Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trading floor toliets

There's a number of things that are missed from working on the trading floor but there's zero nostalgia for the bathrooms.  Amen to that, brothers!

When I first came to Chicago, most of my time was spent at the CME which restricted all the clerks to one, yes ONE, bathroom in between the upper and lower trading floors.  Maybe there was another bathroom but I never knew of it because to only provide the thousand or so yellow jacket clerks half a dozen stalls, that must've been an OSHA violation.  Each morning before the staggered openings of each market, clerks would line up outside the bathroom while waiting for a stall to open up and that kept the toliet seats warm for a 2 1/2 hours straight.  Unless you lived it, there's no way to describe the stench and destruction those bathrooms handled each morning w/the Tuesday mornings after Monday Night Football being the worst.

My solution was to remove fiber from my diet Sunday through Thursday so I wouldn't have to use the toilets not just off the trading floor but the entire Merc building.  There's not a claim that the toilets were as bad as in the Trainspotting photo above but most people that worked on the floor had no respect for anything, particularly in an environment where others could cleanup the mess. 

In Chicago things didn't get any better with the members bathrooms which were also disgusting, as in I'd prefer going at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NY.  However, there was more stalls available and most importantly the members bathrooms were located on the trading floor.  The black badge at the CBOT and dark brown at the CME were jokingly referred to as "bathroom passes" because they cost a couple hundred bucks to lease each month and would allow access to the members bathrooms.

CBOT toilets were better than the CMEs although that's not saying much, NYMEX also was bad from what I remember but was there such a short time a decade ago it's tough to recall fully, MGEX had a nice old fashioned bathroom right on the floor which even visitors could use and KCBT were as nice as could be. 

One of the benefits of trading from home is that I can put fiber back in my diet. 
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