It was just a word, a simple idea really, but the room was in immediate agreement. How could they not be? This was Bravo-Toaster presenting after all. Sure, he’d had a few misfires with purple cauliflower and tie-dyed bell peppers, and sure, no one could really point to any specific successes he was directly responsible for, but he was the fastest rising executive in the entire firm, skipping the corporate ladder entirely, instead crawling up the pile of bodies he’d thrown under the bus. Interns, hippies, old men hiding in the shadows waiting for retirement – they were all gone now. And Bravo-Toaster had made sure of that.
Bravo-Toaster had a cemented confidence about him now, matched by his final hair form, the comb-over, his accession from #MILLENIALEXPERT to full-on business god completed thanks to the webinar series Grab Your Boss By The Balls: A Guide To Getting Promoted (later retitled, in reaction to negative PR, Grab Your Boss’s Junk: A Gender-Proof Guide To Promotion, and then, after more negative press still, re-retitled Don’t Touch Anyone Ever For Any Reason: Getting Promoted The Asperger’s Way.). This was a man born then reborn then rebranded again, an ever-evolving marketing cyborg programmed to hashtag and retweet its way to the top.
The product itself was a fat, slimy Florida avocado. How their firm was able to land another produce client after their past debacles was a puzzling mystery to most. The Head Account Executive who’d brought in the business knew the answer, but he was on forced administrative leave following a sexual harassment suit levied at the firm. He’d acted shocked when the papers were served, not understanding how one measly grope, twelve suggestive drunken text messages, and a not-even-fully-erect dick pic constituted as harassment. He was a leftover relic of an era in marketing that no longer existed, a dinosaur who’d forgot to fossilize, and the firm’s younger uprising of board members were happy to push him out, leaving Junior Executives scraping over each other in bloody backstabbings, passive-aggressive memos and peer-reviews of past-failures, for a shot at his leftover clients.
Of course it would turn out later that it was Bravo-Toaster who’d convinced the intern, a woman he’d had fired for mangling a job she wasn’t qualified for to begin with, to levy the suit. He’d played both sides perfectly in the ensuing chaos, even comforting the Head Account Executive’s wife (a woman who’s dosage of Oxy for the treatment of “migraines” had reached such a point she wouldn’t have felt a beheading, let alone a headache) with a hand-written letter, an idea he’d gotten from a popular listicle entitled Ten Things Old People Wish Still Existed, while simultaneously showing in-house initiative with his introduction of DiversifiHiRe, a proposal for shifting HR hiring practices away from the men who considered other white men who dared wear khakis in the workplace diverse, lauded for its creative incorporation of capitalization and vague spelling.
The resulting hires from DiversifiHiRe were a young, ambition-crazed marketer’s wet dream, an army of diversely colored and gendered robots, all programmed to spout the same ridiculous social media market trends and ideas for improving return on investment, an ROI or DIE squad. Slightly younger, impressionable, and eager to save the world through viral marketing, Bravo-Toaster worked them over one by one, adding them on Instagram, Twitter, hell, LinkedIn, collaborating on memes and memory shares, building relationships, networking nightly, until at last, they all adored him, backing him in every meeting and #THINKSPACE forum.
And there they all were, stacked to the brim in his technicolor ark, hanging by the edge of their seats, waiting, wondering how their mystical savant marketing savior would deliver the word of the Slimcado, a bigger, heftier avocado, to the legion of granola moms concerned about their Fitbit regulated caloric intake.
“A webinar, obviously. I didn’t get where I am by NOT watching webinars now, did I?”
And as it began, so did it end.