Toaster Awareness

Mr Topps:

Ah Ms Perkins, thank you for coming to see me. I hope I haven't dragged you away from anything important.

Ms Perkins:

Oh no, Mr Topps. It was no trouble.

Topps:

Please call me Tony.

Perkins:

Yes Mr Topps. Thank you Mr Topps. And please continue to call me Perkins.

Topps:

Thank you Perkins. Now, Perkins, you've been with us at Topps Toasters for six months, is that correct?

Perkins:

Yes, six glorious months. That's right. Six wonderful, glorious months. Oh yes.

Topps:

Good. Settled in okay?

Perkins:

Oh yes, absolutely. I should say so. Marvellous.

Topps:

Very good. Well look, I'll come straight to the point. When we took you on we were looking for a dynamic, innovative individual who could significantly increase sales of our toasters. We had many, many applicants and we chose you.

Perkins:

And I'm very grateful, Mr Tony. I think you made the right choice.

When was the last time you used a toaster?

Topps:

Our toaster sales have gone down, Ms Perkins.

Perkins:

Yes, I had heard that sales had dipped slightly.

Topps:

'Plummeted' was the word that our sales director employed. What exactly have you done to my business, Perkins?

Perkins:

Okay, well, I admit that so far my influence may have been negligible, but -

Topps:

Not negligible - negative, Perkins. Do you realise how much this is damaging me? Do you realise how many ex-wives I have to keep? What have you been doing?

Perkins:

I've been raising awareness, Mr Tony.

Topps:

Raising awareness?

Perkins:

Yes, raising awareness of your toasters. Raising awareness is kind of my thing. When I worked at the council I raised awareness of obesity. When I worked at a charity I raised awareness of homelessness. I'm now raising awareness of toasters.

Toasters - you can't make toast without them.

Topps:

Right... Perkins, this is your first proper job, isn't it?

Perkins:

Oh no, first I worked at the council, then I worked -

Topps:

Yes, but this is your first proper job. A job where you actually have to, you know, produce results.

Perkins:

I don't follow you, Mr Sir.

Topps:

Well, it's like this, Perkins. We make toasters.

Perkins:

I'm aware of that sir. And now, thanks to my efforts, many more people are aware of it too.

Topps:

Don't interrupt, Perkins. We make toasters. But making toasters isn't enough to keep us all in bread and jam. We also have to sell the toasters. Do you understand?

Perkins:

I... no, I don't think I do.

Topps:

Well, all right, think back to when you last bought a toaster.

Perkins:

I don't own a toaster, sir.

Topps:

Well all right, something else. A kettle.

Perkins:

Ah yes, I own a kettle.

Topps:

Good. And why did you buy that kettle?

Perkins:

Because I was aware of kettles, Mr Tony sir. I was aware of kettles, so I bought a kettle.

Over 4000 toasters go unused every day.

Topps:

Ah yes - but you're also aware of toasters, and yet you haven't bought one of those.

Perkins:

Well, I don't like toast. And yet, in spite of my toast aversion, I have tried really, really hard. I have taken your toasters very seriously, honestly I have.

Topps:

And I'm very glad that you've taken my toasters seriously. Any member of staff whom I suspected of treating my toasters frivolously would be sacked on the spot. But it's not enough.

Perkins:

Not enough?

Topps:

Not nearly enough.

Perkins:

But I've been ever so busy distributing toaster keyrings, toaster balloons, toaster coasters -

Topps:

Toaster coasters?

Perkins:

Toaster coasters. And we've given out thousands of trolley tokens. Trolley tokens are a guaranteed way of raising awareness. They worked when it came to raising awareness of obesity. They worked to raise awareness of homelessness.

Topps:

And yet the world is still full of obese people and homeless people. Granted, you may have made those people more aware of that they are obese or homeless, but one might argue that they were fully aware of that already and didn't need you to come along and point it out.

Perkins:

I see... Yes... On the whole, then, what you seem to be saying is that I have wasted a big chunk of my life pursuing methods which are ultimately worthless and ineffectual.

Topps:

It rather looks like that.

Toasters - you can't make toast without them.

Perkins:

Oh dear. I've just put in an order for eight thousand toaster wristbands. What do I with them?

Topps:

I wouldn't like to say.

Perkins:

Right, well, if that's all I suppose I'd better go away and rethink my entire life.

Topps:

Good idea.

Perkins:

And sir?

Topps:

Yes Perkins.

Perkins:

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Topps:

Get out.

Hey look, a toaster!

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2020.

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