Chris Doocey, a 27-year-old sales manager based in Manchester, started at Madbird in October 2020, a few months before the Zoom call. He would be working from home, but the pandemic was still raging, so that was normal. Covid had upended Chris’s life. It had cost him his last job and was the reason he’d applied for this role at Madbird. The ad described a “human-centred digital design agency born in London, running worldwide”. It sounded good.