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Mergers and Inquisitions

Chapter Text

The Orc is the first to arrive. You hand him a quill and a name badge, and fix him with a glare. “One name and one name only,” you instruct.

“But everyone else - ” the Orc begins.

You cut him off. “You have the first choice. Any name you want, but you keep it. You don’t get to change it just because you like someone else’s name better.”

“What if I - ” he continues. You hold up a hand.

“The Cubicle Master’s manual for the expansion specifically addresses this issue. In order to change your name, you must petition the court to change your name, pay a fee of three hundred dollars or ten percent of your salary (whichever is greater), and then register your name change with the offices of Social Security, Vital Records, Utility Companies, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Postal Service, any Financial Institutions, Insurance Agencies, or other interested parties.”

“Curse this game,” the Orc mutters, but he takes his quill and scrawls “Bob” across the paper, then pins it to his chest.

The Elf and the Cleric arrive at the same time, each with a satchel. “Dragon Breath Ale,” the Elf explains, pulling out a miniature cask and five equally small glasses.

“And a Potion of Greater Healing for after,” the Cleric adds.

“Curses!” ‘Bob’ shouts. “I left my Rotgut in the carriage.”

“We do keep our same characters from the last game, correct?” the Elf asks.

“Yes,” you tell him, for what must be the third or fourth time. “The game continues on directly from your last company’s decision to file for bankruptcy. You will all keep your characters unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.”

“I have a good reason to do otherwise,” Bob interrupts. “I was indentured. My period of servitude ended.”

“No, you were an intern, and your academic year ended,” you correct him. “But yes, I suppose you could come back in a different career. What did you have in mind?”

Bob frowns. “I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about it.” He considers for a moment. “Maybe another intern.”

You gesture to the table. “Roll your skills. Leave your Tenure and Resume sections blank, and choose a Race, a Departmental Affiliation, and a Major Area of Study. You have a negative 5 to all rolls for re-delegating and blaming others.”

“But I get to bring Carl back?” the Elf persists. “I want to keep my character sheet from the last campaign.”

“Larry, Alice, and Carl may all continue,” you confirm. “Just remember that as the shipping manager, you are most at risk for downsizing.”

The Knight arrives. “Downsizing?” he asks, his brow furrowing. “What is this...downsizing?”

“It’s part of the new edition,” Alice tells him. “Mergers and Inquisitions.”

“That’s Mergers and Acquisitions.” You hold up the Cubicle Master’s Manual for them to see. “The company is being acquired by a larger corporation, and all of your jobs are at risk. Your ultimate goals are to keep everything running smoothly and increase your ass-kissing skills to ensure you are not fired, which is what ‘downsizing’ means.”

“So no one is shrinking?” the Knight asks.

“And I don’t get to interrogate anyone?” the Cleric adds, visibly disappointed.

“Correct. Bob, have you finished your new character sheet?” The Orc sometimes has difficulty with rolling. And with accepting the results of his rolls.

“I think so.” Bob is scowling at his sheet. “What does the ‘Hospitality’ Major Area of Study mean?”

“It means you are really not at the right company, but you will be planning the welcome party for the new Office Manager and Vice President.”

“I knew I should have picked Imports and Exports,” Bob mutters.

Meanwhile, ‘Alice’ and ‘Larry’ have fastened their name tags onto their clothes. The office map is set up. The ale is running freely. The evening is about to begin.

“I would like to point out that we were almost not allowed back in the tavern,” you say. Everyone is suddenly very interested in reading their character sheets and straightening their d20s.

“The management has informed me that any more damage to tables, floors, walls, ceilings, or other patrons will result in a permanent ban, along with a hefty fine. I assured them that we would have no more outbursts.”

“No, of course not,” Carl says sanctimoniously. The others all add their assent.

“Good. Then without further ado, our scenario for the evening. In case anyone has forgotten the events of last month: following your collective disastrous mismanagement, the company has filed for Chapter Eleven Bankruptcy. You all believed yourselves to be out of a job. But at the last minute, the company has been purchased by a national conglomerate who sees promise in your business model. For whatever reason.” You pause to let that sink in. “The transition will be challenging and perhaps even gruesome. But your goals are to make yourselves indispensable to the new management and survive the initial downsizing, retaining your positions or even advancing within the company. Tonight’s agenda will involve making a good first impression on Debbie from Median Worldwide, your new Office Manager. Are there any questions?”

