From fat cat to hot dog - trader swaps office for sausage stand

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Optionpro007, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. German fat cat turns to hot dogs

    By Ray Furlong
    BBC News, Frankfurt

    Thomas Brause used to earn a six-figure salary working as a trader in a gleaming Frankfurt tower. Now he sells sausages on the street outside.

    "My friends and family said: 'You're crazy'," he said. "But they also said: 'Go for it!'"

    His stand is a converted bus that he bought on eBay. In front of it, office workers and labourers from a building site opposite chat over Bratwurst and French fries on white cardboard trays.

    When Thomas looks up, he sees the skyscraper where he worked until the world financial crash arrived.

    "I was working for an American brokers with offices all around the globe," he said. "It ended on 10 December 2008 - a Wednesday. The Friday before we'd had our Christmas party. Our bosses had come out from London to celebrate with us.

    "The Wednesday started normally, but then at 1100 an e-mail came round from human resources. By 1400 we were out the door."

    At first, Thomas tried sending his CV to get similar jobs. But in a changed market, he was offered around half his previous salary. So he hit upon his radical change of direction.

    "I'd first got the idea when I was working in the office," he said. "I'd think: hmm, lunch wasn't up to much this afternoon. I could really use a good German Currywurst with chips."

    No less stress

    But amidst the slick cafes of Frankfurt, no-one was selling grilled sausage smothered in ketchup and curry powder. Thomas spied a gap in the market.

    So now there are long queues in front of his bus every lunchtime and Thomas hopes his business will soon be in the black. "If I can earn 60-70% of my former wage with my snack bar, I will be more happy than before," he said, presumably not including his former bonuses in the calculation.

    He used to handle deals worth millions of dollars - via computer screens and the telephone. Now, he sells Bratwurst with mustard and brown bread for 2.40 euros (£2.15; $3.50), and French fries for 1.60 euros. "And my sister's home-made cakes," he added. "I mustn't forget to mention them.

    "These are real things, not abstract things. You can touch them. I deliver something and I get something in return. It's more satisfying."

    In a way, what he has done is a fantasy for many highly-paid people in demanding jobs.

    "I've heard lots of people moaning about their jobs," said Mr Brause. "As soon as people get to management level they dream of this, and this was a dream of mine for a while because I was pretty fed up with my job too. The office politics was terrible."

    But as the sausages sizzled on a hot plate, Thomas said quitting his high-powered job had not made life less stressful.

    "I work 14-hour days," he said. "I get up at 0530. This is more stressful than before! I did my previous job for 24 years so I was very used to it. Now, I have to learn a lot of things and cope with circumstances I've never seen before.

    "But I would say I'm happier. If you're not happy with your job, it's bad for you. I lost everything but it was an opportunity. So now I'm here - and I'll see where I am in a year's time."
  2. Sorry but if a 'trader' as the article mentions, can not make a living outside an office/job, then he is not a trader, he is an employee.

    Just my opinion of course.
  3. The lesson here is that it's important to think like a wiener.
  4. no frankfurter pun? fail.
  5. At least he stayed in the private sector.

    He could have sold out and got some stupid ass Gubmint job kissing lazy illiterate welfare state low lives.

    Selling hot dogs is still a buy low, sell higher occupation.
  6. lol
  7. No matter what he is still his own boss
    The harder he works the more money he make,s
    But he said he has been working for 24 years does,nt he have any savings - ?
  8. pspr


    One could say he has gone to the dogs. :)
  9. randy33


    This wouldnt have worked in US. First ppl likes hamburger more than wieners (sorry frantfurter) but burger is labor-intensive and needs time to cook. You can precook the hot dogs. Two, you can't just parked your wiener mobile in front of office buildings. You have to find side streets and spots but most places the cops tell you to move on after 10 minutes, you can't just park. Lastly there's the competition for spots and really the last one is many office workers don't need to eat. Many just drink diet cokes and chips all day. And women aren't in this equation as I seldom see women eat a wiener (puns) in public.
  10. I like a chicago style hot dog but I put ketchup on it. It is not right but so what. Too much needed to assemble it though.

    The Germans have a great easy way to make a hot dog though. Just cook up a dog and dip it in ketchup and curry powder. Got to like it spicy, and got to like it ALL DAY cause it wont quit.
    #10     Sep 23, 2009