Binary - A Short Story
Jim pulled on his cigarette and partly due to the sun and partly due to the hangover and partly due to his upcoming 'Smashing Session' with Denise, he squinted and rubbed his eyes. He was sat in meeting room 479 which was actually the bench outside Stone and Pebble, the closest decent coffee shop to the office. A while ago during a conversation with his boss Jim had suggested that due to a lack of actual meeting rooms in the office they should name some of their favorite places in the area as official meeting rooms.
Meeting Room 336: Any table outside Poppies.
Meeting Room 999: The bench outside Mr Hungry.
Meeting Room 10: The set of tables outside of Hoa Viet Tre.
The furthest meeting room was 789 a full 10 minutes walk from the office and actually constituted the car park outside of the Bell and Feather. It was only used around 5 pm when people wanted an early beer or strategy meeting as they sometimes called them. The most exclusive was 555 and was to be found inside Maven House, the members club next-door to the office, and of whom only the senior management were members.
This was the sort of 'out-of-the-box' thinking that had drawn Jim to take a job at Binary in the first place. Having spent 4 years kicking around various companies in the vague role of 'marketing' he had jumped at the chance to work as a 'data strategist' for Binary. Binary were one of the hottest new agencies out there. Having pioneered numerous methodologies such as 'Small To Medium Thinking' and ‘Backwards First’.
The real breakthrough for Binary had been 'TELLAN SCORE' a piece of proprietary software that determined a user’s influence based on an agile algorithm that measured data from their Swappr profile, how often they commented on Tu.fu and data gathered from their mobile internet provider. It was revolutionary because no-one else had been able to marry these data sets, although as Jim had found out fairly early on, it was only because the CEO of Binary was the brother-in-law of the CEO of Tu.fu.
Jim had been excited to take the role. He would be heading up the TELLAN team and most importantly would be directly responsible for reporting on Ba Ba Ya Ya. At the time he joined BBYY was the hottest video blog show on Tu.fu and had recently been commissioned to create spin off shows for both Channel 4, HBO and there were even rumours about a movie deal.
Smashing Session Schedule
9PM: Introduction - Denise Butterworth
11PM: Spice Sesh Swap Swap
12PM: reconfig the Spice sesh
Jim didn't mind that Denise used conflicting fonts, colours and kerning for her schedule invitations so much. If he was honest he thought they were fun, reminiscent of the Dada posters. It was more what they signified. He had quickly learned that whilst they looked like the ramblings of a madperson - they were as carefully considered as any piece of visual communication and that each change in font size or actual font represented how Denise imagined the session moving. They were like her musical notation. If the font size enlarged half way through the session they were describing then so should the volume of the session grow. If the colour grew hotter then so should the debate about which the text denoted.
It was nonsense. Dada. Pure Dada. But not good Dada like she knew what she was doing. That would be fine if there was any knowing at all or any intention to parody the nonsense that surrounded them. But there wasn't. She was oblivious to the work of The Sans Serif Gang, a group of avant-garde artists who solely used hacked computer games to manipulate text. She was oblivious to anything other than the most earnest belief in what she thought was smart post 90's management consultancy speak but was actually closer to what DOTTXT were doing (another post Tu.fu art collective who wrote algorithms to create best selling novels out of words scraped from the non-sex part of porno films).
Arriving at his desk checked his dashboard
67 comments on Tu.fu -
29 Swapps on Swappr -
56 doinks on SYSDIA.
A tapfon message from his best friend and colleague Marie "As soon as you get this come and meet me at Meeting Room 409 URGENT"
Meeting room 409 wasn't super close, possibly the second or third furthest meeting room from the office, but if Marie said it was urgent then it probably was and this was one of the rare occasions when Jim was actually early to work. There was still a good 30 minutes before the Smashing Session.
Marie: OMG [raised eyebrows]
Jim: What's up? [shrugs jovialy]
Marie: They fired me! [deadpan]
Jim: What? Why? When? What? How? When? Why? This is awful. [gesticulates much]
Marie: Ugh. [looks at the floor]
Jim: Seriously WTF? [Concerned / Upset]
Marie: So you know since Denise started she's always been rude to me [tired]
Jim: Yeah I mean that's how we all decided she was called The Worst Person Ever [intent]
Marie: So last night we were working on the C.r.m.nu pitch which we've been working on for the past 3 weeks [tired]
Jim: And she didn't like the TELLAN insights we worked on? [questioning]
Marie: No she loved them, although she loved mine more than yours [playfully]
Jim: Well she loves you more than me so that's obvious [done with it]
Marie: Ha! So anyway after we finish up working on the pitch a bunch of us went to Tail Spin for some drinks and it all got a little spicy. I ended up on a table doing my impression of Denise [honestly]
Jim: Ohhhhhhhh shit [laughing]
Marie: So anyway Dave, the idiot, starts Instavaping the whole thing and it turns out Denise follows him and was watching at that very moment and somehow she screenrecced it and sent it to all the senior management [embarrassed]
Jim: Yeah but that shouldn't get you fired. Last month Danny slept naked on the Surfnook table and was woken up by that grumpy BBYY client and he only got a verbal warning. [sincere]
Marie: Yah but you remember that time when she got stuck on a flight back from Kitzbuel and we all got on her computer [knowing]
Jim: Oh shit [understanding]
Marie: Yeah I basically sang the Hacking Into Denise's Computer song. I'm an idiot. I never meant to. Fuck. [exasperated]
Jim: Shit. [understanding]
Marie: Yup [acknowledging]
Heading back to the office Jim realised that there was no way to save Marie. They had started the same day and shared most experiences at Binary. He felt sick but not so much from the fact that Marie had been fired, or from the hangover but from the realisation that inevitably he was next on Denise's hit-list.