Cover Image


Ten people sit around a long boardroom table in a windowless room. The only artwork is a generic 'Teamwork' poster that hangs crooked on one wall and depicts a group of skydivers holding hands in a circle. It hangs next to an overly-used white board that hasn't been fully cleaned. The team looks as if they are sponsored by the sale section of J.C. Penny. A box of half-empty stale donuts and a jug of tepid water sit on the table.

JIM: I think we need to focus on the synergy...there's a lot of moving parts here but I think we're starting to zero in on the 'take home'. 

SYLVIA raises one finger to indicate she has something to add. 

JIM: Sylvia?

SYLVIA: I think at the end of the day, what we're looking for is that (beat) participatory engagement. 

The room nods in agreement.

JIM: Yes, I love that.

SYLVIA: I think if we're going to move the needle, we need to think about how we're going to take it to the next level, you know? Break down the silos.

JIM: Yes!

Encouraged by Jim's reaction, Sylvia sits up straight and addresses the whole room.

SYLVIA: We don't just have to go after that low-hanging fruit. If we play our cards right, the whole world is our oyster.

Everyone except EMILY smiles and chimes in in agreement. Jim starts writing furiously on the white board. He writes 'SILOS' and then 'low hanging fruit' and crosses it out, then 'OYSTER' and circles it twice. EMILY sits in the mid-point of the long table dead-eyed. She dramatically rolls her head back and forth as the conversation ping-pongs between SYLVIA and JIM at either ends of the table.

JIM: Yes! This is exactly what I'm talking about. We just need to think outside the box. Peel back the onion!

Everyone is really fired up now. Nodding furiously and high-fiving.

JIM: This can be our time to bring strategic-alignment thinking to the forefront of our brand strategy and redevelopment. We can kick it into high gear and cultivate our own paradigm shift!


EMILY lets out a scream. A deep guttural scream. She dives onto the table and starts flailing around pushing the papers on the table in every direction. She slides down the table on her stomach to SYLVIA who is sitting at the head of table and screams in her face. EMILY goes completely unnoticed. SYLVIA laughs as she stands up to cheers her coworker with a cup of water. EMILY stands up on the table and kicks the plastic cup of water out of SYLVIA'S hand. It makes a dramatic spray against the back wall. 

EVERYONE (minus EMILY): To Synergy! As they cheers their plastic cups, high-five and hug.

EMILY continues on her rampage grabbing the 'Teamwork' poster from the wall and cracking it in half over her knee. She throws the pieces one-by-one at JIM on the other end of the table. She stands back up on the table and makes a slow determined march down the middle of it. Her face looks deranged. She looks like a starved, wild animal. As she makes her way down the table she kicks the remaining papers onto the floor and shoves her coworker, ANDY, small, skinny glasses. She kicks ALAN, young, handsome in the chest sending him to the floor. She picks up the box of donuts. Takes a bite of one almost devouring the whole thing, she chews it and spits it out at MELANIE, mousy brown hair and sweater set. She swings the box of donuts above her head with eyes fixed on JIM and smokes him across the face with it. She yells with her fists above the air still clutching the empty box of donuts. 


JIM: Emily? 

EMILY snaps out of it. 

EMILY: What? Huh?

JIM: It looks like we lost you for a minute. (Speaking into a pretend radio) Hello Emily? Come in Emily?

Everyone laughs.

EMILY: Huh, oh ya....heh.

JIM: So do you have anything else to add?

EMILY: About?

JIM: About P.A.C.C.T. 

JIM points to the acronym he's written on the white board.

JIM: Our 'Participatory Action and Core Competency Team'. We're going to need you to take this offline and run it up the ol' flagpole.

Everyone stares at EMILY.

EMILY (to herself): I fucking hate all of you.

EMILY (to everyone): I'm good. Sounds....awesome. (She feigns a smile.)

JIM: Great. Then let's get to work! These ducks aren't going to get themselves in a row.

Everyone exits the boardroom laughing and chatting. 

EMILY stays behind.

She slams her head on the table.


Created: May 15, 2017

Tags: bored, work, meetings, meetings are the worst, synergy, job

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