Bullshit Bingo was the Christmas game favoured by the trainees at Schmooze, Booze and Lose.

They knew that their elders and betters used any device to cover the tracks of their own ignorance and woolly thinking. Any TLA (three letter acronym) or tired, trite bit of jargon won a point. And so did the blandest answer to such probing questions as “how is the market” or “have you had a good year?”. The persuasive sense of physical and intellectual laziness was stultifying.

The eight most notoriously clever, able and mischievous trainees were the “Eight Maids”, the first-year trainees who decided to milk this situation.

The Graduate Recruitment team had been sacked in their entirety for recruiting the 8M (as they were called) in an egregious departure from their mandate only to recruit mediocre trainees on the grounds, wherever possible, of nepotism and/or sycophancy.

The 8M regularly met in the organic milk bar nearest the office for a bit of “blue sky thinking” as the more bullshitting of their partners would have had it. The place was so ghastly that they were looking for a plan to hatch; little did they know that an ostrich-sized egg was about to hatch in their very laps.

Arch R. Schmooze, the senior partner, opened his emails to find, to his astonishment, that the firm was being invited to be interviewed for the prestigious Legal Fake News Awards. This was to be held at a star-studded gala dinner at one of London’s most glamourous mass market hotels. The firm had never been nominated for an award before (much to the credit of the judges and organisers of the award). His excitement was indecent.

The category of the mooted award was Employer of The Year. How were they going to formulate their submission and presentation? Schmooze spoke to his fellow founders who agreed that the beleaguered HR team albeit, depleted by the loss of the Graduate Recruitment team, should be consulted and do whatever actual work was required.

Mrs Santa Downtrodden-Abused, Head of HR, almost fell off her threadbare chair when she got the call from ARS (always known by his initials, ‘nuff said). She realised that her moment of revenge had come as she sent an email to the 8M suggesting that they lead the presentation extolling the reasons why the firm was an absolutely compelling recipient of the Employer of The Year Award.

The 8M lost no time preparing for the awards ceremony. Their idea was to prepare a presentation telling the judges what the firm was really like, sure in the knowledge that none of the partners would be bothered to read it and almost certainly would not be bothered to turn up to the presentation, leaving the 8M free to tell the truth. They were doubly sure that their plan was going to succeed when they realised the day of the presentation coincided with the Annual Client Golf Day.

The central thesis of the presentation was that the guiding spirit of the place was what in firm folk law would become known by the acronym HMS-Hierarchy, Mediocrity and Superficiality. The presentation went in, the judges were aghast and the scene was set for the awards ceremony.

On the evening, the partners turned up in black tie having failed, of course, to think to invite any of the “staff”, including the 8M, who were watching on livestream. The partners could barely contain their pride and excitement.

Until, that is, the judges announced that there was a surprise award for “The Firm Most Likely to be Consigned to the Dustbin”. As soon as the new category of award was announced, the 8M knew what was going to happen.

When the winner of the award was announced the high-fives, cheers and celebrations started at the now defunct SBL. Ding Dong Merrily on High.


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