“Yes. Why are we doing this again instead of going on a quest?” Larry asks.

Do not continue to the next chapter. Instead, choose an option below.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

Rumors are flying fast and thick around the water cooler, but you scarcely have time to be concerned. Before you can take out your iPhone to contact your uncle, the door to the break room opens. A middle-aged woman in steel toe boots approaches you.

“You must be Carl,” she says. “I’ve been looking forward to meeting with you. I’m Debbie, your new office manager.”

The break room empties as lower-level employees flee before her.

You set your coffee cup down on the counter, then return her greeting. “And I’m Carl, your new shipping manager.”

She tells you that she was in supply chain management before she moved to administration with Median Worldwide. This means that her Knowledge is particularly high in shipping and receiving. You are at a disadvantage to Bluff.

You use Confidence. “I think you’ll be very pleased with our department. In fact, I was recently promoted for my leadership abilities.”

“What a coincidence,” Debbie says. “So was I.”

She wants to know what your thoughts are on reducing your department’s carbon footprint.

To continue, choose a Skill. You are currently at +5 Charm and +15 Ass Kissing. Then, roll a d20 and add the results to your Skill level to obtain your total score.

For a Charm score of 15 or lower, continue here.

For a Charm score of 16 or higher, continue here.

For an Ass Kissing score of 10 or higher, continue here.

Chapter Text

Another rainy day at the office, just waiting for the clock to run down so you can get home. You’re having a family barbecue this weekend, and all you can think about is your cousin Madeline and her irritatingly perfect husband Michael, who always have to show off their latest accomplishments while subtly putting you down. You know that they will be talking about the merger, and that Madeline will be able to make everyone doubt that you will keep your job much longer. As you are lost in your thoughts, and wondering whether you really could open up your own line of repurposed memory module jewelry, a woman knocks on your office door and enters without waiting for a response.

“You must be Alice, the IT specialist,” the woman says.

You rise from your chair, horribly aware of the stacks of reports scattered across the desk. “And you must be Debbie,” you say, using all your Charm. “We’re so glad to have you here.”

“Well, thank you,” Debbie smiles, before the smile turns sharp and she is suddenly all business. “Now, listen, Alice, I know that these things take some time, but I need you to get email accounts set up right away for me and for Jerry, the Vice President. I also need to make sure both our offices - but especially Jerry’s - are all wired up and ready to go.”

“You’re right, that is going to take some time,” you begin, but Debbie is telling you, not asking you.

“I know you’ll put it at the front of the queue,” she says. “Approximately how long will it take?”

To continue, choose a Skill. You are currently at +15 Stalling and +3 Delegating. Then, roll a d20 and add the results to your Skill level to obtain your total score.

For a Stalling score of 16 or higher, click here.

For an Delegating score of 20 or lower, click here.

For an Delegating score of 21 or higher, click here.

Chapter Text

You’re vaguely aware in the back of your mind that today is the day. The one everyone has been whispering about. The day when Debbie from Median Worldwide will arrive at the office. Still, you didn’t expect her to make her way through the ranks of employees so quickly, and you are taken aback when a voice from behind asks you what you are doing.

You jump. “I, uh, am going on a quest! To find the parcels that were supposed to arrive at Fishers, Indiana.”

Your interrogator raises a skeptical eyebrow and asks if the packages have indeed arrived at Fishers, Indiana.

“I am calling the receiving center to discover that as we speak, but I have been placed on hold,” you explain.

“So you’re Larry, the Shipping clerk,” Debbie says. “I’m Debbie with Median Worldwide. What exactly do you do here?”

You feel your blood run cold as your heart temporarily stops beating. “I am a shipping clerk,” you repeat. “This means I ship. I pack and receive. Recently I recovered two lost packages in a major victory for the team.”

“Mm-hmm.” Debbie doesn’t sound impressed. “Do you have a job description, or something that can be used for performance evaluations?”

