Risky Business

By Kit Goldman, President of Workplace Training Network, Inc.

Robert: Location Manager for a fictional construction supply company
Luisa: a yard employee

Scene: Robert’s office. He’s on the phone with his wife


Risky Business Scene 1

R: (on phone)….Yeah, that’s right honey… 5 more days and it’s you and me, the beach in Maui, mai-tais the size of …what? …oh yeah, baby, we’ll be doing the hukie lau…(Luisa comes to door, he waves her in) and a bunch of other stuff ‘cause Bobby, Billy, Barbie and the baby will all be with grandma, 2,500 miles away! …(suggestive little chuckle)…uh huh… Who loves you baby? (Luisa looks embarrassed) … honey, gotta go. Luisa’s here. You know what that means… trouble. (Luisa glares. He hangs up) I’m joking!

L: Very funny.

R: Thank you. What’s up, Luisa? Make it quick. If I don’t find a new delivery driver today, my patootie’s in a big, fat sling. 2 weeks I’ve been looking! I leave for Hawaii in 5 days. I need a new driver up to speed before I go. This surge in sales is killing me. Found 1 guy, 6 months experience, but he “needs” to give 2 weeks. I’m desperate, Luisa. I cannot cancel this vacation. Not an option! Lucy will leave me. Can you imagine child support for 4 kids?

L: Only if I’m receiving it. Actually, I met a guy who said he’s an experienced driver, out of work. Name’s Jimmy Hill. He gave me his card.

R: Oh yeah? Why didn’t you say so? Where’d you meet him?

L: Kareoke.

R: Please tell me he didn’t sing “Feelings.” Non-DOT, right? That’s a must.

L: Think so. His card’s in my purse, in my locker. I’ll run over and get it for you. Hey, reason I came in is we’ve got all those unlabeled 5-gallon containers of whatever the stinky blue stuff was we unloaded from that 55 gal. drum. Where should we store them?

R: Wherever there’s space! Go get me that card, OK?

L: Right. Uh…those containers… only space I know of is the open area in the southeast corner of the yard. Pretty high traffic, though, and it’s right up against that hillside leading to the storm canal. Other than that – perfect. But we’re so backed up it’s….

R: I know we’re backed up, Luisa. You think that slipped my mind? I used to have hair! I’ve torn it out (refers to his shaved head) looking for a new driver! Storage thing’s no biggie. Use the yard for now. I’ll deal with it when I get back. Assuming I go. If that’s it, how about getting that driver’s card?

L: Actually… uh …you know me, Bob, I never complain. But I’m worried about the guys. The yard’s like a pizza oven. 100+, super dry. Everyone’s pushing hard. There was a run on the Gatorade, cooler’s empty. We ladies don’t sweat, of course… just glow. But the guys are drippin’ like hogs in a hot tub out there.

R: (looks at watch) Talk to Walter. See if he’s got more somewhere. I can’t deal with it right now, I’m up to my… and hey, BTW, Luisa, if you’re gonna keep working during lunch, you better let me bring you something to eat. I love your motivation, honey, believe me. But take 5-10 minutes for a sandwich, a burrito, something You’re my best performer. Gotta keep you healthy

L: I know, huh. But, no thanks. If I’m going to stay at the top of the heap when we’re this busy, there’s no time to eat.

R: You’re a tiger. Meow! That dedication is why you’re my best worker. Ok…so, that card. Go get it for me. Please.

L: Sure. Be right back (to audience) What do you think about my boss? Any alarms go off for you during that conversation? ( interacts with audience re: key safety issues)

L: So, anyway, I got Bob the card. He called Jimmy, scheduled an interview for that afternoon. It’s about to start. Take a look, see what you think. (Exits)

Risky Business Scene 2

Robert: location Manager from Scene 1
Jimmy: driver applicant

Scene: Robert’s office. He’s at his desk. Jimmy enters

R: (they shake hands, Jimmy hands him application which he never looks at) Jimmy Hill? Robert Lewis. Thanks for coming in. Have a seat. (They sit)

J: Thanks. Yeah. Great. Glad to be here. Luisa kept my card. Groovy. She pretty much shut me down at the Karaoke Corral. She’s great! I’m very encouraged by this.

R: Yeah, well, that’s way more info than I needed, pal. But thanks for sharing. So, Jimmy, like I said on the phone, I need a non-DOT driver with at least 6 months experience who can start yesterday, know what I mean?

J: Wow. That’s cosmic. Because I’m that man. That man is me. I am him!

R: OK, I got you! You’re interested. You said on the phone 6 months driving experience?

J: Yeah, the experiences were good. I drove a bunch of different trucks. I drive darn near anything. I zippidee do dah do. Cha cha cha.

R: Whatever you say, Jimmy. Why aren’t you working now?

