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Pippa, Thrust’s Vibe-master: Welcome everyone!

I’ve had the joy of seeing some of you in person at Thrust. But the rest, it’s been too long — we miss you! 

On that topic, I want to address one rumour. I’ve heard people say that Thrust only wants you back because of money. So cynical! For the record, that is not the issue. We envisioned Thrust as one big family — you should be here with us, not stuck at home.

Anyway, I hope more of our Thrusting family will come back to our 94-storey “home-from-home” from September. This webinar is to run through protocols. 

You’ll receive my handcrafted welcome bag — a small incentive for you to take your chances on public transport. In it are some snazzy face masks. Please feel free to personalise them — I want your creativity to run wild — strictly no sequins, glitter or feathers, though. Everything has to be machine-washable.

There’s also half a 2020 Thrust calendar (which I’d prefer you kept at home to make things easier for the cleaners), muffins hygienically sealed to surgery standards — to be eaten outside, no crumbs on desks. I need to remind you that there will be zero tolerance on treat sharing. Adieu to Colin, the Caterpillar. Celebrations will be marked by raising a glass over video-link with everyone in their own private cubicle.

I urge you to watch the Thrusting Forward video which gives you an idea of what to expect.

We will have multiple entrances to reduce congestion in reception. Don’t read anything into instructions to some of you to enter and exit through the waste area. There is no hierarchy here. No, Alistair, it is just coincidence that those in the top floors are allowed through the front. 

We want to encourage those spontaneous, unstructured creative team encounters that are so vital to innovation: please book your sessions at least a week in advance and stick to the cap on numbers.

First thing you’ll see is the Hotties, a dedicated team who will take your temperature as you enter. We’ve had some teething issues. Yes, Jason? Have you stepped up the weight training by the way?

Jason, the sponsor-me guy: Thanks, Pippa. As it happens, yes. We've installed a full gym at home during lockdown. It’s also somewhere Annabella and the kids can go to weep in private. Look, I ran 20 miles from home the other day — someone has to kickstart the City economy and I’ve always had more robust tolerance for risk than the rest of my team at Grumble, Cavil & Grouse. Anyway I was manhandled (can I say that?) by the Hotties after I failed the temperature check. First time I’ve failed an exam since prep school.

Pippa: Thanks for sharing, Jason. Our advice is to pause briefly after exercise, though of course if you need somewhere private to warm-down, Jason, just buzz me and you can use my office. Roger? Still in shorts, I see.

Roger, the angry non-commuter: Just wanted to put it out there that I’ve spent a small fortune of my own money on a home office and I have definitely bought my last Gold card season ticket to Farringdon. Had to shout repeatedly at the incompetents at BT to tune up the fast-fibre but they came round after I convinced them actuaries were key workers. Goody bag or no goody bag, I see no reason to “thrust forward”, sideways or back. If anyone needs advice on the best broadband services, I have a spreadsheet I can share. Hold on, doorbell — that’ll be delivery of my studio quality webcam. 

Pippa: Oh! Roger! Thanks for the input! Perhaps a less revealing pair of shorts next time? I tell you what, let’s do an insta-poll. Are you with Jason and gung ho for a return to Thrust or a stay-homer like Roger. And here are the results! Right. That’s . . . slightly less enthusiasm than we banked on. Is my assistant Alice on the call? Alice, could you cancel the goody bags?

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