To continue, choose a Skill. You are currently at +8 Motivation and +2 Deflecting to Supervisors. Then, roll a d20 and add the results to your Skill level to obtain your total score.

For a Motivation score of 10 or lower, continue here.

For a Motivation score of 11 or higher, continue here.

For a Deflecting to Supervisors score of 20 or lower, continue here.

For a Deflecting to Supervisors score of 21 or higher, continue here.

Chapter Text

The office is in chaos. Your direct supervisor, Julie, has been terminated, effective immediately, and is cleaning out her desk when you arrive. She shakes her head and refuses to speak to you as she carries a box containing a potted plant and her snowglobe collection to her car. Without supervision, you have no tasks to accomplish and no books to manage as part of your Financial Management learning plan. You look around, and when no one makes a move to stop you, you take over Julie’s desk with the ergonomic leather chair and begin to do your Beverage Marketing homework.

It is ten o’clock before anyone notices you.

“And who are you?” demands a woman in dangerous-looking boots.

“I’m Bob, the Hospitality intern,” you say, sitting upright with a guilty start. “I was doing a Financial Management learning plan under Julie, but since she... left…”

“You need a new supervisor and a new plan,” Debbie says. “I can work with that. I’m Debbie, the new office manager. From now on, you’ll answer to me. I’ll see what you can do, and if you work out, we’ll honor the original internship arrangement Julie made.”

She does not say what will happen if you do not work out.

“Hospitality intern, huh? Unexpected. But perfect. I need someone to arrange a welcome party for the vice president tonight. Can you get it done for me?”

A reminder: "Bob" does not carry a warhammer, nor would he use anything else to smash things when faced with a difficult task. Instead, use your Skill sheet.

To continue, choose a Skill. You are currently at +7 Bluffing and +12 Customer Service. Then, roll a d20 and add the results to your Skill level to obtain your total score.

For a Bluffing score of 15 or lower, click here.

For a Bluffing score of 16 or higher, click here.

For a Customer Service score of 10 or higher, click here.

Chapter Text

She wants to know what your thoughts are on reducing your department’s carbon footprint.

You use Charm. “I think we will simply use smaller footgear.”

Shoes.

“Shoes.”

She is not amused. She wonders if you think environmental responsibility is a joke.

“No, of course not.”

She expects information on eco-friendly initiatives on her desk by Monday.

To continue, choose a Skill.

If you choose to Blame Others (+5), click here.

If you choose to Re-Delegate (+6), click here.

If you choose to use Microsoft Office (+3), click here.

Chapter Text

She wants to know what your thoughts are on reducing your department’s carbon footprint.

You use Charm. “I think we will simply use smaller footgear.”

Shoes.

“Shoes.”

Debbie stares at you for a minute, then throws back her head and laughs. The sound is so loud that the dishes in the sink fall out of their neat stack and clang in protest. You shrink back, horrified.

“A funny man, huh? Nice one. In all seriousness, though, environmental responsibility is a specialty of mine. I’ll get you some literature on my three-step plan to eliminate waste and encourage sustainability. It’s done great things for our other offices and we’ll be implementing it here by the end of the month. Glad to have you on board, funny man!”

She claps you on the shoulder as she walks past you out of the break room. Just when you believe it is safe to breathe again, the door opens and Debbie pokes her head back in.

“Bring that sense of humor to the party tonight. I have a feeling there are going to be some long faces!”

Your job is safe for now. But you only have eight hours left to learn everything you can about eco-friendly initiatives, and get ready to keep Debbie laughing at the party. You break out into a cold sweat.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Carl’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

She wants to know what your thoughts are on reducing your department’s carbon footprint.

You use Ass Kissing. “Well, I could tell you about some of the proposals our department has considered, but something tells me that you have more experience with this than we do. Can you tell me more?”

Debbie beams at you.

“See, I knew we were going to get along just fine,” she says. “Why don’t you come out to lunch with me and Jerry today - he’s the Vice President of Median Worldwide. We’ll catch you up on some of our green initiatives, and you can tell us a little bit about the corporate culture here.”

“It would be my pleasure,” you say. Once again, this game is going your way.

