The Official Dilemma – A Farcical Office Dramedy

1. INT. OFFICE. DAY. OFFICE FLOOR.

Nirupa enters. She looks at her colleague, Abinash. Abinash is sleeping over his laptop but holding his specs hanging near the edge of the table.

NIRUPA
God knows, what you do at home at night! But you got to sleep in the office.

She hits on Abinash’s head to wake him up.

ABINASH
Wha… What…Happened?

NIRUPA
Wake up, Sleeping Beauty! It’s show time!

Abinash turns around a bit. Shakes his head up and wears his specs and calls out to Nirupa.

ABINASH
Nirupa!

NIRUPA
Yes, Baby Dreamer!

ABINASH
You know, I was having a dream… about you!

NIRUPA
Oh Really! What was the dream?

ABINASH
Fortunately, you died while blabbering all along!

NIRUPA
(WITH A MOCK LOOK) Sadly, I AM STILL ALIVE!

ABINASH
It could have been worse! Maybe vapourized!

NIRUPA
IN YOUR DREAMS, Abinash!

The conversation gets abrupt. The senior boss of Abinash calls him.

BOSS
(Shouts)… ABINASH!

ABINASH
(with an irritation he gets up)… Abey! Little Godzilla!

NIRUPA
(whispers)… Don’t go so quickly! He must know that you are busy with hefty…!

Abinash moves towards his boss’ cubicle. The boss moves his head up.

BOSS
What are you doing?

ABINASH
Uhm… I am creating the tracker for the client which was asked by my reporting officer…

BOSS
Drop it! He will be absent today! So, update the figures and make a 500 page printout of the same.

ABINASH
(gives him a cold look)… Okay, Sir! But 500 pages!… When shall you need it?

BOSS
Latest by first half! As I believe you are doing nothing! So, why don’t you give it a head start on a priority basis!

ABINASH
Not possible, Sir!

BOSS
What do you mean by, “Not Possible”?

ABINASH
It will take time!

BOSS
How much time?

ABINASH
Not within first half!

BOSS
Say it, clearly!

ABINASH
Evening!

BOSS
So, you got any reasons for that?… (Abinash looks at him.)

BOSS
Tell me what is it? Abinash does not have an answer.

BOSS
(gets up from the chair and walks around him)… Finish it within first half we need to have the final signature from the Regional Manager! Make it first! Say, “YES, SIR!”

ABINASH
(hesitates)… Yes, Sir! I will do it!

BOSS
Very good, Abinash! I am happy for your cooperation! Thank You!

The boss walks away towards the outside of the large room. Abinash takes out the pen from his pocket and mocks at him in the air of dancing knife throwing practice with anger on the face. Thrice. Nirupa sees it for the moment and laughs. Abinash goes back to his seat. Activates the laptop. Nirupa opens up the drawer and brings out some documents. She looks at it and turns towards her laptop to work.

ABINASH
That problem child will never stop!

NIRUPA
(while looking at her laptop)… I told you not to go quickly!

ABINASH
500 pages printout! What am I, a peon or a clerical?

NIRUPA
(Winks at him) And that too an MBA type peon!

ABINASH

They could have hired some under-grad to do this job. Rather than me doing this job. There are good many people out there.

NIRUPA
Some things which are logical won’t be that logical to others. You see, what I am doing! Same presentation for the last few weeks. You cannot satisfy anyone. Not even my boss!

ABINASH
Ahh! Crap!

NIRUPA
What?

ABINASH
Required update of the client tracker by my Reporting.

NIRUPA
Mail him! The ‘BOSS’ has given you some other work!

ABINASH
That I will definitely do! And put him in CC. But Little Godzilla won’t be happy after this!

NIRUPA
Why do you call him Little Godzilla anyway? What do you see in him?

ABINASH
Because he’s got an abnormally large ego to sniff on other people’s business.

NIRUPA
Correct!

