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SCW1#2
137
mister_troper
From class, a little ditty about someone who can't ask for a raise.

I hate myself for writing the line about the unicorn, but it's too much to resist.


SCENE
(ANDREW sits at his desk, writing. TOM walks in.)
TOM
Andrew?
(ANDREW looks up from his work.)
Do you know what happened with the Ray file?
ANDREW
In a material sense, or in a strategic sense.
(Pause.)
TOM
Both.
ANDREW
Materially, it's in the backroom file cabinet waiting to get moved to storage. Strategically, we're no longer involved with the file because Mr. Ray seems to be a shady, shady character who wants shady, shady things, so he fired us.
TOM
Good riddance.
ANDREW
I know.
TOM
We sent him a closeup letter and bill?
ANDREW
Just finished it.
TOM
Great work, Andy.
ANDREW
Thanks.
(TOM exits.)
Oh, hey, Tom?
(TOM puts his head back in.)
TOM
Yes?
ANDREW
Have you seen the performance reports?
TOM
I have. I'm proud of you guys. Especially you. Stellar marks.
ANDREW
Thanks. I just hope you'll remember that.
TOM
Remember what?
ANDREW
That?
TOM
What?
ANDREW
That I'm doing my job?
TOM
(Laughing.)
Of course you're doing your job.
(TOM exits, then sticks his head back in.)
I'd fire you otherwise.
(TOM ducks back out. ANDREW sits still for a moment. ANDREW begins to pound his forehead with his hand.)
ANDREW
Remember that! Remember that!
(ANDREW stands, begins pacing.)
Remember that *when* you're considering the budget. Remember that when you're considering the yearly performance reports. Remember that, remember that, remember that – gahh! I have the perfect lead-in to ask for a raise.
(ANDREW collapses into his chair, and begins to rub his temples with his eyes closed.)
Okay, remember why you want it. This is not a setback. You had one opportunity, and you can find another. It's okay. It's okay. You have to make your own opportunities. Remember Marcy. Remember why you want it. Okay.
(ANDREW stands, then becomes overly conscious of his posture and overcompensates into an excessively statuesque pose.)
ANDREW
Okay. Ready. I can do this. For me. For Marcy.
(ANDREW stomps off.)
SCENE: TOM's office.
(TOM sits talking on the phone. ANDREW sticks his head in and TOM looks up. TOM only barely acknowledges ANDREW. ANDREW slowly pours into the office and stands by the chair in front of the desk, waiting.)
TOM
Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
(Pause.)
Look –
(Pause.)
There's only so much *I* can do, not because I don't want to help. But you're the one in the field, you're actually what's seeing going on. Okay, bye.
(TOM hangs up the phone. He looks up at ANDREW.)
TOM
Andrew, why are you standing in my office?
ANDREW
I just, I'm-
TOM
No, that came out wrong. Andrew, why are you standing in my office when there's a chair right there?
ANDREW
Right.
(ANDREW sits.)
TOM
You stand on too much ceremony, Andy, this time a little too literally. I don't get that.
ANDREW
Get what?
TOM
Here,
(TOM points to phone.)
I’m on the phone with Allie, who's out at a site. And she's not willing to take any initiative at all. Her first instinct when faced with an unfamiliar situation is to grab her mobile and call me and ask me for advice. You, on the other hand, you leap into everything feet first.
(TOM stands and begins to walk over to ANDREW, who is beginning to shrink in his chair. TOM puts his hands on ANDREW's shoulders.)
You take no prisoners. You have drive, ambition, gumption – you're going somewhere, Andrew, make no mistake about it.
(TOM doubles back around the chair and sits on his desk.)
Now, why'd you come in here?
ANDREW
I'd like more...responsibility.
(TOM laughs. ANDREW nervously laughs along.)
TOM
See, that's what I mean. I tell you about a problem and bang – you set out to solve it.
(ANDREW looks confused.)
Tell you what.
(TOM reaches into pocket and pulls out his wallet, handing ANDREW some bills.)