Congratulations! You've survived the merger. For now.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“Actually, other people in the company have been discouraging eco-friendly initiatives,” you explain. “If it were up to me, we would already have a very small carbon boot.”

Your attempt to Blame Others has backfired.

“This company has crashed and burned because of the previous manager and CEO,” Debbie says shortly. “And yes, I know who your uncle is. That isn’t going to fly with me, are we clear? You need to be thinking long and hard about your contributions to this company going forward. Get the memo to me by Monday.”

She leaves the break room without giving you a chance to respond. Your Nepotism bonus now counts against you. Suddenly, you are no longer looking forward to the welcome party tonight.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Carl’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

You chose to Re-Delegate the eco-friendly initiative briefing to Larry. Fortunately, Larry has the memo completed by lunch. Unfortunately, he delivers it in person to Debbie, who is impressed with his speed and work ethic. Larry is promoted to co-Shipping Manager, and no one is meeting your eye at the water cooler. Suddenly, you are no longer looking forward to the welcome party tonight.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Carl’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

You use Microsoft Office to produce a list of possible ways to reduce a carbon footprint. Your Wikipedia bonus means the task is finished by late afternoon.

“Not bad,” Debbie says, looking it over after you hand it to her. She then wads the piece of paper into a ball and throws it into her trash can from behind the desk. “I have a three-step process to eliminate waste and encourage sustainability that we’ll be implementing by the end of the month, but it’s good to see you putting some serious thought into the issue. Keep it up. Oh, and if you could get me a copy of every incident report since last June, that would be great. Anytime before the party tonight!”

You’re working harder than you have ever worked in your life, but you’re still alive. For now.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Carl’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

Debbie doesn’t sound impressed. “Do you have a job description, or something that can be used for performance evaluations?”

“Not exactly,” you confess. “I could write a list for you, of the things I do around here?”

Debbie tilts her head to the side, considering. “I suppose you could leave it with my secretary, for me to go over with your supervisor,” she says. “We’re very interested in maximizing productivity as part of our corporate restructuring. I’ll be interested to see what you come up with.”

As she walks away, you wonder if that was a thinly veiled threat about downsizing. You stare at your Microsoft Word document and try to remember what exactly it is that you do, although you are reasonably certain that you do more than anyone else in the Shipping department, especially Carl. You’re not feeling well. Maybe you should take an early lunch and try to write a job description on your return.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Larry’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

Debbie doesn’t sound impressed. “Do you have a job description, or something that can be used for performance evaluations?”

“There’s currently not a job description, but I could make one up for you,” you offer. “Write up my major tasks and approximately how much time I spend on them on an average day.”

Debbie nods thoughtfully. “That sounds very helpful. I’ll look forward to discussing it with you. Can you get it to my secretary by this afternoon?”

“Of course,” you agree. “I’d be glad to.”

You use Microsoft Office (+3) to continue, but you also roll a d20 for an additional Creativity bonus.

For a score of 10 or lower, continue here.

For a score of 11 or higher, continue here.

Chapter Text

Debbie doesn’t sound impressed. “Do you have a job description, or something that can be used for performance evaluations?”

You panic. This is your one chance to make a first impression, and what do you do? You hide behind a job title.

“Carl is the Shipping manager,” you explain. “If there are any job descriptions, he’s the one to ask about them, not me.”

“So Carl tells you how to do your job?” Debbie asks.

You shift your feet and almost lose your balance. “Well, he is the manager,” you say, catching yourself before you slide to the ground, but not before you collide with the table.

“Mm-hmm.” Debbie certainly doesn’t sound impressed now. “Well, I’ll consult with Carl about your job description and duties and be in touch when we figure something out.”

Your fate rests in Carl’s hands. This is very, very bad.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Larry’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

Debbie doesn’t sound impressed. “Do you have a job description, or something that can be used for performance evaluations?”

“I wish I did,” you say graciously, “but Carl really likes to keep a tight lid on that sort of thing.”

“Carl isn’t the one who recovered those two packages last month though, is he?” Debbie asks.

You opt for a polite smile.

