Inside, Doug cracks a sad little joke about "Welcome to Arby's, how may we help you?" And they all laugh dumb little corporate etiquette laughs, except for Sean, who snorts and chortles so madly he almost chokes. Tammy asks for "the one thing" that will get the task done, which I like, and Debbie tells her that there are "no competitors that have a competing all-natural chicken product." It sounds so organic and no-fooling when you describe it that way, Debbie. The all-natural Allie product takes notes about something or another and the all-natural Doug product reminds them that Arby's is thought of as a "roast beef restaurant," with a little all-natural annoyance at this that makes me think he's been doubling up on the all-natural Kool-Aid. Whenever they discuss branding at the beginning of the episode, I have to sit on my hands, because I love Corporate Communications stuff so, so much, and the task is inevitably nothing to do with actual branding. Like this, taking the roast beef brand and watering it down with chicken using a stupid song. Doug's all-natural eyeballs bug out as he shrieks about "letting people know" that "we have the best chicken!" Sean kisses outrageous ass, not any particular all-natural ass, just gerundial ass-kissing, as is his predilection; even Debbie and crazy-ass Doug are bored by him.
Then on to the Rushees' meeting with Doug and Debbie. In the van, Tarek repeats their names over and over in a way that would be charming if it weren't 10:39 AM. Upstairs, Doug and Debbie wait, already bored and extremely over Gold Rush. Lenny needs to know what a "jingle" is, because that's the one thing he's not an expert on. Doug and Debbie look at their watches fakely, and smile, and shake their heads at each other. Finally, a half-hour late, the team slouches in sheepishly, and Bryce attempts to turn on the firm smiling Project Manager charm that is completely inappropriate at the moment. The execs ask why the hell they're so late, and everybody starts fidgeting silently. They direct the question at Bryce, who grins vapidly and doesn't answer. Remember that NOT ME thing from Family Circus? It's like that. The best way to take an awkward situation and turn it into a funny joke is...not to act like your parents just caught you going down on the gardener while smoking a joint. Charmaine shakes her head, totally over Bryce and the little-boy boringness of him. Doug is like, "Twenty-five minutes late? Really? If this were the real world you wouldn't get in the front door." Bryce equivocates and mumbles and kicks the floor and acts like a cowhand about how NYC is just so crazy and they didn't know what time they were supposed to blah blah blah. Tarek acts us out, interviewing that you "don't piss off the executives. That's the role of the PM" -- and that part of that job is to get there on time. I don't have anything in particular against Bryce -- well, I do think that when Donald Trump displays more emotional maturity than you, on a bad day, it's time to rethink -- but: Word. Bryce needs to fucking go home this week, and it's not even 11 AM. I pronounce thee cobra'd.