Sure Title

Comments (0) Fiction, Issue 3, Writing

Sure Title

By Edwin Chamba

 

Characters

John Smith: a high school teacher who works a second job in the summer as a manager.

Tim Ives: a high school student who likes math and reading.

Applicant 9: one of the ten applicants who are being interviewed today.

Citizen 227377: License Number: S28452164, Status: Dependent

Worker 283490: License Number: S28459968, Status: Head of Household

 

Act I, Scene 1

Teacher John Smith and High School student Tim Ives in a classroom

IVES

Hey, Mr. Smith, you wanted to see me after class?

SMITH

 Yes, hello, David. I wanted to talk to you about your —

IVES

My name is Tim.

SMITH

 Fuck.

(School bell rings)

IVES

Hey Mr. Smith, you wanted to see me after class?

SMITH

 Yes, hello Tim. I wanted to talk to you about your essay, “The Philosophy of Story of

an Hour”. You got a D- for a grade, just barely passing. Which is disappointing because you obviously put a lot of work into it.

IVES

I did.

SMITH

 But don’t pull a Louise Mallard and die on me.

(School bell rings)

IVES

 I did.

SMITH

 Well the D is for disappointment.

(School bell rings)

SMITH

That’s good to hear, but I hope you will follow the prompt I assigned next time.

IVES

I understand, it’s just that… the prompt didn’t make sense to me.

SMITH

Well why didn’t you come talk to me? I ask you guys every fucking day if there’s anyone who has a question and no ever does!

IVES

I understand, it’s just that no one in class respects you enough as a teacher to ask for clarification.

(School bell rings)

SMITH

That’s good to hear, but I hope you will follow the prompt I assigned next time.

IVES

I understand, it’s just that… the prompt didn’t make sense to me.

SMITH

Well, next time I hope you will communicate your concerns to me before you turn in

your paper.

IVES

Ok, but your prompt was basically, “how did Mrs. Mallard die?” And that could be honestly answered in a sentence or two. I went past that surface level and into some philosophy.

SMITH

 Yes, I know. Your “philosophy” was “…happiness is unattainable and we are all gonna die, so what’s the point of it all? And what happens after we die? Is there a God? Am I having a midlife crisis? Please help. If there is a God, please let me get a good grade on this paper…”

(School bell rings)

SMITH

Your “philosophy” was “…what about Mr. Mallard? No one wants to hear about men’s issues. Let me tell you something about gender politics…”

(School bell rings)

SMITH

“Mrs. Mallard is a prime example of how being selfish can make us happy and living by the status quo is quite literally deadly.”

IVES

 And don’t you think that’s a topic worth exploring?

SMITH

 I don’t think the biggest issue here. Look, if you were working for an engineering company and your boss asked you to build a bridge and you built a plane, you’re not going to get rewarded because that’s someone else’s job. Similarly, this is not a Philosophy class, it’s an English class.

 

Act I, Scene 2

Appliciant 9 and John Smith, a job interviewer, sitting in an office

JOHN SMITH

 Hello. Welcome.

APPLICIANT 9

 Um. Hi.

JOHN SMITH

Why don’t you take a seat?

APPLICIANT 9

 I can’t.

JOHN SMITH

 Why not?

APPLICIANT 9

 I’m too nervous. I don’t want. I don’t know what you want from me. I’m still thinking about school…

(A cell phone starts to rings)

JOHN SMITH

Hello. Welcome.

APPLICIANT 9

 What’s up, Fat cat?

(Soft ringtone plays)

JOHN SMITH

Hello. Welcome.

APPLICIANT 9

 WHY HELLO THERE, YOU CIS, WHITE MALE!

(Ringtone)

JOHN SMITH

Hello. Oh, you’re really wearing that to the interview.

(Ringtone)

APPLICIANT 9

Good afternoon, Mr. Smith. It’s a pleasure.

JOHN SMITH

Welcome. Please, call me John. Please take a seat.

APPLICIANT 9

 Thank you.

(Shakes his hand and then sits)

JOHN

So, before we get started, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?

APPLICIANT 9

Well I’m a person in need of a job because I’m a part of a capitalistic society which requires me to get a great education in order to make a lot of money and be a productive member of society. However, because I have no money to start with, I have to subjugate myself to thirty to forty hours of miserable, boring, unfilling experience that you call a job and get paid minimum wage while doing it.