Why don't you go down to the corner and get us some coffees. We can talk how to arrange your 'new project' over them.
(Phone rings.)
I should take this.
(TOM answers the phone and announces himself. ANDREW looks at the bills.)
ANDREW
(To himself, as he begins to leave.)
I'd like more money. I'd like more money. I'd like more-
TOM
(To caller:)
One second.
(To ANDREW:)
What was that?
(ANDREW slowly turns back, grinning.)
ANDREW
Money.
TOM
Oh, right.
(TOM reaches into his desk and pulls out a few more bills.)
I forgot they raised their prices. Don't want to stiff you.
ANDREW
(To himself, despondent.)
Money.
SCENE
(ANDREW sits at his desk, typing away with some abandon. TOM walks by and drops something on ANDREW's desk. ANDREW doesn't notice.)
TOM
So, how's our project coming along?
ANDREW
(Startled by TOM.)
Er. Oh, right, Allie.
TOM
Yes, Allie. So?
ANDREW
Tom, I don't really know what you want out of me. You can't just make someone have gumption. People are what they're like. You can't teach someone to grab the bull by the horns. It has to develop. Slowly.
(ANDREW starts speaking more to himself.)
And some people never quite get there. Some people can't quite make that leap. Some of us get faced with that situation with the thing they want to say, and they just can't say it.
(ANDREW starts to get depressed.)
No matter what they think, or no matter what they do, they can't ask that simple question. That simple, simple question.
(Pause.)
TOM
We're not talking about Allie any more, are we?
ANDREW
No, Tom, it's actually that -
TOM
Andrew, I make it a strict policy not to get involved in the personal lives of employees.
(ANDREW looks confused.)
This one is one you'll have to figure out on your own. Now, let's get things back to business. What can I do?
ANDREW
Excuse me?
TOM
What can I do? How can I help? Is there anything I can change to improve Allie's performance?
ANDREW
(Slowly getting idea.)
Well, it is possible she would respond to a more mercenary form of inspiration.
TOM
Such as?
ANDREW
Well, you know, money.
TOM
A raise?
ANDREW
Yes. Yes!
(ANDREW leaps up from his seat.)
A raise! A great idea!
TOM
I don't know, Andrew, at that conference in Seattle, they showed this interesting psychological research that people don't respond to money as a motiv-
ANDREW
All lies. Totally disproven. They kicked those psychologists out. Money is the best motivator there is.
TOM
Hmm. Well, I guess I have to take a look at how much I pay Allie.
ANDREW
In fact, you might want to take a look at how much you pay...everyone!
(ANDREW laughs manically. TOM joins in, less manically, but still amused.)
TOM
Ah, Andrew, you're right. And I'm so glad that I don't have to figure out how to motivate some people.
(ANDREW freezes.)
ANDREW
But they could be motivated more.
TOM
Sure, some.
(ANDREW unfreezes).
But some of 'em, like you,
(TOM puts his arm around ANDREW's shoulders and gestures to the sky.)
you already have that unquenchable, can-do spirit that made this country what it is.
ANDREW
But...it's capitalism...free markets...liberal economy...financial rewards...
TOM
They pale in comparison to that American spirit, and I'm so glad to have an employee who understands that.
(TOM begins to walk off.)
You, oh proud citizen, I salute you.
(TOM salutes ANDREW and exits. ANDREW half-heartedly waves back.)
SCENE
(ANDREW sits with a glazed expression, drinking coffee. TOM enters.)
TOM: Andrew!
(TOM sits down next to ANDREW.)
Bill said he saw you here.
ANDREW
Yep. Came down to get some coffee.
TOM
Right. It's just that, normally, you get some coffee and then come back to work.
ANDREW
Most of the time.
TOM
But this time you're sitting and having it here.
ANDREW
Yep. Variety. I like watching the people.
TOM
And that –
(Pause.)
– lunch bag you have there. It's suspiciously bottle-shaped.
