Feature

Diary: Could these e-mails be written by you?

Prepare to take another quizzical look at yourself in the mirror.

Matt Beaumont has written a sequel to his decade-old satirical adland novel e. It's called e2, and is based entirely on e-mails between staff at a fictional agency called Meerkat 360.

Do any of the characters that follow remind you of anybody? Yourself perhaps? Here's a taster of the book to get you wondering.

From: David Crutton

To: All staff

Re: Come in, you thieving twat, your time is up

I'm prepared to turn a blind eye to the traditional theft of paperclips, but this has gone beyond a joke. The stationery cupboard has been stripped bare and I am officially fucking livid. I WILL catch the thief, even if it means making each and every one of you undergo lie-detector tests/waterboarding.

David Crutton, CEO

From: David Crutton

To: Sally Wilton

Re: Finding the thief

Please look into the feasibility of CIA-style rendition of key suspects to nations less wedded to the flabby Western concepts of civil liberties. I'm sure we could dress it up as "essential business travel".

eBay.co.uk

For sale: miscellaneous stationery

Item specifics: complete contents of stationery cupboard. Former property of cutting-edge London media company. Would suit ambitious media start-up. Or small branch of Ryman.

From: Sally Wilton

To: Creative department

Re: Resource-saving ideas

Until the stationery cupboard is restocked, we must make our existing supplies last. Ask yourselves, do your layouts really need to be so big? With careful planning, you can fit up to 24 "ideas" on a single sheet of A2. And is that "idea" actually any good? Honestly, most of what you do is uninspired. Committing it to paper serves only to make you look "busy". Go on, be tough on yourselves and only draw up the "gems". Thank you for your co-operation.

Sally Wilton, office administrator

From: Sally Wilton

To: All staff

Re: Security

Due to the recent spate of thefts, XL Enforcement is working with us to enhance general security. To this end, bag searches are mandatory. Rest assured, however, that strip searches will be kept to a minimum. Thank you for your co-operation.

Sally Wilton, office administrator

From: Roisin O'Hooligan

To: Sally Wilton

Re: Security

I am deeply fucked off by the X-ray machine your goons have stuck in reception. It's wheezing like my bronchial nan. Mark my words, if I get cancer, I will seek you out. And you can tell Crutton I'll have him too. The blustery shitehawk doesn't scare me.

Roisin, reception

From: Sally Wilton

To: Roisin O'Hooligan

Re: Security

If you choose not to wear the lead-lined jerkin and bonnet with which you have been provided for your comfort and safety, and which is compulsory under health and safety legislation, the company cannot be held responsible for ensuing medical complications.

From: Dotty Podidra

To: All staff

Re: David's office

Has anyone seen it? It seems to have gone missing.

Dotty Podidra, assistant to David Crutton

eBay.co.uk

For sale: CEO's office

Item specifics: furnishings to transform the drabbest corporate cubicle into a swank pad fit for a swinging-dick S'ralan clone. Includes a one-acre glass-topped desk with a chair built for the bottom that likes to lunch. Fully accessorised with two yards of unread self-improvement books and Damien Hirst's Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint (yes, yes, it's spin art, a three-year-old could have done it, but fuck, it's a HIRST!). Would suit wanker.

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