I'm not feeling the fiction today, sorry. Sometimes the battery needs recharged. And, also, this sort of thing is happening at work today...
Cast of Characters
M - A Young, Friendly, Competent Engineer (aka Grunt)
A - Senior Engineer with several Master's Degrees (aka Oldtimer)
Act I, Scene I
(The curtain rises on a stereotypical office workspace. Cubicles abound. The lighting is dingy and utilitarian. A dashing young man sits before an open laptop computer, typing methodically.)
(The phone on the desk rings, and our young hero picks it up. As the connection is made, a light blooms onstage to the right, revealing a middle-aged woman on the other end.)
M - Hello?
A - Hello, M. Care if I call you?
M (fidgets) - I guess not.
A - Great. I need you to do things and stuff.
M - What sorts of things do you need me to do?
A - And stuff. Things as well.
M - Right, that's not very specific.
A (blank stare) - ...
M (guessing) - Do you need me to do x and y?
A - Yes, I would like you to do 6 and 7.
M - You mean x and y?
A - That's what I said.
M (shrugs) - I'll have it done within the hour.
A - And 7, too.
M - I'm not supposed to do numbers. Only letters. You're supposed to cover the numbers.
A - Z then, but without the bottom thingy.
M - That's still a 7.
A - Okay, glad we're agreed. Start in ten minutes when I have to go to this important meeting.
M - All right, um, will do.
(M and A both hang up the phones)
Act I, Scene II
(It is ten minutes later. Same scenery, both areas lit.)
(A types something into a computer, and a window pops up on M's screen. In order to provide narration for us, they both read their respective conversational input to the instant messaging system aloud. Also, because I just realized that IM'ing wouldn't work on stage very well.)
A - Start in ten minutes when I have to go to this important meeting.
M - It has already been ten minutes... I've already started.
A (stares blankly) - ...
M - You still want me to do x and y, right?
A - And 5.
M - What?
A - 7
M - What about 5?
A - 5 and Z.
M - But about numbers... the process sa-
A - I'm sorry, a less curvy S and Z without the bottom thingy. Add a curly backward E while you're at it. Maybe a B with a humped back. And O, definitely O. It is both a number and a letter. I've already done X and Y, and boy were those a stretch. You're lucky you have me.
(M slams his head into his desk)
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