The first time I heard about a Wall Street guy buying a brand new Porsche, but being unable to drive it off the lot because he didn't drive.
I was equally mystified and amused, but I soon realized it wasn't so abnormal.
From "Johnny Wall Street" to "Doing God's Work Man", there are a lot of characters on Wall Street. Turney Duff offers up a cool dozen.
Of course, that's not to say every Wall Street guy can't drive a stick. (And I grew up in Maine, where we take our driving test in a snow plow, so what do I know.) There are a slew of different characters on Wall Street and over my 15-year career there, I got pretty good at spotting all the different personality types quickly - like a police lineup. Usually from one phone call, I could tell if he was the "Johnny Wall Street" type or more of an "I'm Doing God's Work Man." That's him!
Some are easier than others to spot. Happy hour or on weekends in the Hamptons are great locations for conducting your own surveillance. Here's a checklist for your next outing:
This guy is in his late 20s or early 30s and you can bet he grew up in Jersey, Long Island or maybe Westchester. You'll overhear him talking about how he crushed it in Vegas last weekend or how the hostess at Stanton Social was "vibing" him last night. He refers to everyone as Bro, Pal, Chief, Guy or Boss.
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The Bionic Woman
I wouldn't be surprised if she had nunchucks in her Celine bag. She answers your question before you even ask it. She works harder than the men in her office and is on top of everything. She's impeccably dressed and you'd never know she's already had two babies. The click of her Louboutins on the pavement echo for blocks.
The Guy without a GPS
He took a wrong turn after college. He has a perpetual scowl on his face. He hates Wall Street, but makes more money now than he could by doing anything else. His dad got him the interview and it snowballed from there. He has a girlfriend with pouty lips, but she's on the other side of the bar with her friends.
The Crusty Old Dude
Crusty has white hair and a custom-made suit. Tawny liquor flows like a swirling sculpture in a rocks glass in front of him. He doesn't talk about stocks or bonds; he's more concerned about flow charts and restructuring upper management on a cocktail napkin. When you try to give him money for your drinks he just holds up his hand and looks insulted.
Johnny Wall Street
If you live in New York or are just passing through, you know this guy. He wears custom-made shirts with a dark Prada suit... no tie. In his office, he tells his co-workers to protect him on a lunch print, his cool way of ordering lunch. Johnny Wall says he's a size buyer when he sees a hot chick. He's the last one to show up at his high school reunion driving his newly leased BMW convertible and checking his Rolex.
My friends and I just call him "J Wall" for short. Check him out here in action:
She doesn't try to use sex appeal to further her career - just the opposite. She saves that for the weekends. She shows up every day ready to work and never appears hungover. She can be spotted crossing the avenue holding a salad and a kale shake.
The Really Good Looking Bad Boy
He was valedictorian, three-sport captain in high school and majored in charm. With his modelesque features and charismatic smile, he'll steal your heart - and your 401(k). Do you really think the Devil would dress like the Devil if he were actually the Devil?
The Husband Hunter
This girl has no desire to climb the corporate ladder. She's on Wall Street for one reason and one reason only: fishing in a husband hatchery. She doesn't care about Sheryl Sandberg.
The Stephen Hawking and Bridget Jones Love Child
He made it to Wall Street because he's scary smart - and you want him on your team - but he's so socially awkward it's painful. He can even sneak the word "duration" in explaining how long it took him to go to the bathroom. Still, there's something lovable about him.
He's just a dude - laid back and works relatively hard. But he's undercover. You can't catch him talking about business unless he's at a steakhouse with other suits. He secretly rolls his eyes at Wall Street jargon and it's hard to catch. He won't mention he works on Wall Street until the third date - but that's why she falls for him.
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I'm Doing God's Work Man
He's the busiest guy on Wall Street - just ask him. He wears his uniform proudly and acts like trading stocks is as important as finding a cure for cancer. He can be found yelling at his wife through his cell phone at all hours of the day.
The Unusual Suspect
He's a family man. His office is adorned by 3rd grade artwork and soccer photos. He'll kick back a couple drinks with you at a bar near Pier 11, Grand Central or Penn Station. But once the clock strikes 6 p.m., he'll limp out of the bar like Keyser Soze, then gradually pick up the pace to a full on sprint when he hits the sidewalk to catch the next train.
Follow him on Twitter @turneyduff.