ANDREW
Tom, it's bottle-shaped, because there's a bottle in it.
(ANDREW begins to reach for the bottle.)
Kahlua? It goes especially well with that South American dark roast they have here.
(TOM stops him from taking out the bottle.)
TOM
No, Andrew, not while the cops are watching us.
ANDREW
Eh, they're cool about it.
TOM
Andrew, I hate to say this, but is there something wrong?
ANDREW
Well, Tom, I don't know, I just seem to have lost my inspiration. I just don't feel the...lure to stay in the office anymore. I keep hoping I might...rise up to the situation. I'm looking for more...satisfaction. I even-
(ANDREW reaches into his pocket and pulls out a sheet of paper, folded carefully lengthwise that he opens with some care.)
I even wrote a poem about it. Don't worry, I didn't do it on company time, or on company paper. See, this is a printout from Salary.com's website, showing typical levels of remuneration for middle management in the city.
(ANDREW shows TOM the page.)
Someone just threw it away, wasteful, disheartened, careless. Not out to save the world. But I wrote a poem. I call it "Motivation." That's m.o. hypen tivation.
(ANDREW makes a show of opening the page. ANDREW turns in his seat to face TOM directly, and holds the page up to cover his face, so that the printed salary information is directly in front of TOM's eyeline. ANDREW raises his other hand upwards.)
ANDREW
Oh, time, your timey thing is ticking in rivulets
(Pause.)
Like a meter that needs – needs more quarters.
Oh, quarters! Oh, holy quarters, you are-
(TOM puts a hand on ANDREW's arm that's holding the poem down so as to look at ANDREW in the face.)
TOM
Andy,
(TOM takes the page from ANDREW and begins looking down at it.)
I know what this is about.
ANDREW
Yeah?
(TOM taps at page.)
TOM
I understand. You don't feel sufficiently rewarded.
ANDREW
Yeah.
TOM
You get a job, work your days, and keep wondering, "where's mine?"
ANDREW
Yeah!
TOM
"Where's mine? What's this? Where's my life going? What am I going to do when I get there? What does it all mean?"
ANDREW
Yeah?
TOM
"Why don't I feel complete? Why do I have so many questions? What's wrong with my life?"
ANDREW
We're not still talking about my motivation, are we?
TOM
No, we are.
(TOM holds up page.)
I understand.
ANDREW
So you're going to give me a ...
TOM
Andrew, I'm going to do something I never do. I'm going to stop being your boss for a moment.
ANDREW
No.
TOM
I know what it means when a man starts writing poetry.
ANDREW
No.
TOM
I was where you were, once. Not quite done being a footloose and fancy free bachelor,
(TOM picks up bottle and spins it open with his thumb.)
Not quite sure how to finally find that special one and settle down.
ANDREW
No, I have the special one. Marcy. Really nice girl.
TOM
You had her and you lost her. I've been there too.
ANDREW
Still have her. Live together.
TOM
That's the hardest. I can see why you've been so stressed out. You're broken up but still together.
(TOM removes the cap from the bottle.)
Awkward moments of meeting in the hallway with your new paramours, no one quite sure whose going to move out first.
ANDREW
No! Not like that. I want to marry her, it's just-
(ANDREW takes three quick, loud breaths.)
-it's just that I know I don't have enough money to do so if I don't get a -
(TOM takes a swig off the bottle and begins coughing loudly.)
TOM
Oh, God, that was Kahlua. What was I thinking? Ack!
ANDREW
I told you!
TOM
Who brown-bags Kahlua? It's like a unicorn vomited in my mouth.
ANDREW
Here, chase it with some coffee.
(TOM takes the coffee from ANDREW, sips.)
TOM
Awh. Whew.
(Pause. TOM looks at ANDREW lovingly, while ANDREW is clearly confused.
See? That's why you're such a great guy, Andy. Honest to the core and even in your deepest depression still sweet as can be.
(TOM slaps ANDREW on the knee.)
