making quite a stir. Rafe came to Philipp Brothers with an MBA in hand and an aggressive personality. We got along well. Living nearby each other in Brooklyn, we often traveled together on the train. We would talk about the company and politics. Rafe was a committed libertarian. He was also an orthodox Jew, the son of a Rabbi, who was a moil. Rafe’s father performed circumcisions under the traditional Jewish law. He would later clip both of my sons.

After the New Year, the coin trader suddenly left the firm. I never quite heard the story why July Vadasdy departed. It was likely under unpleasant circumstances since it was so hush-hush in the department. That meant a trading spot was open. By that time, I was the senior lehrling in the department. With the success of my project, I assumed I would be the next in line for the leap into the trading department. When the news came that Rafe got the job after a brief stint in traffic, I was devastated. Mildred’s voice played in my head. This was not my first rodeo; I had felt the rejection before. Perseverance was the answer to disappointment.  The slight just made me work harder over the months ahead.

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Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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