JOHN

Get out of my office.

(Ringtone)

JOHN

So, before we get started, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?

APPLICIANT 9

Well, I’m a senior in high school and while I might not have a lot of experience, I’m eager to work.

JOHN

Ok then, why should we hire you?

APPLICIANT 9

Because, I’m one of the few people willing to work in this godforsaken place that you call a work space. A place where every other week, Ellen’s “grandmother passed away” or “boyfriend is in the hospital” or “just has the worst cold in the whole wide world and didn’t want to get anyone else sick so she wants to stay home” when we all know she’s just hungover on Sunday night!

JOHN

 You think it’s easy hiring people? Making the schedules? Dealing with everyone’s shit?

(Ringtone)

JOHN

 Ok then, why should we hire you?

APPLICIANT 9

Because my father used to be one of the best bosses in a different department of this company.

JOHN

Oh, why didn’t you say so? Nepotism is quite welcomed here! Why don’t we start you up as assistant manager?

APPLICIANT 9

Thanks, but I’ll take the manager position.

JOHN

Ambitious! Just like your father!

(Ringtone)

JOHN

 Ok then, why should we hire you?

APPLICIANT 9

I believe that I will be successful in this position because I have good people skills, the ability to learn quickly, and like I said before, I’m eager to work.

JOHN

I see. What would you say is your greatest strength?

APPLICIANT 9

I’m a great masturbator! Once, I hit the ceiling!

JOHN

Oh, that’s nothing! Let me show you how it’s done!

(Ringtone)

APPLICIANT 9

 I’m a quick learner. I’m a very hands on learner. And I aim high in my goals. I even show my essay! It didn’t get the grade I wanted but if you read it I’m sure —

(Ringtone)

JOHN

 Ok! So, where would you say you see yourself in about five years?

APPLICIANT 9

Prison.

(Ringtone)

 An unemployed bum.

(Ringtone)

An unemployed bum with a degree!

(Ringtone)

Working here, of course! In the same dead end, little-room-for-growth job! Just like your assistant manager who has been working here longer than I’ve been alive! I’ll know that little bit of information by then because that’s all she will yap about when I work with her. That and talking shit about you and the other coworkers behind their backs! All the while, I get burnt out and my soul crushes just like hers!

JOHN

Great because I see you switching from full time to part time because of the little fact you forgot to mention to me. That you are going on to college after the summer break. Great! And because of that change, you will constantly forget stupid little things that almost cost the company THOUSANDS of dollars! All because you were doing your homework and stressing over some test!

(Ringtone)

JOHN

 Ok! So, where would you say you see yourself in about five years?

APPLICIANT 9

My hope is to learn as much as possible here. I’ll work hard at being an excellent cashier and then, possibly move on to jobs with more responsibility.

JOHN

Great! Welcome aboard. So I’m going to train you Monday morning. A day on which you will come in five minutes late because of “traffic”, but really you forgot to set an alarm and woke up late. Then I will teach you nice and slow the techniques that even a monkey could do, but you will take a good two weeks to learn. And once you finally say you have it all figured out, I will leave you alone, only to be interrupted by you asking stupid questions. Sound good?

(Many Ringtones later)

JOHN

Great! Welcome on board. According to your schedule, you should be able to come in Monday morning, right?

APPLICIANT 9

That’s right!

JOHN

Ok! So I have a meeting that morning, but the assistant manager will be there to train you. She’s the best and she’s been here a long time,so you’re in good hands. Sound good?

APPLICIANT 9

 Yeah! See you Monday.

(They shake hands)

 

Act I, Scene 3

A small apartment with Citizen 227377 and Worker 283490

WORKER 283490

Hey son, how was school?

CITIZEN 227377

Um… Pretty uneventful. What about yours?

WORKER 283490

Yeah, I know school can be a bit boring. My day was pretty bland too. But the more important question is, how’d the interview go?

CITIZEN 227377

Well, I got the job.

WORKER 283490

Oh that’s great! I knew you would. You’re part of the workforce just like the rest of the family. An employee and student, pulling yourself by the bootstraps!

CITIZEN 227377

 Yeah. Happy ending.

  -Curtain-

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