“I think I need to have a meeting with the whole Shipping department and get everyone on the same page,” Debbie muses. “If you could think about some of your job duties and what you bring to the table, I’ll get that set up as soon as possible. I get the feeling this department could use some re-organization. Thank you, Larry.”

You remain slightly stunned by Debbie’s bluntness and clear intentions to make changes. You feel a surge of hope that maybe, just maybe, your talents and contributions will be recognized under the new leadership.

Congratulations! You have survived the merger. For now.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

You create a completely adequate job description, and add a paragraph at the end explaining your thoughts on what the role of the Shipping department could be under Median Worldwide, and possible goals to work toward in a three-year transitional period. You head to the top floor to Debbie’s new office to turn it in. Debbie is there herself.

“Here’s the job description you asked for,” you offer.

Debbie takes the printout and glances at it. “Get me a digital copy of this, please,” she says. “That IT support staff had better have finished setting up my email by now. Oh, and Larry? Carl asked me if you could write one for each of the employees in Shipping for the two of us to go over together. Thanks.”

You try Prolonging the Meeting By Asking Questions (+5). “Does that include Carl as well as the other shipping clerks? What about the janitors who come in?”

Your attempt to Prolong the Meeting fails. “I trust you to figure it out,” Debbie says. “I have to go meet with the IT department now. Just get the copies to me and to Carl.”

You thought things might be different under new management, but you can see that nothing around the office is going to change. This is the futility of a capitalist society, aimed at trapping ordinary people into a rat race they can never escape, on a wheel going nowhere. You head back down to the Shipping department and boot up your computer.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Larry’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

You take a painstakingly long time drafting up a job description, and adding an addendum with charts and graphs depicting progress made in the Shipping department over the last year, including improvements in processing time and decreased percentage of the budget. You finish with a proposal on redistributing some of the work in the Shipping department to better reflect certain employees’ strengths and weaknesses. You take the elevator to the top floor to turn in the job description. Debbie is in her office when you arrive.

“This is good,” she says, taking the papers and skimming through them. “Larry, I’m impressed at the level of detail here. Can you get me a digital copy of this, and the reports on productivity initiatives over the past year?”

“Absolutely,” you say, because you’re surprised to realize that the request is definitely in your skill set.

Debbie meets your eyes when she shakes your hand. “I’m going to enjoy working with you, Larry, and I look forward to finding a way to maximize your talents at Median Worldwide.”

Finally, it looks like some accountability will reach the Shipping department. A smile spreads across your face as you wait for the elevator. It’s your turn to shine.

Congratulations! You have survived the merger. For now.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“I know you’ll put it at the front of the queue,” Debbie says. “Approximately how long will it take?”

“It is at the very front of the queue,” you promise, using the ASAP approach. “As soon as possible, I promise you.”

“And how soon is that?” Debbie asks, still smiling, but persistent.

“I can get your email accounts up on the network in less than 15 minutes,” you say.
“It will be your first name-dot-last name at gwg-dash-medianworldwide.com. The default password will be ‘password,’ but as soon as you log into your computer, it will prompt you to change it to something secret and secure.”

“And I can log on as soon as I have my computer, which is… when, exactly?” Debbie asks.

“A...S...A...P,” you repeat helplessly, but you know that’s not going to be enough.

To continue, choose a Skill. You are currently at +12 Technobabble and +7 Faking Illness. Then, roll a d20 and add the results to your Skill level to obtain your total score.

For a Technobabble score of 15 or lower, continue here.

For a Technobabble score of 16 or higher, continue here.

For a Faking Illness score of 15 or lower, continue here.

For a Faking Illness score of 16 or higher, continue here.

Chapter Text

“I know you’ll put it at the front of the queue,” Debbie says. “Approximately how long will it take?”

“IT is a very busy department here,” you explain. “I personally can’t leave the desk, but I will have one of my coworkers start setting up internet access in the offices right away.”

Debbie’s brows draw together and her voice drops lower. “That’s not good enough,” she says. “I came to you personally and I expect my request to be handled by you personally. Get one of your other workers on password resets and frozen spreadsheets.”

“Um, yes, of course, I’ll get on it right away,” you say, but you know it’s too late. The damage has already been done.