ABINASH
Well…

Rathod comes quickly towards Abinash‟s table. And keeps his hand on Abinash‟s back.

RATHOD
Wassup, Abinash?… (Rathod looks at Nirupa too and says, “Hi” to each other.)

ABINASH
NOTHING!

RATHOD
So, tell me how many printouts have you made for the day!

ABINASH
(Abinash looks at him with a feeling of annoyance.)…
None!

RATHOD
Well, when will you start your printing shop?

ABINASH
Never!

RATHOD
What is this smell? (Fake Coughs) Too much negativity on the air!

NIRUPA
Be Positive! Man!

RATHOD
He is getting too negative in his old age, Nirupa!

NIRUPA
He is becoming too old to get married! Not for lack of trying!

ABINASH
What… I am not ol…

NIRUPA
(cuts in between)… Ooo ooo… A piece of hair-fall on your desk! (Throws it towards Abinash) Ahh…

ABINASH
That’s not funny! Not at all funny!

RATHOD
Why so serious? Chill Out, Buddy!

ABINASH
I chill out often with my printing business, Rathod!

RATHOD
Humour up a bit buddy! It’s hard to laugh at what you say!

NIRUPA
A fine piece of advice. Abinash, why don’t you put, “Mr Grumpy”, on the back of your T- shirt!

ABINASH
I would sew and sew myself to write it on the back of my T-Shirt! (knocks on Nirupa’s head)

RATHOD
It breaks my heart that you are accepting harsh sarcasm from Nirupa!… (His phone rings)… Oh no! Not again! This trainees won’t let me stay in peace. Got to pick up this rather… important call of mine.

NIRUPA
(lifts her head up. Sees another colleague. Near the coffee machine)… Ooo Ooo… look at your favorite boss’ pet! On his first cup of the day!

ABINASH
Leave him! Why are you so obsessed with him!

NIRUPA
I am not obsessed! I am interested in his habits!

ABINASH
Doesn’t it lead to… STALKING!

NIRUPA
Oh come on, Abinash! I need something to pass my time to gossip about! He is sooo… boss’ pet!

ABINASH
You and your habits! Anyways, let me start my first entry of my business!

Abinash presses the ENTER BUTTON for the first print of the day to start his work.

DISSOLVE TO

2. INT. OUTSIDE OF REGIONAL MANAGERS CABIN. DAY

The Boss walks towards the Regional Manager’s cabin and stops by the secretary lady, who is sitting in her desk.

SECRETARY
Good Morning, Sir!

BOSS
Good Morning, Dear. You are looking quite gorgeous today!

SECRETARY
Well thank you! How’s your anger management session in the morning with your subordinates?

BOSS
Well…(with a little pause)… It was fine. They are all convinced how angry I can be and how patient I am with them.

SECRETARY
You fake your anger very much!

BOSS
HA! That is true! Dear…(with a little pause)… I believe the Regional Manager wants to see me.

SECRETARY
Yes, Sir.

BOSS
What’s her problem?

SECRETARY
The Job, Sir.

BOSS
Well, it’s a bit late to do anything about her Job now! It’s a disaster you know!

SECRETARY
No… No…, the employees job responsibilities and their respective profiles!

BOSS
Oh! I See!(pauses)… It’s a bit late to do anything about that either!

SECRETARY
She thinks… she will be transferred to some inconvenient place!

BOSS
Well, worse things could befall in this particular outlet!

SECRETARY
She can’t ignore the target due to the problems created by the employees!

BOSS
See, Dear! That’s her job. She is required to manage the outlet. However, outrageous the employees are!

SECRETARY
But…

BOSS
Anyways, Secretary! We got nothing to worry about! The target will be achieved as much required by the clients… We have seen so many Regional Managers come and Regional Managers go. On an average they last less than 5 months in any location. In extreme, it is two.

SECRETARY

She is in her panic mode!

