Scholars at market-tracking software firm eMarket Systems in Basingstoke have been engaged in a rancorous debate about the repeated absences of junior sales executive Jason Bradshaw. Several are planning to rock conventional views of the world of software telesales by publishing their findings.
Bradshaw, variously described by colleagues as ‘not bad when he actually condescends to turn up and lift the phone’ and ‘a waste of space who looks like Shrek’, has been away from work for 63 of the 204 work days since joining the firm last August, usually blaming migraines, transport problems and grandparents' funerals. However, accounts director Nigel Clark, who first spotted Bradshaw’s propensity to returning with a growth of beard, believes there may be more sinister causes.
‘I have plotted his days off on a graph and found that they are 24% more likely to occur one week either side of the full moon than at any other time,’ said Clark, author of the forthcoming 'Secrets of the Wolf People'. ‘Whether this means he is involved in a sinister cult that worships the Greek moon goddess Artemis or simply that his migraines are caused by the tides I have yet to establish.’
However marketing executive Daisy Phillips denies any extra-terrestrial cause. Bradshaw’s chair on the third carousel from reception, she notes, is situated directly where ley lines from four ancient Druidic sites cross. This can often be associated with fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field.
‘It could be that the chair itself is jinxed and that’s why the previous occupant, sales manager David Peters, didn’t last,’ claims Phillips, in her new book 'Fingerprints of the Druids'. ‘I never bought into the idea he was sacked for shagging my predecessor. That’s just what they want us to think.’
Other theories involve Bradshaw being in an al-Qaeda sleeper cell and a Masonic plot to destabilise eMarket Systems. However, company director Michael Jones is less interested in Bradshaw’s comings and goings than the underlying truths they reveal.
‘My research, which is currently in proof at Sidgwick & Jackson, shockingly concludes that monthly sales on his patch have not varied in a statistically significant way for over four years, no matter who is meant to be selling there. Why is that, eh?’ Jones demanded.
‘That’s no mystery at all,’ countered Phillips. ‘Our products are adequate, so they sell themselves. And if they were much different to six or seven other equally adequate products in the same field, we wouldn’t need a marketing department, would we? Durr.’