“Good,” Debbie says. “Because if you can’t prioritize and get the job done, I’ll have to find someone who can.”

Your heart is pounding in your chest and you feel vaguely sick as Debbie holds your gaze for a long while. Yes, even if you had to move back in with your parents, memory module jewelry would have to be a better career option than this. You wonder whether you should hand in our letter of resignation rather than waiting to be fired.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Alice’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“I know you’ll put it at the front of the queue,” Debbie says. “Approximately how long will it take?”

“IT is a very busy department here,” you explain. “I personally can’t leave the desk, but I will have one of my coworkers start setting up internet access in the offices right away.”

“That’s not what I was asking you,” Debbie points out. “But IT really isn’t my area of expertise. If you’re sure you can’t leave, then send someone up to me. I’ll be waiting at the top floor.”

You sag with relief as she leaves your office, but the relief turns to ice-cold panic when you remember that the only other IT employee, Kyle, has called in sick today. There is no one to send upstairs to Debbie. You must go yourself, and find some way of explaining. This wasn’t the way today was meant to go.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Alice’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“And I can log on as soon as I have my computer, which is… when, exactly?” Debbie asks.

“A...S...A...P,” you repeat helplessly, but you know that’s not going to be enough.

You use Technobabble to convince Debbie to give you more time.

“The computers of the Office Manager and Vice President require special fireball access,” you explain.

Firewall.

“I mean, special firewall access. And we only update our firewall configurations once a day.” You smile hopefully, but Debbie does not look appeased.

“Is there a way to manually update the firewall configurations a little earlier?” Debbie questions you.

You hesitate a second too long. “Yes, but it requires a restart, which isn’t really a good idea during business hours - ”

“This is your priority. I want it done,” Debbie says decisively.

You are helpless to argue any further as Debbie stalks out of the room. You can already hear the phantom ringing of your phone that will emerge with a reset during business hours. Angry voices from every department. Hours spent being politely apologetic and accomplishing nothing. Debbie inevitably becoming angry that it still has not been done fast enough, and efficiency has become compromised by the network delays.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Alice’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“And I can log on as soon as I have my computer, which is… when, exactly?” Debbie asks.

“A...S...A...P,” you repeat helplessly, but you know that’s not going to be enough.

You use Technobabble to convince Debbie to give you more time.

“The computers of the Office Manager and Vice President require special fireball access,” you explain.

Firewall.

“I mean, special firewall access. And we only update our firewall configurations once a day.”

Debbie nods, apparently unwilling to ask questions that might betray her lack of familiarity with computers. “So they can be ready by the start of business tomorrow?” she asks.

“Absolutely,” you promise.

Debbie nods her understanding. “Thank you, Alice. Sorry to be pestering you about this, but we really need to get up and running as quickly as possible.”

“No problem,” you say, smiling so broadly you’re afraid something might pop.

“I appreciate the work you’re doing for the company,” Debbie says, and she’s gone.

It puts a damper in your rainy work day plans, but you’re able to get the computers set up in the new executive offices earlier than you had expected. And at least the boss is on your side. For now.

Congratulations! You have survived the merger. For now.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“And I can log on as soon as I have my computer, which is… when, exactly?” Debbie asks.

“A...S...A...P,” you repeat helplessly, but you know that’s not going to be enough.

You decide to try Faking Illness by taking a Draught of Unholy Pallor.

No, you don’t, because there are no such things as potions here!

You decide to try Faking Illness by clapping your hands over your mouth and murmuring around your fingers that you think you’re going to be sick.

“That came on pretty suddenly,” Debbie says, in a voice just shy of skeptical.

You nod without speaking and sink back into your chair.

“Take a minute, go to the bathroom, and get back here when you know you aren’t about to puke,” Debbie says. “Then we can get back to the timeline on the IT equipment.”

You head for the bathroom, but you and Debbie both know it’s all a show. In a minute, you will have to come back, and you will still not have anything good to tell her. You fantasize about climbing out the window and never coming back.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Alice's journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

“And I can log on as soon as I have my computer, which is… when, exactly?” Debbie asks.

“A...S...A...P,” you repeat helplessly, but you know that’s not going to be enough.