BOSS
Now, now dear! You see, we do the thinking to keep ourselves to stick to the workflow and how to run a Successful Outlet in the corporate structure to counter against her panic reactions.

SECRETARY
So that, she can overcome her panic?

BOSS
No, No, we let her panic. Regional Managers need to panic. They need activity. It’s also an achievement for them. We are here to ensure, nothing changes. Is that understood, dear?

SECRETARY
Quite insightful, Sir!

BOSS
Well, off to Regional Manager’s Room! Ta…

SECRETARY
Ta…!(in a sweet voice)

The boss opens the Regional Manager‟s door and says.

BOSS
You wanted to see me, Madam.

RM
Yes, Yes. Come on in, we need to talk.

The RM is sitting on her chair. The boss takes his chair to sit opposite to her. The RM folds her fingers together and says.

RM
You see, I am revising the sales target for myself this time!

BOSS
But we have already revised the target and asked Abinash to make copies out of it!

RM
I am still not happy with the target in the report, Sarthak.

BOSS
Then, Madam. My team will be happy to revise it again for you.

RM
Your team has already revised the target three times.

BOSS
We should be happy to revise it again for the fourth time.

RM
And a fifth. And a sixth. And a millionth time. No doubt! And it still won’t say what I want it to say but you want it to say.

BOSS
What do you want it to say?

RM
I want it to say what I want it to be said!

BOSS
We want it to say what you want it to be said!

RM
Listen to me, again! Two months back, the state auditor asked us for our regional client review and the subsequent possible profit projection in the next six months. But due to sudden cash crunch in the country, hampered the sales figure and so, we have to revise our sales target as well as to downsize the manpower from all the respective outlet. I have already briefed the same to you to send me a proper projections in the reports but each time you and your team have submitted a report so unintelligible saying the exact opposite what I asked you to say.

BOSS
With respect, Madam. How do you know it’s opposite if it’s totally unintelligible?

RM
(The RM gets up a little and sits back out of discomfort from the words of the Boss…) All I am asking, that after the cash crunch situation, we have lost many of our regular clients. We know that we won’t be able to achieve the original target and also we are being grossly over- manned. So the target and the manpower have to be slimmed down to an achievable one to a profitable one.

BOSS
That is correct! It does say in the report!

RM
No it doesn’t!

BOSS
Yes, it does!

RM
No, it… Look what I am talking about is a phased layoff around 30% and an achievable 40% of projected sales target. Are you going to put this into the report or not?

BOSS
Madam, if you take some more time re-read the current report you will find out that it says what you want it to say.

RM
And if it doesn’t?

BOSS
Then we will happy to revise it again for you!

RM
(fists her hand together)… Will you be able to give a straight answer to a straight question, Sarthak?

BOSS
Well, depending on what I want you to hear and what you want it to be heard!

RM
Stop, Withering!

BOSS
Sorry Madam!

RM
You see, the working system in this country is a disaster due to ever changing government policies! We are supposed to prepare employees to update themselves with the latest training and development not juggling them up with massive paperwork! Not over- manning with good for nothing referred employees!

BOSS
No, no… Madam. We have MBA with Finance and Marketing who are doing overtime with massive paperwork and also sometimes Peon level task too.

RM
But… that’s not the way you treat your employees by bullying them in such a manner! We have a system.

BOSS
I thought, by bullying gives them to have a character preparation for work culture!

RM
But they are not learning properly, but less. This MBA’s are not developing themselves for retention!

BOSS
Pardon me, Sir! For a moment ago you were talking about lay-offs!

RM
But not the MBA‟s! I was talking about the bad referential-s and under- qualified people!

BOSS
But you cannot fire them due to lack of technical knowledge! You will have blood in your hands from the Union!

RM
So, what are you trying to say, we do nothing!

BOSS
Almost as I say, we stay silent!

RM
But… that’s outrageous! If I am not able to submit a proper projection… I will be fired from my job!

