Blog by Richard Heagy
(The scene opens in the interior of a modest office of a long-time partner in a professional firm in the Northeast. The firm has recently merged with another firm, and there have been several changes, as is usually the case. SUPER BOSS, much younger than anyone else in the firm, pulls open the door to LONG-TIME PARTNER’s office and stands in the doorway)
SUPER BOSS: I want to see you in my office now.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I’ll be right there.
(Super Boss takes a few steps inside, places hands on hips and glares at LONG-TIME PARTNER)
SUPER BOSS: I mean now.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I just need to…
SUPER BOSS: Right … now. Drop everything.
(He stands with his cup of coffee in hand; then walks to the waste paper basket, drops it inside, but instead it hits the rim and spills on the floor)
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Shit.
(He picks up the cup and carefully places it in the waste basket)
SUPER BOSS: Why are you dressed like that? It’s not casual Friday.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I have a golf appointment this afternoon.
SUPER BOSS: Really? You look ridiculous.
(LONG-TIME PARTER looks at himself)
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I agree. I look absolutely ridiculous, but this is the way my golf-partner dresses. He even bought me this outfit)
SUPER BOSS: Cant’ you and your friends wait until the weekend to play golf?
LONG-TIME PARTNER: He’s not a friend; he’s a new client.
SUPER BOSS: Which one?
LONG-TIME PARTNER: The one who gave us a $75,000 retainer last week.
SUPER BOSS: Oh! Anyway… in my office.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I’ll be there as soon as I can.
SUPER BOSS: Maybe you don’t remember what my title is with this firm.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Hardly. You remind everyone of it constantly.
SUPER BOSS: You need to show me some respect and address me properly.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: How about Chief? No, not fancy enough. Maybe Your Excellency or …
SUPER BOSS: I don’t like your manners.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I don’t like them myself.
(SUPER BOSS turns around and exits in a huff)
SUPER BOSS (O.S.): Two minutes.
(LONG-TIME opens several desk drawers, unable to find what he is looking for)
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Son of a bitch. The cleaning people swiped my whiskey again.
(He takes out two pills and pops them)
(In a much larger office, SUPER BOSS sits in a high-back leather chair behind an oversize mahogany desk on a raised platform. It looks like something out of a Charles Dickens novel. LONG-TIME PARTNER enters and looks at the two empty chairs in the office, one in front of the desk and another more comfortable one to the side)
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Nice office. You must have spent a bundle since you took over.
SUPER BOSS: We’re not here to discuss my office.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Which chair should I take?
SUPER BOSS: You won’t be here that long.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: If you say so.
SUPER BOSS: Let’s get to the core of the problem.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Certainly, Your Excellency.
(SUPER BOSS glares at LONG-TIME PARTNER, but ignores the remark)
SUPER BOSS: Here it is, in a nutshell.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Nutshell! Let me make some notes.
(He pulls out a small note pad and writes nutshell)
LONG-TIME PARTNER (continuing): Got that.
SUPER BOSS: You don’t need to take notes.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: You’re sure?
SUPER BOSS: This will be brief and to the point.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: If you say so.
(He tosses the notebook across the room for a perfect landing in a wastebasket)
LONG-TIME PARTNER (continuing): Did you see that? I played basketball in college. I was captain of the team.
SUPER BOSS: That is one of your problems. You are not a team player.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Me? Who says?
SUPER BOSS: Do you know what “team player” means?
LONG-TIME PARTNER: You mean like at Target or Walmart? I thought we were a professional firm.
SUPER BOSS: It doesn’t make any difference. You need to be a team player. I’ll ask you again, do you know what that means?
LONG-TIME PARTNER: I’ve heard the term … seems to be the current fad in the retail industry.
SUPER BOSS: I’m serious.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Hopefully this “team player” concept will not last. It imposes conformity, destroys individuality, and stifles creativity. Sounds a lot like socialism, or maybe worse, don’t you think?
SUPER BOSS: I can see you are going to be a problem.
(LONG-TIME Partner looks at his watch)
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Maybe we could wear nametags at this firm. They could say “Team Player,” or maybe “Team Player” and the person’s name. Of course, you would have to decide whether the name goes above or below “Team Player” on the tag, and the colour. More management decisions, but that’s why they pay you the big bucks, right!
(SUPER BOSS stands, leans forward with both hands flat on the desk and glares at LONG-TIME Partner)
LONG-TIME PARTNER (continuing): Sorry. No name tags. What about T-shirts. That’s better, don’t you think. “Team Player” on the front and the firm name of the back, or vice versa. Whatever you decide; you’re the boss, righto!
SUPER BOSS: You are a smart ass.
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Better than being a dumb ass.
(SUPER BOSS straightens up, turns bright red, and points to the door)
SUPER BOSS: Out!
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Is the meeting over?
(SUPER BOSS steps down from the dais and walks slowly and deliberately toward LONG-TIME PARTNER, pointing and shaking a finger at him)
SUPER BOSS: Out! Now!
LONG-TIME PARTNER: Is it something I said?
(He backs away as SUPER BOSS walks slowly toward him, finger pointed menacingly)
SUPER BOSS (shouting): Out!