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Project 305

An Engineering Comedy, yes, that's right I said Engineering.

By R F KPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 9 min read
Project 305
Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash

Premise

"Project 305" follows the hire of the new HR representative Lydia Brookes into Project 305, a failing endeavor. Project 305 is top secret and what the project is/does is never revealed to Lydia or the audience. All Lydia knows is that the project has been running for 20 years (5 years over schedule) and £5 million over budget. Lydia was hired by her ambitious but clueless boss (Darren) and it's Lydia's job to change the 'culture' of the project team to prevent the project from being shut down. Although this series is set in 2024, all the technology used is from the early 2000s or paper-based which is juxtaposed to random items in use which are the state of the art. E.g. the printer is from 2010 which always breaks down whilst the toilets are the latest Japanese model.

The project itself has the highest level of security which is a main feature of the series. It is the cause of many of the running gags and challenges that Lydia must face. Some of these include being handed a paper where most of the words are blacked out, security codes for the toilets, complicated security checks to read the lunch menu, and many other over-the-top complicated security procedures.

The Engineers that work here are an eclectic bunch who are difficult to handle, not due to being aggressive but for being difficult for difficult sake. They work when they want, dress how they want, and do what they want with no regard for any rules of the company or office. They have no respect for any non-engineer personnel. They, however ,are feircy loyal to their head engineer, Gareth.

The arch nemesis of Project 305 is the "Authority" which is the group that decide whether the project gets shut down. Any interactions between the project and the "Authority" is a showdown of a battle of whits.

Main Characters

Lydia: Newly appointed HR rep, she is enthusiastic but out of her depth.

Darren: The Head of the Project, has no Technical background and doesn't understand anything about the project, what it does, etc. He never comes into the office and only calls. Uses useless, generic business speak, e.g. "Let's solutionize our options".

Gareth: Project Engineering Manager, Gareth is the almost retired technical boss. Does what he wants as Darren has no idea what anyone does. Gareth is both laid back and difficult to please. Gareth is the only one the team listens to.

Bob: The office "Alpha-male", he cycles into work every day. Ex-military type, always finds somewhere in the office to nap/read the newspaper.

Stevie: 6ft 8 engineer with long flowing hair, doesn't like to talk other than "Yep" or "Nope". Makes cider in the storage room with a converted bicycle wheel and lawnmower to crush the apples.

Gordon: Takes the rules extremely seriously, anytime Lydia walks into the room he attempts to cover up any information - an ongoing bit where he will either throw ink onto hours' worth of work or shred his only copy of files. He is convinced that Lydia is a spy and is constantly trying to find out who she works for.

Dawn: Electrical engineer only does her job - not her problem if you need help. Always has quips ready, usually giving incorrect advice on purpose. Has lots of stories about when engineering projects have gone wrong. Very morbid personality.

Harry: Graduate Engineer, young excited to work, work with Dawn constantly trying to get her approval.

Angus: Head of Archives, any information you want you must go through him. He wears a key around his neck which he sleeps with. Very aggressive, but they can't get rid of him because he is the only one with the key.

Keith: Fun fact central, he knows a lot of information, and WILL TELL YOU. Constantly talks about intricate detail of things and doesn't stop - happy to continue as he is in his world.

Cherry: Is a night owl, only works at night. Nickname the elf as she leaves finished work on the desks by the morning.

Ben: Short and wide security guard, very friendly.

Phil: Head of the "Authority", nothing gets past him. He is sarcastic, smart, ruthless, and knows all of the tricks that the team does to cut corners or get out of work. As Phil is an ex-engineer he too does not value any HR or Darren's authority.

Pilot

The pilot episode will highlight the absurdity of an inefficient high-security environment as well as being a parody of a mystery drama. The series will explore the interactions between different types of people, and how they can value and learn from each other to achieve a common goal.

Intro

Lydia is on the street of a city looking and a piece of paper which is her Job acceptance letter. Apart from the coordinates of the building, everything on the acceptance letter is blacked out - including Lydia's name. There is even a generic image of an office worker holding a thumbs up - which had their eyes blacked out.

She enters an unmarked building which is completely grey inside with one small plant in the middle of the room. She is greeted by two very old receptionists sitting in 2 booths on opposite sides of the room. A third booth is empty directly across from the entrance named "Security Office". She goes to sign in and receptionist 1 lets her know that there is a delay in her Security Pass being authorized so her boss has organized her to get a Visitors Pass for now. Lydia asks why, and the receptionist says; "That's confidential". Lydia asks for a Visitor Pass but is informed that they can only be collected from the Security Office - which opens in half an hour.

Lydia waits around only to find that receptionist 2 is the security officer who slowly makes their way to the security booth. When Lydia asks for her Pass, Receptionist 2 says that she needs to call the site manager. The Receptionist 2 calls Reception 2, where Receptionist 1 has to walk over and answer. The receptionists gossip and discuss over the phone about Lydia's account as if she couldn't hear them. Lydia can't receive her pass because a distant relative committed a petty crime so they must now have a full check for any links to local crime syndicates, which will take weeks. (She doesn't receive it all series). When Lydia tries to hurry them she is told that this is a confidential chat and that you can't rush these things.

Eventually, she gets a pass (which is ludicrously large and vibrant), and she is informed that she cannot be left on her own and Ben the security guard must supervise her at all times. Ben is a slow walker and so Lydia must always walk at an extremely slow pace. On the way she has to go to the toilet where she finds that you have to input a number and wait for a phone call before she can enter. Ben also has to wait outside.