BOSS
Not as fiery seems as you are now!

RM
(slams on the desk) You want yourself to get fired!

BOSS
A fiery repercussion that will be!

RM
GET OUT!

BOSS
Okay, Madam.

RM
God Forbid!

BOSS
I am out!

The boss gets out from the RM‟s room.

RM
Useless, Brat!

The regional manager opens up the file start to re-read the report.

DISSOLVE TO

3. INT. OFFICE. DAY. OFFICE FLOOR.

Abinash makes a printout of around 100 pages as of now. Nirupa is busy typing in her laptop. Rathod is on a call from the area manager. He gives another command. But there is no print. He looks at it.

ABINASH
(with frustration)… Damn it! Paper Jam, again.

He hits the printer with his hand on the top of the cover and gets hurt a little. Rathod and Nirupa turns their back. Looks at Abinash.

RATHOD
(keeps his phone back to his pocket)… What the hell are you trying to do?

ABINASH
To start the printer!

NIRUPA
So by punching, it will come fix by itself then.

ABINASH
Who knows it can be, MS NIRUPA ROY!

The boss enters the room. Comes in front of Abinash.

BOSS
We have to revise the figures again. Stop printing! (goes towards his own cubicle.)

ABINASH

(Drops all the papers on the desk) I will squash you like a bug you are!

Nirupa looks at the boss’ pet again. Filling up the coffee for the second time. Abinash with frustration looks at his mobile. Rathod is on the phone for a long time. The boss sits back on his chair. Nirupa gets her head down and start typing.

ABINASH
What is the biggest contribution we have made to this company?

NIRUPA
Wasting our time!

ABINASH
By wasting our time we are being paid.

Nirupa looks at the boss’ pet again. Filling up the coffee for the second time. He is coming near Abinash’s desk. Abinash turns back. He sees that his boss is looking for something. Something, he has forgot to bring. Abinash with an instinct looks at Rathod and indicates him to move away. Nirupa picks up a call. Abinash is seeing that his boss is turning back. He keeps all the bunch of papers on the floor. Both Boss and Boss’ pet looks at each other with a smile. The pet moves forward quickly. Abinash hides himself. And the pet slips suddenly due to the papers on the floor and spills out hot coffee on the boss’ shirt in an instant. And the boss starts to screams due to hot coffee. Abinash gives him a bottle quickly and he spills onto himself to get relief from the hot coffee. He starts to rant and shout at the Pet.

BOSS
You idiot! You spilled hot coffee at me! Huh… what are you a big dumb stupid like a goofy little hair style! Huh…!

BOSS’ PET
I am sorry, sir. Extremely sorry! I will clean the shirt for you! Or else I will buy…

BOSS
You will buy! You think, you have got all the money in the world!

Abinash smiles at them. Nirupa and Nathod and the remaining people in the floor look at them with laughter. Abinash’s mobile buzzes.

ABINASH
(checks the message)… Salary has arrived! Damn, C grade.

NIRUPA
(checks her message)… Salaryyyy! A Grade!

RATHOD
Yo baby! Salary. But… Oh no! Again B Grade!

BOSS’ PET
Oh Salary! Sir… (Checks the message)… A Grade, Sir!

BOSS
(looks at him ferociously)… Better luck next time. You goof ball!

The boss goes towards the door followed by pet. Boss’ pet stammers… and follows him.

BOSS’ PET
No…. No!… No…! (gets out from the floor premise)

NIRUPA
Quite unexpected! What do you say buddy?

RATHOD
Rather, Appalling. I might say!

ABINASH
Quite right! Fortune favours the brave!

NIRUPA & RATHOD
Yes, Abinash!

The trio gets back to their usual work. Abinash giggles at the incident and start to update the tracker. Nirupa searches images for the presentation. And Rathod gets busy with his calls again. Another fine day will come to close again for them. We will here many stories about the trio. So, happy reading for all!

THE END

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