Escape from Bucket Island

This passage is dedicated to perfecting the early work exit. For those looking for a more existential “how do I exit this business” and “what will my life look after,” you’re not going to find answers here. I don’t know what to tell you, except it will probably all be over soon.

Now, it’s 2pm on a tradeless Friday. The floor is as quiet as a morgue. In fact, there are very few differences with a boutique bond trading floor and a morgue. At a morgue the bodies are a little bit colder and have toe-tags, but otherwise, it’s an uncanny comparison. The YouTube videos start cranking up. Someone shouts out sports news that you already heard five hours ago. It’s 70 degrees outside: time to get the fuck out.

But alas, you work at a FTBS (face-time bucket shop). You cannot simply walk out- like your other sales brethren (by now 50% of them have already made elaborate excuses as to why they had to leave) – you need to figure out a creative way to get to that Metro North Getaway Car.


The more you can create the illusion you’re still at work, the better shot you have at escaping before it’s too late. Maybe it’s an old cell phone. Or a still-lit cigar. Your coworkers are Nobody’s Fools. Even if you were on your death bed, bleeding out of your eye sockets, you would still have a tough time convincing your coworkers you weren’t out on the town the previous night. “Where’s Bobby? Did he leave?” “No his passport is on his desk so he must be around.” If you are prepared to leave some items behind until the next day, it’ll be hours until someone actually opens up the Passport left on your desk and realizes…. it’s been expired for 5 years. By then, you’ll be on the 3rd tee.

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You probably have a mental blueprint of your building by now. Like Sean Connery from the Rock, you know the in’s and out’s. Like where the private bathroom is, and most importantly: Where the service elevator and stairs are. If you have to buy a building maintenance uniform to be more incognito, do it. The main elevator bank can expose you, leave you for dead. Find that hidden staircase and book it.

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So you broke your arm while skiing Deer Valley. Pathetic. But a GREAT excuse to leave work, basically whenever, and be gone for an undisclosed amount of time at physical therapy. No one can question you (you have that giant cast to prove it), and PT is a great segue to the weekend. Would you intentionally injure yourself to leave work early? Its a question you need to ask yourself in front of a mirror some time.


Not printing trades. No one trades anymore. I mean using the printer. You know, the one that gets used for people to print their Stubhub tickets and research reports that never get read. Printing allows you to be constantly getting up and walking to the printer. If you are briskly walking to the elevator, intently reading seemingly important documents, you can’t be leaving for the day? Or can you?


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This is a tough one, since (as previously mentioned) your coworkers weren’t born yesterday. So this is going to need to seem as legit as possible. You might need to get an ambulance and a team of actors who have a SAG card and preferably a background in medical TV drama. There will need to be some fake blood. If you can do it in front of everyone that works better, although a mysterious car explosion by a bridge also works. You’ll need to move your entire family to Canada, but you won’t need to attend that 7:15 morning meeting anymore. Where do I sign up.

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