The Game of Thrones Finale Could Kill Workplace Productivity on Monday

Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
HBO

The series finale of Game of Thrones is upon us, and employers across the U.S. should be very afraid. “Absence is Coming,” a new survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos, conducted by The Harris Poll, found that the final episode premiering this Sunday, May 19, is likely to cause major Monday workplace conflicts.

According to the survey—which analyzed the results of 1090 working adults who took part in an online poll alongside U.S. Census Data and extrapolated its final tallies from there—the conclusion of Game of Thrones could be as disastrous to America's workplaces on Monday morning as it will likely be to some of your favorite characters. According to the poll:

“Approximately 27.2 million employees who plan to watch the Game of Thrones finale live admit they will either miss work completely, arrive late, work remotely, be less productive than usual, or experience another impact on work obligations Monday because of the series finale of the most popular show in HBO history.”

While that viewership estimate is likely high (season 8's penultimate episode, "The Bells," is the series's most-watched so far, with 18.4 million viewers), there's no denying that Game of Thrones's finale will rival some of the most-watched series finales of all time. 

Based on the survey's predictions, approximately 10.7 million Americans are already planning to take the day off from work completely while 2.9 million are planning to show up late. Apparently, this is not a new development: The Workforce Institute at Kronos reports that Game of Thrones season 8 has already had a negative impact on workplace productivity. They estimate that 4.4 million employees have already "missed work specifically to stream reruns to refresh their memory on key plotlines or catch up on missed episodes."

Not all of the questions asked were super serious, though. When asked about which Game of Thrones character they'd most like to have as a manager, one in four respondents said Jon Snow (earning the true heir to the Iron Throne the top spot), with Tyrion Lannister coming in second followed by Daenerys Targaryen (perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey was conducted online between May 7 and May 9—before "The Bells" happened). Amazingly, even Cersei Lannister got 2 percent of the vote.

If “Absence is Coming” proves anything, it’s that employers might make out better if they just declared Monday a national day of mourning and gave everyone the day off.

Game of Thrones Counseling Available for Upset Fans Following Series Finale

Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

It’s no surprise that some fans are having a hard time dealing with the fact that Game of Thrones is over. The show ran for eight seasons, and became a huge part of fans's lives and Sunday night routines. Moreover, since the season 8 premiere first aired, fans haven’t been too thrilled with the trajectory of the show, and it has only gotten worse. (The final episode in the series scored the lowest rating in the show’s history on IMDb).

But if you’re having a hard time wrapping your mind around the end of Game of Thrones, or just want to vent, there's a counseling service here just for you. CNN reports that if you go to Bark.com, a UK-based online marketplace, you can find a Game of Thrones counselor who will listen to your every qualm about the show. "The professionals will help them digest their feelings and interpretation of the show, which could range from anger and confusion to sadness and grief," the service description reads.

"We watch them to escape our daily lives and immerse ourselves into the 'unknown,'" Lynette, a counselor from Bark.com, said in a statement regarding people's TV show obsessions. "This is the very reason why we sometimes become addicted to watching them, the stories they tell become part of our identity."

There’s options of booking a 30-minute or 60-minute session, which range from $25 to $51. Fans can choose from a face-to-face session, group session, or online, and can specify which specific problems they’re having regarding the show. 

What do we say to Game of Thrones-related anxiety? Not today!

New Coke is Making a Comeback Thanks to Stranger Things

Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things.
Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things.
Netflix

In what was considered one of the biggest consumer product marketing blunders of all time, the Coca-Cola Company upset devotees of their signature beverage by introducing New Coke in 1985. Sweeter and smoother than the original, people practically revolted over the change, and the drink eventually disappeared from shelves.

In 2019, New Coke is not only resurfacing—it might turn out to be one of the company's savviest marketing moves to date.

CNN reports that Coca-Cola will be producing 500,000 cans of New Coke in collaboration with Netflix to promote season 3 of Stranger Things, the 1980s-set paranormal drama. Cans will be featured on the show in a kind of retro product placement.

Fans can look for the cans online, which will be offered as a free gift with the purchase of two special Coca-Cola Classic or Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles with Stranger Things artwork beginning Thursday. Special vending machines will also be set up in major cities, and visitors to Atlanta's World of Coca-Cola can purchase the product there, too.

The company is using the exact same recipe for New Coke that got them in hot water back in 1985. For many, it will be their first chance to sample the drink that anti-New Coke activist and retiree Gay Mullins described as being "unbelievably wimpy" and tasting like Pepsi (a comment meant to be derogatory). Originally intended to replace Coca-Cola Classic, the drink was eventually rebranded Coke II and sold through 2002.

Coca-Cola anticipates demand will exceed their 500,000 can allotment, which means you're likely to see them pop up on eBay before long.

The new season of Stranger Things premieres July 4.

[h/t CNN]

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