You decide to try Faking Illness by taking a Draught of Unholy Pallor.

No, you don’t, because there are no such things as potions here!

You decide to try Faking Illness by clapping your hands over your mouth and murmuring around your fingers that you think you’re going to be sick.

“Are you alright?” Debbie asks. She takes a step backwards. “Are you contagious?”

“I don’t know,” you say weakly, sinking into your chair and closing your eyes.

“Go home,” Debbie says. “No, go to the doctor. I don’t want to see you back here until you’ve had a course of antibiotics. We’ll just get someone down from Median Worldwide to set up the computers.”

She backs out of the office.

You have the rest of the day off, but you’ve lost your chance to make a good impression on your new supervisors and someone from corporate is going to be meddling with your network. It’s a hollow victory at best, and you are quickly coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the effort.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Alice’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Bob, the Hospitality intern, click here.

Chapter Text

”I need someone to arrange a welcome party for the vice president tonight,” Debbie announces. “Can you get it done for me?”

“Of course,” you say, using False Confidence. “One of our required courses is on Event Management. And this is an Event.”

“Great,” Debbie says. “I’m thinking a nice dinner setup, private room at a local restaurant or club, maybe with a waterfront view. Something elegant but not too showy. I need enough room and food for sixty people, for about $500. Have everything ready for me by four o’clock.”

One of your required courses may be on Event Management, but you will not take that course until next semester. Debbie’s list of requirements and budget are impossible, but she is walking away from you before you can open your mouth to tell her this. You rack your brains for a solution, but you can see no way out. Casting a quick glance around the office, you see no one watching. There’s a clear line from Julie’s desk to the door, and you take it. Your internship is most definitely not going to work out.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Bob’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

Chapter Text

”I need someone to arrange a welcome party for the vice president tonight,” Debbie announces. “Can you get it done for me?”

“A welcome party, of course,” you say. “Is that like the time we had a party celebrating Gruthnukh the Demolisher, but were not allowed to say the name Gruthnukh?”

Debbie does not know who Gruthnukh the Demolisher is. There is no Gruthnukh the Demolisher in Cubicles and Careers!

“Is this some sort of cultural sensitivity thing?” Debbie asks. “Did HR file a report on this? Look, I just want a nice dinner party, a private room at a local restaurant, maybe a waterfront view - for the whole company. Well, for the ones left. Maybe sixty people. Can you do it or not?”

To continue, choose a Skill.

If you choose to Hide from Supervisors (+5), click here.

If you choose to Re-Delegate (-5), click here.

If you choose to use your New Technology Bonus (+15), click here.

Chapter Text

”I need someone to arrange a welcome party for the vice president tonight,” Debbie announces. “Can you get it done for me?”

“I’ll do my best,” you promise her with a warm smile. “But I’m pretty new here, so I might need some extra help. If you can give me a starting point, and a description of what you’re looking for, I’ll see what I can do.”

Debbie accepts this as a fair answer.

“You can have all the help you need,” she said. “Go down to the Shipping department. They always seem to have an extra pair of hands. I’m looking for something in the $500 range, for about sixty people, elegant but not too showy. Are there any good restaurants that could get us a private room? Maybe something on the waterfront?”

You’re still a little tongue-tied by Debbie, but the conversation is going well, and part of good customer service is presenting challenges as opportunities.

“I can’t think of anything like that in budget,” you say carefully, “but now that you mention Shipping, they have the huge packing room, and its windows look out onto the park. I bet we could clean it up in time to have something catered.”

Debbie snaps her fingers. “Yes! Perfect! Go. Just find me someone by four o’clock.”

“I’ll be right on it,” you promise.

The Shipping department is as chaotic as the rest of the office, but at least Larry is willing to help. Between the two of you, you manage to get all the packing materials pushed to the sides of the walls, and Larry has the brilliant idea to drape them with cloth to serve as buffet tables. Your back is aching and you’re on hold with four different restaurants before you settle on a taco place that doesn’t exactly fit the “elegant” descriptor, but does fit the budget. You decide to tell Debbie that it’s a local specialty. You’re not relishing the idea of shopping for makeshift tablecloths at the fabric store, especially when Larry points out that they should probably be the same shade of sickening green as Median Worldwide’s logo. But for now, your internship is secure, and you might even get a letter of recommendation if things go according to plan.

