Chocolate Cake for everyone! (Except Toby)
An alternative promotion
Michael Scott sat behind his desk, addressing the documentary camera crew. "Corporate wanted us to come up with a promotion to run at each branch. David Wallace made suggestions like 10% off on prepaid orders, 20% off for referrals that place their first order...yawn! No heart, no creativity. But recently, I saw a movie, called Matilda. Starring Danny Devito. And, it's about a little girl, with a bad family, a bad principal. Basically everyone is just really terrible to her, it's probably the way Toby grew up, honestly. But then, she meets this teacher, Miss Honey, and she's very nice. She reminds me of what my future wife will be like to our children. Anyway, she finds that she has teleportation powers, and she does all this amazing stuff. Really, back in the day, she would have been tried as a witch, but now, she is celebrated. They made a movie about her. Progress."
Later in the conference room, Michael stood before his staff, as they settled into their usual places. He turned and wrote on the whiteboard in giant letters: C-A-K-E. Once again facing the office workers, Michael began, "Cake! Who doesn't love cake? Well, nobody, because cake is amazing! But what's better than cake? Free cake! This week, we will be doing our Death by Chocolate promotion! Deals so good you could die, accompanied by chocolate cake that will make you think you've gone to Heaven! Questions?"
"How is this a promotion? It sounds like an office birthday party.", Stanley asked dryly.
"Well, there will be discounts throughout the week, ending with a cake and ice cream social for customers that participate by making purchases outside their regular orders."
Dwight raised his hand, "What exactly will the discounts be, and how will it impact our commission on sales?"
"We are offering 10 percent off on all new, pre-paid orders, as well as a 20 percent discount for a new customer order that was referred by an existing client."
Dwight again rose his hand, "And the commission?"
"It won't impact your comission directly. Yes, Angela?"
Angela straightened her skirt as she spoke, "Michael, this sounds like a big event, why wasn't the Party Planning Committee made aware of this sooner? Surely, you can't expect us to throw everything together on such short notice?"
"I do expect it, and don't call me Shirley. Actually, the reason is, because I just came up with the idea this weekend. So, the earliest I could inform anyone was Monday morning...or today, right now. If you wanted to know sooner, you should have learned to read minds."
Kevin cleared his throat, "Do we get to eat the cake?"
"Yes, of course. Everyone gets cake. What kind of a monster would I be if I lorded this delicious cake over everyone all week and nobody got to eat it?"
Kevin smiled broadly, "Nice."
"Any other questions? No. Good. Then I will tell you about the cake! I have commissioned, using our petty cash fund, a local baker to recreate the chocolate cake made in the movie Matilda that-", Michael eyes Kevin before continuing, "That the rather portly child is forced to eat. Looked delicious. And I said to myself, 'If that doesn't sell paper, I don't know what will.'"
"So, we're going to force out clients to eat an entire chocolate cake in front of the whole school?", Jim asked.
"No Jim, come on. No, we're going to give everyone a slice of, probably the best, chocolate cake known to man or beast."
"Beasts don't eat chocolate cake", Dwight comments.
Michael sighs, "Thank you, Dwight, I know that. Now, if there are no more questions, I'd like to adjourn so that we can start making those sales calls!"
All at once the staff left the conference room, running into Creed on his way in. Upon seeing that everyone was leaving, he turned around and joined the others in making their way to their desks.
Angela, Pam, Phylis, Meredith, and Kelly sat in the conference room around the table. Pam wrote feverishly as Angela listed off the items they needed to make Michael's party a success. "Angela, slow down, I can only write so fast."
"Well, excuse me, Pam, I don't know if you realize that this extravagant fiasco takes place in 2 days. We have a million things to do!", Angela retorts, "I'm sorry, I know it's not your fault, but I don't know if we can get all this done."
"I know a guy who can make us balloon sculptures in 2 days, and another guy who can get us an ice sculpture by tomorrow. Actually, if you order from him, don't mention my name, we're not on speaking terms since I...nevermind. just don't mention my name, alright?", Meredith offered.
Phylis answered, "Why would we need balloon and ice sculptures?"
"It's classy.", Meredith responded plainly.
"Classy? If we want classy, you guys, Ryan knows a DJ that actually spun at Kim Kardashian's birthday party.", Kelly exclaimed.
I don't think we have the budget for a DJ", acknowledged Pam.
"What is our budget?", asked Phylis.
"We have 30.00. But Michael spent 2,000.00 on the cake, so technically the budget is negative 1,970.00.", Angela relayed with a sigh.
Jan stormed into Michael's office without preamble, "What is going on, Michael? You spent 2,000.00 dollars on a cake for a simple discount promotion? Was David not perfectly clear about the fact that this promotion was meant to be a boost to business?"
Michael met her gaze with a patient smile. "Well, Hello Jan. How nice of you to join us on this lovely day!"
"Nice? No. Michael, it's my job to intercede when my employees make egregious errors. Why did you get such a large cake?!"
"Really, Jan? Egregious? I ordered such a large cake in expectation that we'd have a large amount of clients that wanted to sample the best chocolate cake in existence. If that's egregious, then so be it."
Jan began to massage her temples as she answered, "I understand that, Michael, but to have them make a cake 20 times larger than the recipe originally called for is overkill, to say the least."
Michael looked surprised, "What? Not 20 times. I told them 2 times larger."
"Michael, look at the receipt. You see? 2. 0. Twenty times larger. You can't possibly have made enough in sales to justify this expenditure."
"You know what, Jan, I am frankly surprised at your egregious lack of faith in this branch. I knew that my people could rise to the occasion. That's what she said. And of course, they have."
"Really? Okay, fine, I will be at this event, and I will ensure that the sales made directly reflect in the numbers you're suggesting."
"That's great. Bring your fork!", as Jan left the office, Michael slumped in his chair. "Terrific."
Jim and Dwight joined Michael in his office to brainstorm. "There is no way we'll have enough clients to eat all that cake. Jan will know we came under the mark." Jim spoke earnestly.
"Thanks Jim!", Michael exclaimed, "Thanks for stating the obvious."
"Yeah!", Dwight agreed, "I'm sure Michael feels badly enough without being reminded of his failures."
"Dwight.", Michael eyed him warily, "Oh man, this is just like the movie. Now Kevin is going to have to eat all that cake."
"Or," started Jim, "We have everyone in the office call everyone they know, to come eat the cake at the event. And we can just buy the difference in paper so Jan will never know. We may even pick up a few clients?"
"Yes, I like it." Michael nodded his approval, "Get everyone on that, Jim. Dwight, tell Kevin he's our back up."
"Right away, Michael."
The time had finally come for the promotional event. All the staff from the office are present, and it is evident that they came through with their invitations. The warehouse is full of people enjoying a slice of cake. Jan happily approaches Michael, "I've got to hand it to you, Michael. I really underestimated your reach."
"Well, I live to serve, Madame." Michael says with a bow.
Kevin sits at a table, a cake-sized slice on his plate. The warehouse staff cheer him on as he eats. "Kevin! Kevin! Kevin!"
"Wow", Jim says to Pam, "It really is like the movie." The two of them share an intimate smile as Toby approaches the buffet table laden with cake slices.
"Nope! No!", Michael glares at Toby, "No, none for you. Go to The Chokey."
"Really, Michael?", Toby questions, "The Chokey?"
"Yes, just leave. You're killing the mood."
Toby's face lights up in a malicious smirk, "Okay, Michael", he says as he calmly exits the warehouse.