Scholars at market-tracking software firm eMarket Systems in Basingstoke are engaged in a lengthy, rancorous debate about the repeated absences from work of weighty sales executive Jason Bradshaw. Several are now planning to rock conventional views of world history by publishing their findings.
Variously described as ‘a salad-dodging gobshite’, ‘not bad when he actually lifts the sodding phone’ and ‘a fat waste of space who looks like Shrek’, Bradshaw has been away from work for 75 of the 245 working days since joining the firm last autumn. He has variously attributed this to migraines, car breakdowns and relatives dying. However, senior accountant Nigel Clark, who first spotted Bradshaw’s propensity to return on Tuesday mornings unshaven, believes there may be more sinister causes.
‘HR have established that he is 43% more likely to be away one week either side of the full moon than the new moon and this must be statistically significant,’ said Clark, author of the forthcoming ‘Secrets of the Wolf People’. ‘Whether he is in a sinister cult that pretend to be wolves to worship the Greek moon goddess Artemis at night or his migraines are caused by the fluctuating tides I have yet to establish.’
Marketing executive Louisa Woods, by contrast, noted that Bradshaw’s chair on the fifth carousel from reception is situated where four ley lines cross. ‘It’s the chair itself that is jinxed because of changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and that’s why its previous occupant, sales manager David Peters, only lasted three months,’ she wrote in her new book ‘Fingerprints of the Druids’. ‘I never bought into the idea he was eased out 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 the entire business software market and bring the economy crashing to a halt. However, research by company director Michael Higgins which is currently in proof at Sidgwick & Jackson found that monthly sales on Bradshaw’s patch have not varied for over four years, no matter who is meant to be selling there.
To Woods, though, this is no mystery. ‘Our products are adequate, so they sell themselves,’ she said. ‘And if they were significantly different to six or seven other equally adequate products in the same field, we wouldn’t need a sales and marketing department, would we? Duh.’