Nigel Binks, Head of R+D, burst into Sally Gulliver’s office. ‘We’re finished!’ he wailed.
Then he threw himself on the floor, which he proceeded to beat with his fists while weeping uncontrollably.
Sally Gulliver blinked a couple of times before going over to pick up Binks off the floor, dust him down a little and place him on the chair in front of her desk.
‘Finished, you say?’
Nigel Binks nodded glumly, biting his fist in anguish.
‘Oh. Well, that’s a bit of a shame, I’ve just renewed my annual season ticket. What’s brought us to this particular apocalypse, on such a sunny Tuesday morning, would you say?’
‘It’s International Custard. Those [Expletive deleted by CIPD IT SWAT team]. I hate them with their black suits and their black ties. I hate the way they all wear shades and are all called Nigel. They think they’re so cool. They are so cool, which makes it even worse.’
‘Whatever have they done now?’
‘It’s their new product. It takes us on in our core market. And it’s inspired. Innovative. Everything.’
‘What’s it called?’
Nigel whimpered pitiably. ‘It’s called… “iBlancmange”.’ His voice dropped to a reverent whisper. ‘Brilliant, isn’t it…?’
‘You know what they’re calling it? “A blancmange for the digital age”.’
‘Hmm. But does it taste nice?’
‘Good God no, it tastes like old sawdust mixed with glue. That’s hardly the point: the branding is perfect.’
‘But we’re about so much more than just our brand, aren’t we?’
Nigel Binks sighed. ‘Yes, but only because our brand is so completely shot. Sally what are we going to do…?’
Sally picked up the phone and rang Mark Temple’s number.
In two weeks’ time: What if the future isn’t blancmange-shaped?
Bingleby was confiding in Richard Goff
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