Meeting the team

No one notices as Lydia enters and the team (apart from Darren and Gareth) are surrounding a table of what looks like a map. Lydia speaks up, some glance at her but Gordon, who sees her visitor pass immediately takes his cup of coffee and pours it all over the plans that the team is gathered around. Bob sighs, "That took 3 hours to draw".

The team all introduce themselves with only Harry the graduate shaking her hand or showing her any interest. Lydia announces that she is there to be the new HR and that she is looking for Darren. The table laughs as he is never around. She then asks for an introduction to the project and what everyone does, but she is dismissed as they said that only Darren is authorized to tell her he will let her know in her brief. Lydia makes a joke about how many security rules there are, this joke is not received well by the team and Gordon immediately becomes suspicious that Lydia is a spy.

Lydia's phone rings. It is the voice of Darren, He briefs Lydia that the project is overspent and they need to Pass all 3 of the next inspections from the "Authority" or the project will fail and they will all lose their jobs. Lydia asks about what the project is, Darren says that he is swamped with running the "Social impact assessment quantum in local businesses and wider organizations report" and that he will tell her later (he never does). He then says that Lydia's only task at the moment is to ensure that all of the team have completed the HR Office safety learning module which is online from the company by the end of the day. With that, he hangs up leaving Lydia with a lot of questions.

When she returns to the team she starts questioning them about the learning module, as it is two hours long she ensures that they have time to complete it by the end of the day. They all reply that they have completed it, but as Lydia looks around she can see that Bob is leaning back on a modified chair that can tilt 180 degrees backward without falling. When she challenges Bob on this, he argues that it makes him tilt back much safer and that if she is looking for problems check the store room.

When Lydia goes to the store room she sees Stevie pouring apples into an industrial-grade crusher which is hooked up to a bicycle wheel and a lawn mower. As she enters Stevie turns on the lawn mower. The lights flicker in an ominous way terrifying Lydia. Bob then walks in after Lydia and flicks the light switch, "See, we have a faulty light switch, walking into this room in the dark is a death trap." Stevie agrees with a "Yep" as he pours out a cup of cider.

The secret note & summary of the episode

Lydia finds and settles into a desk, confused. And determined to find out how to prove they didn't do the training. The team all have no respect for her and don't care at all. The security guard pulls up a chair behind her and silently watches. Sitting, she gets hit will a scrunched-up note, she asks Ben who threw it, who shrugs. The note reads "All is not what it seems, go to the archives. Pull the HR file 3508920."

The rest of the episode would involve Lydia interacting with other members of the project to try and find out who made the note. After learning nothing she investigates the Archives meeting Angus the grumpy and difficult gatekeeper. She must return to reception with written permission from Security which would involve a similar problem to the opening scene.

Pulling up the Archive she thinks she finally has the answer only to find that it is the record of when everyone did their Training. Disappointed and defeated she goes back to her desk thinking that everyone is just being difficult to get rid of her. She tells Ben that she is thinking of quitting - Ben shrugs.

Another note is then thrown at her "Look at the time stamps." It is there that she learns that everyone completed the 2-hour training in 0.01 seconds. Triumpthent calls the team and demands they do the training and that she can't sign them off unless they had all completed it. No one listens to her and complains. Then Gareth appears from nowhere like the sheriff in the wild west. And tells them all to complete it. Finally, Lydia has an ally in the Project. She feels as though she could do this job. She stands there watching everyone grudgingly complete their work, as she does she leans on a locked filing cabinet which immediately sets off an air siren.

Ends the episode.

Other episode ideas:

Episode: Glaxos the Printer

The printer breaks and each engineer takes turns fixing it in weird and wacky ways. Each design getting more over the top and ridiculous than the last, the final product is Glaxos, a Printer that has opinions and can 3d print hand gestures.

Episode: Suspicious Persons

There is a group of teenagers loitering around the entrance and so Ben must stay by the door, Lydia has an important deadline but cannot leave his side. She attempts to scare the teenagers away in a variety of ways.

Final Episode: The Authority Showdown

Lydia and the team face off against the shrewd sarcastic Head of the Authority Phil. They must win a battle of wits to not get the project shut down.

SatireSketches

About the Creator

R F K

I like to write and want to get better.

Always appreciate comments for advice and pointers.

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Comments (2)

  • Alicia Swaby2 months ago

    Love this! I can imagine the characters so clearly

  • Starlight Tuckerabout a year ago

    Hey there! I'm excited that your profile asks for critiques! I'm an English tutor with seven years of experience and am happy to help. One of the most common errors we see is use of the passive voice where we need the active voice. Think about what actively occurs in the literary (present) tense. I also adore the past tense- the past tense is a beautiful way to write, but it has some conditions for mechanics, like it needs to be clear that whatever occurs is in fact occurring in the story's past. For example, in my story, Harmony "DRIVES" away after she "LEFT" the letters at Oakley's doorstep. That second part definitely occurred in the story's past. If my entire story was about Harmony telling the story of her past, the past tense would work often. HOWEVER, if we think of stories like 'Edward Scissorhands,' we hear a lot of the past tense in our narrator's dialogue, BUT everything else is actively happening as though we are right there in the story's present time. *What other movies are set up like 'Edward Scissorhands' with a narrator speaking in the past while we witness that past unfold? The movie 'The Grinch' is another example I can think of. You will want to explore the different writing styles used in fiction, such as writing in the active voice. Here is a good source that explains how to adjust sentence style to use the strongest words possible! Best of luck :) https://www.writermag.com/improve-your-writing/revision-grammar/not-removing-verbs-writing/

R F KWritten by R F K

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