Middle Management

by Martin Baena

Lights up

Night.

FRANK (50s) and JIM (30s) sit at a bar, drinking. BARTENDER reads the newspaper.

FRANK: No such thing as job security.

JIM: Sorry?

FRANK: Job security.

JIM: My father got a pink slip once. When he got home it was tucked in his pocket.

FRANK: Him and a hundred other guys, I bet…

JIM: In his front pocket.

FRANK: …a real massacre.

JIM: Yeah.

FRANK: You’ll land on your feet.

JIM: (removes clip-on) He said to me…

FRANK: Your father?

JIM: Mr. Regan

FRANK: Regan’s full of it.

JIM: He said, “Get a good night’s rest.”

FRANK: Is that all?

JIM: “Go home. Tomorrow’s another day.”

FRANK: (drinks) That’s all well and good for Regan. It’s our heads on the block. (to BARTENDER) Give me another (to JIM) You want?

JIM: No, no, that’s alright.

FRANK: (to BARTENDER) Two.

JIM: He offered me a job.  He said…

FRANK: Regan?

JIM: Yeah.

FRANK: He gave you  job?

JIM: He didn’t give me anything. He offered… (BARTENDER serves two drinks)

FRANK: What?

JIM: He offered me…

FRANK: Whose job?

JIM: He didn’t say.

FRANK: He didn’t say?

JIM: (shakes head)

FRANK: Bull-shit

JIM: I didn’t think to ask.

FRANK: Ha!

JIM: I didn’t even want it.

FRANK: C’mon now…

JIM I had no idea, I… how was I  to know?

FRANK: He put a knife to your throat?

JIM: Look, I,… listen, if I had known…

FRANK: What? If you had known what?

JIM: If I knew, if he,… if he had told me upfront.

FRANK: Oh, I see. He didn’t give you my job?

JIM: No…

FRANK: Did you shake his hand?

JIM: Frank!… listen. Jesus. That’s not how it…look, I didn’t think, he didn’t…

FRANK: No?

JIM: …it wasn’t like that.

FRANK: You want my wife too? She loves that job.

JIM: That’s not funny.

FRANK: It’s a joke…

JIM: I don’t think she’d appreciate it.

FRANK: You wanna tell ‘er?

JIM: What?

FRANK: Maybe it’ll sound better coming from you.

JIM: Frank…

FRANK: What did he say?

JIM: Regan?

FRANK …after you shook hands. He said…

JIM: Well…

FRANK: He said, “Go home.” didn’t he?

JIM: Yes.

FRANK: (Removes tie) Well, that’s sound advice. Don’t you think?  (To BARTENDER) Doesn’t that ring true?

BARTENDER: Home. I like the sound of that.

JIM: Well…

FRANK: Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry your pretty head about it.

JIM …when he called me into his office… see, I thought he wanted to…

FRANK: Who gives a shit? (Drinks. Goes for his wallet)

JIM: That’s okay, Frank: I got it.

FRANK: (FRANK strangles JIM with his tie) He said, “Go home.” Isn’t that it? Isn’t that what he said?! “Get a good night’s sleep.” (BARTENDER pulls FRANK off) …but you had to push it, didn’t you Jim? You had to push it. Pretty boy. (Exits)

BARTENDER: You okay?

JIM: Yeah

BARTENDER: You need a doctor or something?

JIM: The thing about it is: I am screwing his wife.

Lights down.

Creative Commons License
This work by Martin Baena is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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