J: … Mergers, downsizing, bottom of the food chain swallowed up and spit out. That’s me. Story of my life. ‘Til now, of course. Thing is, my references are long gone.

R: Well, I should track them down. Eventually. But for now, I’ll run your license and DMV, (hands him paper) you get over to the lab for a drug test. Not gonna be a problem there, right? Everything comes back clean this afternoon, you come in first thing in the morning, take a road test even my blind grandma could pass, (a la Donald trump) you’re hired! Effective immediately. (Rises) Sound good?

J: (Rises, shakes Robert’s hand) Supercalifragilisticexpeialidosis. Really. Awesome!

R: You’re an odd dude, Jimmy. But I get the feeling you can take care of business.

J: Thanks, Robert. (starts exit)

R: Call me Bob

J: But just don’t call you late for dinner! Right, Bobby? (Goofy laugh) Am I right? (Goofy laugh. Exits)

R: (Speaks to audience) I know, I know, I can feel you lookin’ at me, but…Hey, the other guy seemed a little more qualified, but I can’t wait 2 weeks. (interacts with audience re: key safety issues)

Risky Business Scene 3

Robert: Manager from scene 1 & 2
Luisa: yard employee from scene 1
Arnie: an offstage worker
Jimmy: Driver applicant from scene 2

Scene: Robert’s office. Luisa enters, limping

L: (close to tears) Oh, jeez, oh man. Boss, I am so sorry! (winces at pain in her leg and back). I can’t believe I did that!

R: (goes to her) What? What? What? What happened? Are you hurt?

L: (very upset) No, no. I’m fine…only thing hurt is my pride…(about to cry, holds it) I’m really sorry …I was driving the fork lift by those drums we put in the yard. Guess my blood sugar was low, from not eating, or drinking enough in this heat. I nodded off.

R: I told you to eat! I even offered you that extra lunch! For Pete’s….

L: I know, I know. Next thing I know I’m jolted awake by the impact of my fork lift crashing into the drums. Blue stuff’s all over the ground. The guys are cleaning it up, piling insulation around drains, but it’s getting down there. They’re covered in the stuff. Looks like the Vegas Blue Man show. What is that stuff? It’s unmarked. Is it toxic?

R: I’m not 100% sure what it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not toxic. (Calls offstage) Arnie! Arnie!

A: (from offstage): Yeah, Bobby?

R: (calls to him) Bring out the spill kit!

A: (Laughs) Yeah, right!

L: There is no spill kit. We used the last one over a month ago. Remember?

R: Son of a….,! That’s right. I got a reminder during the safety audit, but we were busting our….16 hours a day getting everything out! When was I supposed to….(grabs jacket and cell phone)…..OK. I’m going in. Sure you’re OK?

L: Yeah. I’m fine. Sorry, Bobby.

R: Not your fault. Go lie down for a few minutes. Have a Gatorade, bloody Mary, whatever works……(he exits)

L: Yeah, right. (To audience) Do you have concerns about Bob’s response to this, or is it just me? (Audience interaction)

Robert returns, takes seat in his office as Luisa speaks

L: (to audience) ….So anyway, here’s what happened. We were all out there cleaning this stuff up– and it’s nasty, dude — when Bob trots out waving his MSDS sheets, says we’ve been wallowing around in the highly toxic Gunko Azul and everyone has to go to the clinic. Gunko Azul’s still everywhere, including in the storm drain, so Bob hires a contractor, Spills-R-Us, to clean up the mess. You can hear about it for yourself. He’s on the horn with their rep right now…

R: (on phone) …OK, great …I haven’t used you guys before so I should probably see your insurance info before I sign the contract …hey, no biggie I’m sure your paperwork IS kosher… How about coverage?…..everything? Bingo! Great! Your crew knows what they’re doing safety-wise, right?… fine. It’s a deal ….no, no I want YOU guys coordinating the operation so I can get back to my job: making a profit…no, are you nuts? I’m not stirring the pot by telling my people & customers the gory details. You just tell them to stay the hell out of the way.….yes, I want you to start now. We’ll sort all the contract and insurance cha-cha later…(Jimmy comes to the door)

J: (interrupts) …Hey boss. I gotta problem.

R: Oh, great! (on phone) OK, amigo. (Ends call. To Jimmy) Hold on one second. (Jimmy sits. Robert goes to audience)… Any concerns about how I’m handling things with Spills-R-Us? (audience interaction, then returns to desk) Jimmy, look at me. Look at me! You understand how much I do not need another problem at this moment, right?

J: Right, Bob. So maybe I should wait and tell you this later. Even though it’s urgent. (starts to exit)

R: (ominously) Get back here, Jimmy. Tell me what?

J: That I was backing up to get in position to load and ran over the fire hydrant.

R: (Exploding) You what?

