Gross Misconduct, By Venetia Thompson
Reviewed by Arifa Akbar
Friday, 30 April 2010
It is a few months prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the City is still flying high. Venetia Thompson, a well-spoken university graduate, finds herself working among the barrow boys of Essex at a brokerage firm on the upper echelon’s of Canary Wharf’s mirrored towers.
Her new world is an adrenalin (and prescription drugs) fuelled alternate universe that is swollen from its own excesses and spinning out of control. The “factory floor” is devoid of any moral pulse; cameraderie bases itself on casual racism, sexism and obscenities.
Thompson, perversely, finds it alluring, for a while, until she is sacked for gross misconduct. For someone who observes this world through a Cristal-induced hangover, while lurching out of Nobu and West London’s best lapdancing clubs, Thompson’s narrative is sharp, insightful, and very, very funny.