Tell you what: I've got a cousin about your age. She just got divorced recently. Next Thursday, I'll see what I can arrange.
SCENE
(ANDREW walks into TOM's office. He looks dazed.)
TOM
Andrew, how're you doing?
ANDREW
Got those reports for you, boss.
(ANDREW shuffles over to TOM's desk and puts down some paper.)
All in order.
TOM
You look tired. Are you okay.
ANDREW
Had to move last weekend when Marcy found out I was dating someone else. Bit worn out.
TOM
Well, it's good to have a clean start of it.
ANDREW
Clean start.
(TOM picks up the papers and starts looking through them.)
TOM
And it's good to hear that you and Kim are getting along.
ANDREW
Yeah...we're...getting...along.
(Pause as TOM looks over papers.)
TOM
Was there something else, Andrew?
ANDREW
I couldn't help but notice as I was getting everyone's files together, but it happened again.
TOM
What? Oh, no not Ted.
ANDREW
I'm afraid so, Tom.
TOM
What is going on with him? He hasn't put in a file timely since two months ago.
ANDREW
I know.
TOM
Worse still, he keeps claiming that he's getting them done, but that someone's out to sabotage him.
ANDREW
Paranoia. It can strike at any moment.
TOM
I'm really worried I'm going to have to let him go.
ANDREW
It's shame, and especially in this economy.
TOM
True. But the upside of that is, we'll get to pick up someone else on the cheap.
ANDREW
Well – well, actually, I don't know if we can do that.
TOM
How so?
ANDREW
Don't – don't you think that'd look bad? To the big guys? Think about it; with any hiring, there's all these costs associated with it.
TOM
Recruiters, advertising.
ANDREW
It's not like we can just bump up some temp. Ted's going to be really hard to replace. And we're all going to have to make do until we can find someone else to help with the burden.
TOM
You know, you're right.
(TOM starts to make for exit.)
I'll go have a talk with him, see if I can figure out what's up.
ANDREW
(ANDREW intercedes in TOM's path.)
Oh, no, don't do that.
TOM
Why?
ANDREW
He's already paranoid about someone stealing his files and hiding them in the utility closet. Confronting him is only going to make it worse.
TOM
I don't know, Andy.
ANDREW
(ANDREW steps aside.)
Tom, you're the boss. But don't say I didn't warn you.
TOM
No, Andy, I have to be the responsible one here and follow all the rules. But, after I talk with him, maybe we'll talk about how we can solve this problem without having to hire anyone.
ANDREW
Sounds good, Tom.
(TOM and ANDREW exit.)
SCENE
(TOM and ANDREW are walking together. ANDREW stops at ANDREW's desk, while TOM keeps on going.)
ANDREW
He he he.
(ANDREW reaches into back, pulls out an envelope.)
Ha ha hah!
(ANDREW dances around to the back of his desk, and from underneath pulls out a stack of similar envelopes.)
Ha ha ha!
(ANDREW begins to swing across the stage clutching the envelopes to the disposal.)
And now, the plan is complete.
(TOM enters. ANDREW's eyes lock on him. TOM see ANDREW, but is clearly about to.)
Tom! I figured it out!
(ANDREW rushes over.)
Someone was out to get Ted! Look what I found behind the .... er ... rubber tree.
(ANDREW shoves stack of envelopes at TOM.)
TOM
Well, I'll be. Who would have done such a thing?
ANDREW
I don't think it's the .... the time to point fingers, Tom. What's important here is what we've saved.
(ANDREW's demeanor changes.)
What we've saved our company in real costs, costs that can be directly attributable to our actions.
TOM
Yeah, but, was someone out to get Ted?
ANDREW
Well, you know how Ted can get.
TOM
No, I really don't.
(ANDREW begins to cross over to his desk.)
ANDREW
He's not a man who's very nice to the – the janitorial staff, and they're the ones who probably did this. But the real point here is how much money we've saved by averting a crisis.
TOM
You know what? You're right.
