Monday, September 28, 2009

Week 37, Day 253 - "Elaborate"


Written by Joe Janes


253 of 365


Andrew, 50s

Sarah, 40s

Charlie, 40s

Tracey, 20s

Tina, 20s

Wendell, 60s

(Lights up on a conference room. Andrew, Sarah, and Charlie all look anxious. Charlie looks at his watch and then at the others. Tina enters and stands at attention.)


Chief Executive Officer, Wendell Lonsdale.

(Tracey walks in spreading rose petals on the floor. She stands on the other side of the room. Wendell enters. He wears a typical business suit, except that his sports coat is over his shoulders, like an overcoat or robe. He looks at Andrew, Sarah and Charlie and clears his throat. They quickly stand. Wendell walks over to the table. Sarah holds out his chair for him. He sits. On his cue, the other three sit back down.)


Wendell, we have some important-

(Wendell holds up his hand to stop him.)


I am parched.

(He snaps his fingers. Tracey and Tina move into action as Wendell leans back and opens his mouth. Tina takes a small bottle of Perrier and pours a small amount into Wendell’s mouth. Tracey squeezes a small piece of lime over it. Tina then wipes Wendell’s mouth. Wendell snaps his fingers again and Tina and Tracey go back to their spots. Wendell waves his hand as if to tell Andrew to go.)


We’re running dangerously in the red. We need to make severe cuts or our company will be belly up by the end of the year.


I see. We have to respond appropriately to the times. We need to tighten our belts. Make sacrifices. Let’s lay off 30,000 workers. Cut executive salaries by 20%. And no more free candy on the receptionist’s desk.


That’s all good, sir. But it still may not be enough.


Sir, with all due respect. You’re going on a trip next week to South America. Thirty days with your two assistants.


That’s a business trip. We’re sampling various coffees around that continent to find the best one for our employee break rooms. It’s about quality and finding the best for our employees. It’s an investment in people.


And it’s going to cost the company $100,000. Hard to justify when we’re making all these cuts. That could be the salary of two or three workers.


What’s your salary?




You’re fired. There just saved one worker’s job and I still get to go on my coffee expedition. (He stretches) Oh, I’m exhausted. Well, time for my four o’clock champagne enema. If you need me to make more tough cost-cutting decisions, I’ll be in my helicopter RV.

(He exits followed quickly by Tina and Tracey. Charlie starts crying. Sarah hands him a tissue, but Andrew stops her.)


Those cost money.

(She stuffs it back in the tissue box. Lights fade.)