Sir Harry Ziffer, Thrust’s architect
It is a rare privilege to be able to announce the beginning of an era, the end of an era, and the beginning of the next era in the same year. But as my elite coach and leadership guru Sol Santos repeats whenever he renews his rolling advisory contract: “Change is the only constant in a fast-accelerating Vuca world.”
We birthed the Thrust into volatility in January. Now we celebrate its upcoming first anniversary in a maelstrom of uncertainty by closing it to ordinary office workers, who have taken the Thrust mission “upward” out to their remote-work bubbles in the shires, suburbs and slums.
From January, the tallest-looking skyscraper in the City will go dark. Dark green, to be precise. I have already cancelled the Dettol order and ceased the daily disinfection of the tower, to allow algae, lichen, and ultimately, I hope, moss, to grow unfettered on the 12,000 once-pellucid panes of my creation.
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that grime — for lack of a better word — is good. Grime is right. Grime works. What greater tribute to the planet could we imagine than turning the tired metaphor of office ecosystems into an actual ecosystem, at the same time accelerating our holding company straight into commercial real estate’s coveted ESG index?
Inside the building, instead of open-plan Covid clusters, we will serve the new post-pandemic economy with dark kitchens, synthetic farms, and hydroponic gardens. The elite club for top-floor tenants — rendered virtually inaccessible since March by the lockdown lift regulations — will be relocated to the underfloors, which I intend to lease at a premium as virus-proof bunkers for billionaires.
I think it was my friend, fellow knight and visionary Sir Philip Green, who said “to everything there is a season: a time to be born, a time to die” and, he might have added, “a time to effing well up sticks and scarper to Monaco”. And that is where I shall be heading immediately after this speech, just as soon as I’ve signed off on the redundancy notices for the loyal Thrust facilities team and cleaners.
I am so sorry not to see you all in person — but Zoom’s probably for the best.
Pippa, Thrust’s Vibe-Master
Gosh, he’s gone. Goodness. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought he was bringing the Thrusters together to rouse the troops ahead of our virtual Christmas party. I feel a bit of a prat in my sparkly antlers. Just need to get a glass of water, or something stronger. If you don’t mind talking among yourselves while I turn the screen off for a minute — I think I’ve got festive glitter in my eyes.
Right, I’m back. So as you can tell the news came as a bit of a shock to me, though I did wonder what those men were doing arriving at night and leaving in the morning. I thought we were getting a delivery of nap-pods and dog baskets to entice you all back to the office post-vaccine. Boy, did I get that wrong?
Well, seeing as I’ve got you here, why don’t we just wrap up some details on the Christmas party, yay!
I’m having second thoughts about singing “Joy to the World”, to be honest. Yeah. “Lonely this Christmas” seems more apt.
Thanks, Jason. I’m fine. No need to run over.
Oh God, I’ve just remembered. I’ve just dispatched “Thrusting into 2021” Santa hats to you all to wear for the Christmas party Zoom call.
Scrap the gratitude circle too. And the secret Santa — what’s the point of building a community now? Some Vibe-Master I turned out to be — this was my dream job, building a home from home at work and then you all buggered off to your actual homes. While I’ve been here toiling away at the Zoom-face trying to bring you all together. And for what? Nothing . . . Sorry, got carried away there . . . Anyway, let’s make the Christmas party a night to remember! See you next week.
Actually, Jason. Run over. Let’s go for that drink with a substantial meal.
Get alerts on Office life when a new story is published