The City is rife with sex. Office affairs, the married boss. The adrenaline of nobody knowing. The sex that makes the job so much more pleasurable.
The young girl who enters a huge room of testosterone can’t help but be excited. These men are powerful, they are worldly and they are all looking at her. Her brains landed her the job, but it is her body that will get her into trouble. Trouble doesn’t worry her. Who wants to be the wilting flower in the back office? Not her. She loves the attention, but pretends to be ambivalent.
It is just a question of time.
He is watching her. She tries to remain calm, but she craves excitement. And that means him. But there is a protocol – he has to chase her, to hunt her down. Invariably he lures her away. She might resist, but his seniority is arousing. No man has looked at her this way before. The dinners, the expensive gifts, it’s all part of the charm. But the illicit sex is what it’s all about.
Perhaps he’s married. Perhaps he’s not. But she still shouldn’t be having sex with the boss. What will happen when it’s over? It doesn’t matter at the time. All that matters is that when she puts on her clothes that morning, she is thinking of him. Wondering where they will go after work. How long until her colleagues notice her strange behaviour?
Always, it’s fun while it lasts. But she must be careful. If he’s married, she cannot allow herself to fall in love. Jealousy will kill the joy.
It ends. But she’s older now and can handle the fall. It’s part of the game and discretion is key. Perhaps they will reunite again in the future. In the meantime, she is on the hunt for another willing victim.
When Melanie Collins joins an investment bank as a young graduate, she quickly discovers that femininity is an invaluable asset. But it must not be abused. She witnesses other women falling victim to office affairs and is determined to be taken seriously.
In an industry where abilities are rewarded handsomely, she rises rapidly through the ranks. But her increased profile attracts the attention of a senior colleague and she is ill equipped to handle his advances. Balancing a demanding job with a confusing personal life proves difficult and soon their relationship threatens to jeopardise her career. As events move beyond control, her glamorous world becomes tainted by betrayal and bitterness.
Set against London’s financial markets, ‘Playing FTSE’ explores the dynamic of ambition, friendship and love in the City. A woman can reach the top, but at what price?