The second part of our special Christmas tale – check out Part One here. Data-obsessed insight manager Ebenezer Brand has been visited by the ghost of his former boss, who warns him to change his ways and expect three more ghostly visitations…
It will not astonish you to learn that Ebenezer Brand took some time to go to sleep that night. His rational analysis of the situation was unconvincing even to himself – it seemed all too likely that Jacob Crosstabs had been a genuine visitation from beyond, and that there were more to come.
So while he did drift off to sleep, he was not surprised to soon be woken by a voice calling for his attention. “Excuse me – excuse me!”
Brand shook himself awake. At the foot of his bed stood a woman wearing flat shoes and a sensible coat, clipboard in hand. She gave a businesslike smile as she caught Brand’s eye and held it firmly.
“Good evening – I wonder if you could just answer a few questions. It’ll take about 10 minutes.”
“Well, I suppose – but – “ Brand sounded suddenly concerned, “I am not sure I’ll be able to answer. I’ll probably be screened out. You see, I work in the research industry –“
“Oh, I do know”, said the woman warmly. “I’m the Ghost of Research Past.”Brand was suddenly aware that he couldn’t exactly tell how old the woman was, or even get a clear impression of the style of her coat – 1970s, 1950s, even earlier? Only that businesslike smile and firm gaze seemed constant and solid, and the biro that dangled on a raffia string from her clipboard.
“I’m so glad you’d like to participate,” the Ghost was saying, “And it seems you do fit our quotas, so if you’d like to just walk this way, I can start by showing you the stimulus.” Continue reading