MONDAY: Fear stalks the director's floor at Smokehouse. Even Sir Marcus looks jumpy. We've received word that Edgar Carver is coming on a state visit. Carver is the chairman and founder of Smokehouse Corp, our US parent company. He's known as Old Smokey because everything he touches goes up in smoke. Apparently, he's heard that things are happening in Europe (he's heard of Europe, which is one up on most Americans) and he wants to check us out. I told Shirley on reception she'd better get her best American smile ready. She gave me the finger. Well, at least her behaviour is consistent with our brand values. Quick visit to the gym with Howard. After a few warm-up drinks we tried to see how many people you could get on a rowing machine. Woman already on it wasn't impressed.
TUESDAY: Old Smokey wants a major presentation on the future of marketing. I'm pretty hazy on what the past was in marketing, so God knows what the future's going to be. Probably the same but more expensive. Timmy Smallwood, the finance director, thinks he can finally get the recognition he doesn't deserve with a presentation on how Smokehouse should be an accountancy-led organisation. I told him that having improved functionality on his spreadsheets doesn't make him a business leader. Had lunch with Bill Peters. He's the only person who remembers Old Smokey's last visit. We got our livers round a couple of large reds and Bill told me that we had nothing to worry about with Old Smokey. He was a good ol' boy and as long as we provided a continuous stream of bourbon and shameless women, the visit would be a success.
WEDNESDAY: At board meeting I told Sir Marcus Bill's recipe for dealing with Old Smokey and requested some budget for a private jet and some in-flight entertainment. Of course, there was no budget for that sort of thing. Bill said when in doubt squeeze HR. Surprise, surprise, we found that Renton-Willets had an enormous amount of cash stashed away for some project on Corporate Social Responsibility. I texted Hayley (my PA) to call Smallwood out of the meeting on an urgent matter and in his absence we voted to use the money to fund some deeply unethical women for Old Smokey. Bill promised to search for them. As he spends 90% of his time on the computer searching for them, this shouldn't be a big problem.
THURSDAY: Bill and I picked up our swanky private jet and flew over with six carefully selected totty. Their daily rates were the same as management consultants, but then they're in the same business. We'd already made a start on the bourbon when they did the most interesting safety demonstration I've ever seen. I discovered that there were videos on board of The World's Hardest Rugby Tackles and The World's Most Mashed Up Rugby Faces. Bill was having his seat-belt adjusted by three shockingly attentive cabin crew, and we agreed that we seemed to have died and gone to heaven.
FRIDAY: Slight blip. Got e-mail from Sir Marcus saying that Old Smokey was dead and we were to pick up his teetotal, Southern Baptist son, whose genitals were in permanent cold storage. Bill got the world's dirtiest woman to serve him the world's largest bourbon. Eight hours later he was well and truly converted to the European business model(s). I told him that the future of marketing was going to be 'experience' driven. He wouldn't need a presentation because he'd already experienced it. We touched down and I spotted Sir Marcus and Smallwood waiting with a limo. Young Smokey decided he'd done Europe and stayed on the plane to get to grips with experience marketing. He took off and Smallwood had to give his presentation to the tarmac - his most receptive audience ever.
John Weak can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.