Ed Hunter: An Office Game of Phones

[Snow blows through the door as Jon arrives late for the second time in a week]

“Winter is here” he mumbles as he scuffles to his desk.

“We know winter is here Jon, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to roll in late when you’re behind target!” Snaps Cersei who’s growing visibly bitter at the growing disdain for her office regime.

Danaerys skips over holding the kettle by the base for Jon, whose bottom lip is quivering.

“How d’you not get burnt Dani?”

“I AM THE UNBURNT” she smiles wryly.

“You might be the unburnt Daenerys Targaryen, but whilst you’re working for this company you’ll conform to the laws of pyshics” quips Non-Billing Manager Lord Varys, rolling his eyes.

He’s getting ready for another PowerPoint presentation on the upside down recruitment funnel. After one of the Resourcers questioned his lack of cojones in the kitchen, he needs it go well.

“Thanks for the tea Dani, it’s wet and warm” reminisces Jon as he executes another perfect 1,000 yard stare instead of picking up the phone.

“Awwwww you mustn’t worry Jon” empathises his trusty Resourcer Sam. “Not everyone’s good at recruitment. Look at me, I’m barely able to do one night shift without something going wrong.”

“Oh Sam. Where would we be without your cheer?” smiles Jon as he picks up the phone. Wall’s, his best client, has a hiring freeze again. Jon’s been watching the demise and diminishing market stability with worry.

[As the clock strikes 10am the Dev team enter the boardroom for an “all hands meeting”]

Tyrion, upset by being at the end of the table, drags his office chair next to Cersei with much exertion. The squeaky wheels create collective chuckling from his audience.

“Quite finished?” bites Cersei.

“Oh yes, I’m quite happy now” Tyrion smiles. “Despite not being able to reach the sales board to move me to my rightful position of course” he glances damningly at Bronn, who’s leaning back on his chair examining the figure of the new Perm Consultant from Dorne.

 “Christ, I’d touch her base” he rattles, as eyes around the table look for something less awkward.

“Sit down little dove” whispers Cersei, burning a hole in the back of Bronn’s head with an angry frown.

[Jaime struggles through the door, holding a tea in his right hand, repeatedly missing the handle with his left stub]

“Is the title of this meeting supposed to be funny?” he sighs struggling to adjust his chair.

“You’re still my ‘right hand man’ big brother” jests Tyrion as he slurps a goblet of wine.

Before anyone can question why he’s drinking at 10am a high pitched screech bounces round the walls. Everyone cowers as the din drags on.

“FIRE!” shouts Brienne, bursting into the room.

Dany, unperturbed by the ruckus, sits at her desk and picks up the phone.

“I am the unburnt!” she exclaims, for the third time in an hour. “Which is a good job, considering how hot my desk is…” tilting her head back, narrowing her eyes, waiting for the laughs.

When none come, she realises everyone’s left apart from Cersei who’s snuck off to the throne while everyone’s distracted.

 [The march back into the office after the drill is lead by Jon, the reluctant Fire Safety Officer]

“My watch has ended” he mumbles in his northern dulcet tones, shaking his left wrist.

“Your watch has broken… not ended” explains Tyrion. Who’s now half pissed, but still the brightest person in the room. “And if that’s the Rolex you got last year everyone’s going to think you’re a total bastard.”

As the morning passes, the BD competition is teed up for the final push. Titled a ‘Game of Phones’ everyone’s excitedly anticipating the finale of the quarter. Everyone apart from Arya, who’s given up cold calls to focus on LinkedIn.

“A girl has no name” she soliloquises with deadly determination.

“Of course you’ve got a name little sister” says Jon, putting a hand on her shoulder. “It’s Arya Stark. A fine name. A name to be proud of.”

“Not on LinkedIn it’s not. I’ve started four profiles and comment on my own posts to drive engagement” she giggles. “I’m a faceless pod”

As she arrives at her home page, a connection request pops up. The name says Jaqen H’ghar, but the photo mysteriously only shows the left side of a face. She smiles and clicks ‘Accept’.

[The Game of Phones starts by the ringing of the bells]

The sales floor resembles a battle scene. Limbs flail and the deafening buzz of war chills the bones of the weak and the timid.

Bronn, relishing the Trades and Labour desk haughtily laughs at his own inappropriate jokes, singing misogynistic ditties to Site Managers.

Dani recruits for logistics companies in mainland Europe, which has given her the affectionate nickname ‘Mother of Wagons’.

After rising to the position of Team Manager, her best clients always supply a ream of HOT jobs. Dragon Ltd, Rhagar PLC are both firing on all cylinders but Viserion’s recent hiring freeze has her rattled.

“While you all fight amongst yourselves, I’m fighting the only war that matters” says Jon.

“Oh really, is this to do with noise from admin again?” snaps Cersei, tired of office distraction.

“How am I supposed to lead my team into battle Cersei? I can’t hear myself think. Printer is humming!”

Sansa strolls back to her desk looking teary. She’s been crying in the toilets again. Everyone heard her in there, but thought it best not to ask.

“You were so happy in the summer little Dove, whatever’s the matter” says Cersei

ever more exasperated…

“Winter fell” she replies stoically.

[The bells ring out to signify the end]

The team collapse after their giant effort. Gazes slowly turn to the sales board.

Most look close to death. Those with any life left look distraught from the atrocities they’ve witnessed.

The CEO, Dwight Walker enters at 17:00 for personal reviews with the worst performers. He locks eyes with Bran, the Non-Exec Director in the corner of the room.

“When you play the game of phones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground” he states with an icy stare.

With everyone one the brink of exhaustion the curtain comes down on the quarter. A weird smell emanates from the store cupboard as Reek exits, dragging his leg in unison with the mop.

“Reek. Reek. My name is Reek.” he snivels to himself. Everyone barges past him holding their nose.

“Today’s killed me” gasps Jon to Dani, waiting for the lift. “Fancy a quickie?”

I know what you’re thinking…

“If I was in Game of Thrones, who would I be?”

Well, luckily, I’ve done a simple quiz for you to find out.