The following fax arrived at work, with the familiar GW corporate logo and header at the top of it:
On April 1st, Hasbro Incorporated, parent company of Wizards of the Coast, purchased a majority share and controlling interest of Games Workshop Group PLC. This is exciting news for the gaming industry, as the leading manufacturer of role-playing and collectible card games and the leading manufacturer of miniature games have now been consolidated into the same family.
What does this mean for the staff of Games Workshop? It means that your stores are now able to expand their product ranges to offer more than just Games Workshop products. Soon, retail staff will be able to demo not only Warhammer games, but also run intro games and tournaments of Magic the Gathering, and Pokémon the Trading Card Game.
By bringing these amazing worlds together, Hasbro / WotC is presented with a whole host of new possibilities... one which the front line sales staff of the existing Games Workshop retail stores are well positioned to deliver.
Let me be the first to say, welcome to the fold!
CEO Hasbro Gaming Division"
The GW retail stores on the west coast of Canada (the closest GW stores to the WotC headquarters in Washington State) were the first to receive these faxes. Corporate memos arrived regularly in this manner, but never had the content been quite so shocking. Within minutes, the store manager of GW West Vancouver was calling the store manager in Burnaby (the flagship store of the region). After a heated and outraged rant, he threatened to quit his job if he and his staff were going to be required to run demo games of Pokémon.
More phone calls came in. The staff of one store was calling the next, asking if they had also received the shocking news. The store staff then sent a copy of the fax on to the Canadian HQ of GW.
Finally, the area manager (who was out of town at the time) called in to the Burnaby store for a routine check-in. The store manager then told him about the fax, and read it out aloud to him after setting the phone to speaker mode so that all the staff could hear his reaction.
After the first paragraph had been read aloud, the area manager began muttering, "I've got to call Martin, I've got to call Martin (Martin Perkins was the Retail Manager for GW North America)." He continued to mumble this repeatedly, even after the last line of the fax was read to him. It wasn't until he said that he needed to hang up and call GW HQ right away, that the retail staff re-read the name of the "Hasbro CEO" over again and then pointed out the date, that he finally stopped his panicked ramble.
This all happened on my day off while I was a lowly red-shirt (retail salesperson) at the Games Workshop Burnaby store years and years ago... the flagship store of Western Canada. Sometime after noon, I calmly walked into the store, greeted my co-workers, and asked them how they liked my fax that I had sent them from my home that morning.
One of my co-workers gave me a dumbfounded stare. "You sent that!?" he exclaimed. He then ran to the back of the shop, and brought out my boss, the store manager.
The manager then got me to call the area manager. After a brief, "Ha ha, you got me", I then received a stern warning NEVER to forge an official-looking corporate fax ever again.
Some time later, I was fired from my job at GW.