Recent chaotic trading conditions in soybeans and interest rate futures, particularly on this past Friday, brought to mind that the CBOT had paramedics staffed who were actively called to the trading floor for assistance. It says a lot about a work environment when paramedics are on the premises for almost daily medical emergencies! The following snip from a Fortune article describes how much the medics were utilized and can only estimate that for every call they received, magnitudes more self medicated w/downing some of the legendary pours at the bar Ceres on the ground floor of the CBOT.
“Not that there’s any risk of mistaking the floor of the CBOT for a convention of trust fund babies. The stereotypical trader hails from one of Chicago’s scrappier neighborhoods; he’s almost always male, typically of Irish or Italian descent, frequently an ex-jock, and exceedingly fond of the “F” word in its many forms–as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, interjection, punctuation, and term of endearment. Working conditions leave something to be desired as well. The pits are deafening, frequently hostile, and always stressful. Paramedics were called onto the floor 242 times last year–that’s about one emergency per trading day–and they carried 98 people off to the hospital who had suffered heart attacks, panic attacks, and accidental stabbings with the Bic ballpoints that are the floor trader’s favorite tool.”