Friday 7 October, 8.15am, Teutonic Room: Full house this morning! Not only are all of Team P present and correct, I’ve not seen so many folks in the office on a Friday since the GBH Christmas party in December 2019, when Those Upstairs paraded the floors in silly Santa jumpers offering mince pies and I offered myself… well, let’s leave that.

Agent P

Today, Those Upstairs are closeted on the eighth floor “re-evaluating the 2023 business plan given the new economic situation”, as the wet-your-pants memo put it. Or as Charlie Boy puts it, “who is going to get the chop at Christmas now the [expletive deleted] Tories have [expletive deleted] the economy”.

Staff not seen for months are wandering the office in the hope that attendance will aid their cause of never being seen again. Resentful regulars huddle around the water-coolers predicting where the axe might fall, concluding it will fall on those who have, ‘“frankly, not been pulling their weight like we have”.

My five need bucking up. “We are fireproof,” I say. “We are the GUYS! Team P! Yea!” No one looks up. “Look, we are front-line deal-makers. Front of the P45 queue will be those tree-huggers in ESG.” Who cares about that stuff now? “I do,” says Posh Girl, with a funny look on her face.