Congratulations! You've survived the merger. For now.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

Chapter Text

“Look, I just want a nice dinner party, a private room at a local restaurant, maybe a waterfront view - for the whole company. Well, for the ones left. Maybe sixty people. Can you do it or not?”

You elect to Hide from Supervisors. “One moment,” you say politely. “I think Ralph in Community Outreach had an assignment for me today. Let me go check and make sure there’s nothing else I need to do first.”

“Ralph can wait!” Debbie insists. “I’m the new office manager and we need this taken care of.”

“Right. I’ll just… tell him then,” you say, and head off at a brisk trot before Debbie can issue an edict about that.

In the Community Outreach office, you break down and tell Ralph the whole story.

“And I don’t have any idea how to do it, but I know it’s going to cost more than $500,” you finish.

Ralph nods gravely. “I wish I could help you,” he says. “But I just got downsized too, so they can bring in their own people from Median Worldwide as part of the rebranding effort. The best advice I can give you is to cut your losses and get out while the getting’s good.”

That doesn’t help with your internship situation, but maybe Ralph is right. The only other solution you can think of right now involves a very unauthorized use of Julie’s company credit card, left behind when she collected her personal items from her desk. And frankly, you’re not ready to go to prison for mismanagement of funds unless they’re going into your own pockets. You look over your shoulder to where Debbie is still waiting down the hall, then you make for Ralph’s window.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Bob’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

Chapter Text

“Look, I just want a nice dinner party, a private room at a local restaurant, maybe a waterfront view - for the whole company. Well, for the ones left. Maybe sixty people. Can you do it or not?”

You elect to Re-Delegate. “Uh, maybe not. I’m just an intern and I haven’t really done anything like that before… Definitely not without a lot more time. Maybe Ralph in Community Outreach could help you?”

Debbie’s eyes narrow. “Ralph in Community Outreach is no longer with the company. He couldn’t make a compelling case for us to keep him on the team.”

Her meaning is clear even to you. “Oh,” you say.

“I’ll find someone else to plan the party,” Debbie says, already turning away. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out with Julie. Let us know if you need any paperwork documenting the time you were here.”

Your internship has come to an untimely end. You occupied Julie’s desk for only 45 minutes before becoming the next casualty of the merger. You have no idea what you will say to your internship coordinator. You have no idea what you will say to your parents.

“Curse this game!”

To repeat Bob’s journey with different choices, click here.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.

Chapter Text

“Look, I just want a nice dinner party, a private room at a local restaurant, maybe a waterfront view - for the whole company. Well, for the ones left. Maybe sixty people. Can you do it or not?”

You elect to use your New Technology Bonus.

“Sure, no problem,” you say. “I’ll GNERC it.”

“Nirk it?” Debbie asks, looking at you as if you have just said something completely idiotic.

“GNERC, with a G. The G is silent. Growing Network for Effortless Reservations and Celebrations. It’s an app that lets different companies bid on the lowest prices for events.” You pull out your iPhone to show her. “See, you just put the time, the location, the number of people, and watch the offers come in.”

You search for a dinner for sixty people at 6 pm; the ‘loading’ icon flashes across the screen as companies respond.

“Oh, here’s a country club offering to do it for $520,” you tell Debbie. “No drinks are included, just hors d’oeuvres, but they do have a waterfront view and you can add a cash bar. We probably aren’t going to get a better offer than that - good thing it’s the off season.”

Debbie is staring at you in astonishment. “Thank you, Bob,” she says. “That looks perfect. I didn’t really think you could do it.”

You smile at her. “No problem,” you say. “Interns are good with technology.”

“Do you have a minute to come talk in my office?” Debbie asks. “I think I have some other projects that could use your help.”

You follow her, feeling certain that you have survived and triumphed. It’s the Age of Youth.

Congratulations! You have survived the merger. For now.

To play as Carl, the Shipping manager, click here.

To play as Larry, the Shipping clerk, click here.

To play as Alice, the IT specialist, click here.