There are two big issues facing Smokehouse. One is our profits, which are receding over the horizon with their arse on fire. The other is Sir Marcus's hairline, which is receding over the back of his head with its arse on fire. Fortunately, we have a chief exec who focuses on what's important - when he's not at the hairdresser horizontally integrating his remaining assets. He's looking for savings in the business, which means the corridors round his office are strangely quiet. I'm doing my bit my restricting all marketing activity to essential lunches, jollies and motivational long-haul travel.
Got in late after essential dental work (cleaning teeth). Claire Bridport, Sir Marcus's PA and Captain of Team Ugly, called me to say that his lordship has heard of a new virus and is demanding to be sent it. I went in to check on this latest foolishness and it turns out his golf buddy has told him about the wonder of viral marketing. He now thinks he can replace our entire advertising budget by sending out a couple of e-mails. This is the same technoplegic who won't log on to the internet in case his wife can see him in the office, and he keeps the computer on his desk turned off so he can check his hair in the monitor. I told him that viral marketing is like gossip - everyone hears it but no-one acts on it. But he can smell savings and wants some now.
Got in late due to unusual curvature in the space-time continuum (room-spinning hangover). Met up with Bill Peters for lunch and a couple of bottles of Vino Collapso. I asked him how he was coping with the internet revolution. He said he was still in shock after the industrial revolution. We agreed that viral marketing was utter bollocks and that if IT people knew anything about marketing, they'd have proper jobs and personalities. Real word-on-the-street is different from word-on-the-e-mail because people who spend all their time on computers don't actually get out on the street. We then got onto hairlines and agreed that the more you paid for a haircut the more likely you are to look like a hairdresser. I suddenly had a brilliant idea of how we could kill two fish with one kettle. Got Hayley to call in our nerdiest IT nerd.
We've found Sir Marcus's missing hair! It's on the back of the neck of our top IT nerd Mark Park. He's the only person in the company who knows how our entire IT system works. He can hack into personnel, change our salaries, anything. He's even got the IT director by the binaries. I asked him what he was doing with all this power. He said he preferred playing computer games - destroying lives and building empires, surrounded by hot babes. I said that's what marketing directors do in the real world. For a moment he seemed genuinely impressed. He then restarted my computer and asked if I visited a lot of dodgy sites. I asked him how he knew this. He said he didn't, he was just asking. Devious little pervert. I then explained my plan for viral marketing.
Claire Bridport switched Sir Marcus's computer on today. Mark Park has arranged that he's sent an irritating viral marketing e-mail every three minutes with a fantastically loud ping, which of course he won't be able to turn off. Me and Bill walked past his office a couple of times to check if it was working and it sounded like continual submarine warfare in there. After lunch Sir Marcus disappeared off to his hair-weaving appointment. Two hours later I got the call that the marketing budget was intact. Apparently, his hairdresser told him that viral marketing was a common cause of hair loss in middle-aged men. If Sir Marcus had looked down at that point he would have seen the gingery remains of Bill Peters' mullet around the bottom of his chair. It's amazingly powerful, this word-of-mouth thing. Must try it.
'Weak at the Top - The Uncensored Diary of the Last Cavemanager' is now available, published by Prentice Hall. Contact John Weak at email@example.com