J: But the good news is – Jamal’s leg — I only grazed it. He made one helluva jump in to the packing pile. Good thing he’s young — and mobile. At least he was.

R: (Losing it) Are you for reals? I can’t believe this! Who the bloody hell did I hire here? Gomer Pyle? Homer Simpson? Maybe Goofy? No! Not them! They’re way too smart to be you! How the hell did you ever drive a truck for 6 months and never have an accident?

J: I did. Have accidents, I mean… not big ones. Just company property got hurt. No people. Cops weren’t called. Good thing, huh? Otherwise that stuff goes on your DMV records and man, that’s a bummer.

R: (furious, sarcastic) Oh good, Jimmy! As long as you’re only destroying company property, no problema, you brainless, moronic, pinheaded ignatz! (Picks up application) Where was that on your application?? (starts to crumple it up, something catches his eye, he looks at application for first time) What the? … you had three employers


J: Yup. I was on a roll….

R: (referring to app)… and your reason for leaving each was, (ballistic) “Like, they were not cool, man.”? (Approaches menacingly)

J: Easy pal. If I’m not mistaken, you’re a lil’ mad. You’re scaring me, I scare easily. I should have told you about the accidents, but I’m out of work and really need the money. I thought if I told you about it, you wouldn’t hire me. See what I mean…? (Looks for understanding, gets none)

R: Brilliant deduction, Beavis! (abruptly changes, nice, calm, fatherly) Like watching TV, Jimbo?

J: (warily) Sure. Why?

R: (oozing warmth) Like reality shows?

J: (starts to relax) Yeah. Love ‘em.

Luisa enters

R: Then you’ve probably heard this: (explodes) “YOU’RE FIRED”! (chases him out) Out, get out, OUT!! (Cell phone on desk vibrates, he answers) Yeah…hey honey….what a day…no, “what a day” bad. Really bad… right… go by the dry cleaner, pick up my Hawaiian shirts… (While Luisa speaks, continues talking quietly on phone, gathers up keys, jacket, phone, files, exits)

L: (to audience) So, as you can see, Bob’s shortcuts took him the long way back to square one. eThat was almost 2 weeks ago. Bob took off for Hawaii. Guess he figured the problems here weren’t as bad as they would be at home if he cancelled.

(Robert enters “office” in Hawaiian shirt, relaxed, checks mail, organizes desk, sings “Oh we’re going to the hookie lau, hookie hookiehookiehookiehookiehookie lau”…)

L: It’s Bob’s first day back. Looks festive, doesn’t he? Relaxed? Happy?

Well, folks, vacation’s over. He’s about to check his in-basket.

R: (Looks at each paper in basket) Huh? What’s this? A bill from the city for the fire hydrant that schmoeface Jimmy bulldozed? Perfect. (Freaking out) What’s this? (Hollers offstage) Luisa!

L: (Moves toward office) What a surprise. (enters office). Aloha boss.

R: Don’t be a smartie pants.. What’s this citation from the local EPA and Fish and Game about that storm drain? Didn’t Spills-R-Us get that cleaned up?

L: Yeah, well, I guess that gunko from the storm drain emptied into that protected creek where those endangered swamp flies mate.

R: (getting stressed) Huhhuh, well God knows we need to protect our swamp flies. (looks at another paper) What the…? (reads from letter) “Dear Mr. Lewis, on 2/26/07, while bringing a pump on to your location, your contractor, Spills-R-Us, backed into my truck, rendering it inoperable and preventing me from working until it is repaired or replaced. I will never buy from EveryCo again. Your attorney has been served with a lawsuit naming EveryCo and Spills-R-Us… (distressed) What an idiot. Why’s he suing me? Spills-R-Us is at fault. They have their own insurance. It’s not even our problem.

L: Except for the fact that from what I heard, Spills-R-Us had a little problem with their insurance premiums, called non-payment, and they weren’t insured.

R: Heard from who?

L: Everyone. Our rumor mill makes the internet look like the pony express.

R: Holy… they weren’t just uninsured. Here’s a letter from our corporate council saying Spills-R-Us has declared bankruptcy and will here-to-fore blah blah blah won’t be paying any debts. (depressed) Man. A guy goes away for 1 damn week, the whole freaking’ place falls apart.

L: All due respect, boss — it fell apart before you left.

R: (sarcastic) Thanks for sharing, Luisa. And forget those chocolate macadamias I was gonna give you. (self pity, refers to Hawaiian shirt) Why did I even wear this?

L: ‘Cause the gunko azul won’t show? I better get back to B-dock. Welcome home. (gives pity pat on shoulder)

R: Yeah. Thanks. (goes to audience) So, how are my career prospects looking? Any suggestions for damage control?

This script is the copyrighted intellectual property of the Workplace Training Network and may not be used for any purpose without express permission of WTN, La Mesa, CA