Shifty meetings in corridors.
Muttered conversations and sideways glances.
The contract for MassiveBank had become available.
The sales team were pulling out all the stops to land it.
The most important thing to remember:
Don’t tell the boss.
Their boss was called Gameshow.
He was Head of Sales.
He was a fucking liability.
He must have been extremely impressed by Michael Douglas in Wall Street.
Gameshow had the slick hair, braces, filofax.
He used cringeworthy corporate-speak at ever opportunity.
He had a smile that switched on and off unnaturally.
If he got wind of the looming MassiveBank contract, he would be guaranteed to balls it up.
Everything was done in secret.
Meetings were held in toilets.
The most important room in any factory.
Norse was in cubicle one.
Ferris was in cubicle two.
“All set, Norse. Leeds station at nine. Train down to London, meeting with MassiveBank at one. They’re making favourable noises already.”
“Good work, Ferris. What about Gameshow?”
“Doesn’t know a thing about it. First thing he’ll find out is when the contract lands on his desk.”
“Excellent. Let’s keep it that way. Remember to flush.”
“Will do, Norse. See you tomorrow.”
Next morning 9.00am.
The team meet in Leeds station.
Some nerves, but quiet confidence prevails.
Coffees, clock watching, murmured conversation, and…
“Hey there, team! Surprise!”
Spilled coffees, pale faces, murmured curses.
“Oh, erm, hi Gameshow. We were worried you wouldn’t show. Did you get the email?”
“I certainly did, Norse! Had to hop on your machine to retrieve it. Hope you don’t mind!”
“Oh. No, I suppose not…”
“Capital, capital! Right then, troops. What’s the campaign strategy? Give me the angle!”
Ferris shuffles nearer to Norse.
“We’re fucked, aren’t we?”
“I don’t know. Maybe not.”
“Come on team! The train’s here. We’ll drill-down over lattes!”
On the train, they brief Gameshow.
Ferris and Norse are to clinch the deal. Secretaries to take notes, account executives to set schedules, Gameshow was there to ‘add weight’ to the proceedings.
As long as he didn’t open his mouth, they would be ok.
One O’clock. MassiveBank HQ.
Ferris starts with a powerpoint presentation of the company capabilities.
Norse follows samples of previous work, mock ups of how MassiveBank’s material would look on various brochures and mailers.
Penpusher gives a briefing on costs and schedules.
Everything goes smoothly.
The team are professional.
MassiveBank are impressed.
Big Head, marketing director for MassiveBank, leans forward.
“I’m impressed, Mr Norse. It seems like you have covered all the bases. My only concern is might not have the capabilities to deliver this product to schedule.”
Everybody looked at Gameshow. He’s rocking back in his chair, his fingers laced behind his slick hair.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Easy peasey, lemon squeezy! I’ve looked under the bonnet of all Norse’s proposals, and it’s infinitely do-able.”
“I’ve not been handling your traffic personally, Mr Big Head, because I’ve not really had enough bandwidth, but Norse here has looked at everything to the finest level of granularity, he’s our product evangelist, so to speak. We’re going to tic-tac together next week over the small stuff, but I’m certain, with a little forward planning, that we can probably beat the targets we’ve shown you here by maybe a week!”
Penpusher jumps in his seat.
“Erm, Mr Gameshow, what about the GoldCash account? We’ve got them on the schedule…”
“Goldcash? Park it.”
Gameshow leaned across the desk, ready to deliver his killer blow. Norse and Ferris look away.
Let’s cut to the chase, Mr Big Head. I’ve got what you want, and I can give it to you, hard and fast.”
Tiny groans emerge from the team. Gameshow doesn’t hear.
“Me and my crew have taken enough idea showers together to know what’s what, Mr Big Head. We’re experts in 360º thinking. I’m certain that Massive bank and our company, working together, can create a beautiful synergy. It’s a partnership you will not regret!”
The smile switched on. Gameshow actually winked at Mr Big Head.
“You know it and I know it, Mr Big Head. Our products are marketing Viagra! Just leave my team here to do all the clicks and mortar. They pride themselves on taking a holistic, cradle-to-grave approach to your product. They will give you a mailshot that will make you’re target demographic hard! Meanwhile, I’m gonna take you to lunch!”
Gameshow stuck out his hand. “What do you say?”
It seems that My Big Head wasn’t hungry.
The team trudged along the station platform.
Ferris consoled Penpusher.
His dreams of a Christmas bonus had turned to dust.
Gameshow was unperturbed.
He slapped Norse on the shoulder.
“Chin up, my old China! Mr Big Head is probably ringing the office right now, begging for our services!”
Norse said nothing.
“Yes, he won’t let the grass grow too long under that deal. He’s just playing hard to get. I like that in a man.”
Norse looked at Gameshow.
“You like men to play hard to get?”
“Don’t say you like it easy, Norse! You’re like me! It’s all to easy to nibble on the low hanging fruit. Men like us want to stretch for the client! And when we’ve wined them and dined them, we like to put the fucker to bed!”
“Of course! Now get on that train, and get the team a round of lattes! I’ll get the next train. I’m going for a blow job!”
“A blow job? What does that mean? Is it a meeting with clients? Are you making a phone call?”
“No! Big meetings like that always get my juices flowing. I’m going to get a prostitute! Here’s fifty quid. By coffees for the gang. Ciao!”