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to wonder what happens "in the city"?

(31 Posts)
ButteryPie Sun 04-Sep-11 20:22:21

I'm genuinely not being horrible here - I am just curious.

I just realised that I don't actually know what "working in the city" means. People tend to just refer to it as if you should know.

I'm guessing it is well paid, and the city is London, possibly it involves banking, but isn't actually working behind a counter taking in cheques etc.

If you work in the city, when you get to work, what do you do? Do you sit doing spreadsheets, or have meetings getting people to give you contracts, or what?

I understand most jobs, even if I couldn't actually do them, but I honestly have no idea here - if I had to pretend it was my job, I would put a suit on and walk about with a folder in my hand, but that (or it's variant of wearing a high vis jacket or overall and holding a scrap of paper) is my fall back "pretend to know what you are doing" thing.

Not that I pretend to do these things, except in my head. Obv.

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 04-Sep-11 20:23:24


MrsSnoops Sun 04-Sep-11 20:24:35

In the city refers to the square mile of the city of London, not the whole of London.

And it generally means banking, but not cashing cheques. Investment banking and things.

And Yes, generally well paid.

Hassled Sun 04-Sep-11 20:25:33

It's like selling money and shit, isn't it?

MrsSnoops Sun 04-Sep-11 20:25:35

But, agree with bibbity you are not really being reasonable or unreasonable!

Seepage Sun 04-Sep-11 20:25:37

me too. a bit like 'in the office' 'in the city'. it's a mystery.

ScarletLady01 Sun 04-Sep-11 20:25:57

I worked "In the city" up until pregnancy last year. I was but a lowly admin assistant though. My office was in a massive glass building in London Bridge and some of the floors had people earning stupid money. My wage was decent, but it was boring as hell. I had to pander to rich pensioners for a vast multi-national conglomerate and make sure they got their 15K a month pension payments on time.

foreverondiet Sun 04-Sep-11 20:27:20

An hour on the internet should answer your questions!

So YABU to ask.

It varies, lots of different roles - bankers, analysts, investment managers, computer programmers, lawyers, accountants.

Some look at spreadsheets, some deal with clients, some go to meetings, some buy and sell shares, some write reports, etc etc.

ButteryPie Sun 04-Sep-11 20:30:00

What is investment banking though? I get that it is investing other peoples money, to make more money by buying stuff when it is cheap and selling it when it is expensive, fair enough.

But, if you are an investment banker, you get into work, sit down at your desk...and then what? Is it online? Is it those people who shout buy and sell at each other? Do you have a meeting with someone and buy stuff off them, then a meeting with someone else to sell it to them?

I just noticed a huge hole in my knowledge, and I hate it when that happens!

orienteerer Sun 04-Sep-11 20:30:10

In addition it helps to understand that it is also a "borough" in it's own right, has it's own Lord Mayor(not Boris) and it's own police force who are separate from the Met Police.

crazynanna Sun 04-Sep-11 20:30:22

The 'City' I would say is around WC and EC postcodes of London.

Heavily presenced by the Police.

crazynanna Sun 04-Sep-11 20:30:56

Is that even a word? Presence? hmm

Pagwatch Sun 04-Sep-11 20:32:10

It covers the financial sector but that is not just banking.
The buildings always used by newspapers etc to show the city of London include the Lloyds Building which has fuck all to do with banking but is the centre of the Insurance market.

Banking accountancy insurance legal etc etc.

crazynanna Sun 04-Sep-11 20:32:44

Yes,I had noticed the Police where very elaborate helmets wink
It is very white in it's buidings...a superior cement probably anti-pigeon shit,anti-everything.

orienteerer Sun 04-Sep-11 20:34:40

Geographic map.

crazynanna Sun 04-Sep-11 20:35:03

wear blush

ScarletLady01 Sun 04-Sep-11 20:36:06

Lots of security as well. We all had magnetic swipe passes with our photos on. We also had a lot of bomb scares and emergency drills. I also had the displeasure of bumping into Boris Johnson on a nearly daily basis as his office was just round the corner.

I suppose I wasn't technically "The City" if you're only talking about EC and WC postcodes though as I was SE1. I did used to drink in The Barrow Boy and Banker though which is full of pretentious rich idiots.

curbyburr Sun 04-Sep-11 20:37:09

I work in the city as a Bond broker, It's very stressful and often frenetic, but it pays huge money and although it nearly kills me some days I Love it.

PizzaEmpress Sun 04-Sep-11 20:38:31

Yes, the Corporation of London is a borough in its own right. Lots of 'City' stuff goes on outside of this, in places like London Bridge and Canary Wharf though.

eurochick Sun 04-Sep-11 20:38:59

It goes way beyond banking - "working in the City" covers banking, insurance, law, accounting, management consulting, etc. Basically it's the money markets and all of the peripheral support stuff around them.

Maybe some examples will help. I work in the City, in law. My work involves international disputes so e.g. two parties claim they own the same oil field and have a legal battle about that. My husband also works in the City. He's a tax lawyer (so advises companies on how to interpret EU tax regs). My close friend is a banker. He raises money for big public projects e.g. building hospitals.

BarnMummy Sun 04-Sep-11 20:39:19

I worked as an intern in an investment bank in my final uni summer hols. My Dad (who had worked in the city himself) gave me a book called "How the City Works" which gave me enough to have some clue as to what was gong on - if you really want to know what happens in the City, you can get the latest edition of it here:
The Money Machine: How the City Works

emsyj Sun 04-Sep-11 20:40:26

YANBU. I pondered about applying to Accenture as it looked quite swanky and glamorous and pays ££££ but after spending about 3 hours on their recruitment site I still had no clue whatsoever what they actually do.

I am equally clueless about the City - and I used to be a lawyer at a magic circle firm in the City!!! blush Never quite got my head around corporate stuff tho - I was in a specialist department and didn't train there so never did a corporate training seat. I bluffed a lot. I went to lots of training sessions about futures and swaptions etc but still don't understand them in the slightest. <thick emoticon>

BuckminsterFullerene Sun 04-Sep-11 20:40:29

15k a MONTH!?! Pension!

<faints dead away, 'Naive' hat rolls off>

chocoroo Sun 04-Sep-11 20:42:54

I worked in the City as a PA to the CEO of a reinsurance company. I'm still not entirely clear what reinsurance is but it seemed to be a form of betting.

I was well paid, but you have to keep up with the lifestyle. My liver nearly gave up with all the drinking required.

Cocoflower Sun 04-Sep-11 20:47:07

I think "something in the city" is just meant in a jokey way.

It refers to jobs where even after knowing the job tittle most people have no idea what it is.

And if they go onto explain what it involves most people fall asleep.

And those who stay awake wont even recall what was said.

So its just a humorous way of avoiding this by saying "oh I work as something in the city"

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