(TOM leans in conspiratorially.)
I think I can see a raise in the future.
ANDREW
(Wide-eyed.)
Really?
TOM
My review's next week. This is going to look pretty good.
(TOM exits. ANDREW sits, and looks at a picture on his desk.)
ANDREW
Marcy, you did me wrong. You started this.
(ANDREW knocks over the picture.)
And you don't even have the decency to stick around for the end of it.
SCENE
(TOM and ANDREW both sit at a table, passing papers back and forth, making occasional notations. ANDREW slides a page over to TOM.)
ANDREW
Could you check my figures?
TOM
Sure.
(Pause.)
I hear I'll be seeing you at my parent's wedding anniversary party this month.
ANDREW
You will.
TOM
Well, don't you worry. I'll put in a good word for you.
ANDREW
Tom, I'd –
TOM
I really hope that things work out between you and Kim. It'd be really wonderful to see.
(ANDREW looks up, cocks his head, looks over at TOM, then looks back to his work.)
ANDREW
I don't know, Tom, I just don't know.
TOM
(Stops work.)
What, is – well, I don't want to pry, but is there a problem?
ANDREW
Kim, she's a very special girl. But she was married to that banker.
TOM
Yeah, and he was a jerk.
ANDREW
(Stops work.)
But, you know, she sort of got used to a certain lifestyle.
TOM
Oh, don't worry, Andy, you're twice the man Dan was.
ANDREW
But Kim expects things out of life. Trips to Bermuda. Box seats at the opera. Stuff. I'm not a well-heeled man, Tom, you know that.
TOM
That's nothing to worry about. I'm sure that whatever you give Kim, it will be more than sufficient for her.
ANDREW
And if ever this gets serious ... all her money from the divorce is going to dry up. I don't know if I can do that to her. I don't know if she'll want to do that to herself, once she really understands what it means.
(Wistful.)
What would really help is if there was some way, you know, that I could make more money than I am now.
(Resigned, ANDREW goes back to work.)
Ahgh, I don't know.
TOM
Well, sure there is.
(ANDREW stops work.)
ANDREW
Yes, there is, isn't there?
TOM
Yeah, you can join my investment club. We do pretty well, pretty darn well, if I do say myself.
ANDREW
I don't know, Tom, I've had a lot of trouble in the past.
TOM
Come on, it'll be fun.
ANDREW
Well ... I'd like to, but it's pretty hand to mouth as it is. I don't really have much in the way of discretionary income to invest with.
TOM
Don't worry. If things do go well with Kim, you will.
ANDREW
Hmnh?
TOM
Yeah, that side of the family's got loads of cash floating around. Heck, I'll probably give you a paycut, 'cause I know you won't need it.
(ANDREW's head his the table.)
Andrew? Andrew, you okay?
ANDREW
Low blood sugar, thanks. Be okay in a moment.
SCENE
(TOM works in his office. ANDREW walks in, wearing all black, holding a satchel. TOM begins to speak but ANDREW shushes him with a gesture.)
ANDREW
Don't talk. In here -
(ANDREW tosses the satchel onto TOM's desk.)
-are copies of the following: your sixth grade Halloween pictures when you are dressed as a clown, the poem you wrote to your cat, Tinkerbell, after he – yes he – died, all the school records from your Junior year when you got involved with a cult and your grades went to hell, including the psych evaluations, and a picture of a girl with hair that deserves its own zip code, accompanied by a scented letter that leads me to think that she's the first person you had sex with and that, after that night at camp, you never spoke to her again. Your parents are excessively trusting.
TOM
I -
ANDREW
Don't talk. I have the originals. I get what I want, you get the originals back. I don't, a copy of everything in this bag gets e-mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to every employee of this corporation, as well as all the members of the board, most of the major stockholders, and several – several – morning DJs. You have forty-eight hours to give me what I want.
TOM
Andrew, I-
ANDREW
(Voice of Evil.)
You will give me what I want.
(ANDREW exits.)

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