Part 6 Christmas challenge

Hey, 

So you might have been able to tell but I am very much a fly by the seat of your pants type writer. As such I forgot to do things like introduce a few characters. i.e.

DANIEL BURNS male mid 40's, Human Resources Manager

Dad joke maker, genial, but conservative man.

and

MICHAEL male early forties mediocre worker, always looking for a better home. I.T. tech. Friendly, but rarely friends with coworkers.

Also on my first post I listed the age difference between GABRIELLA and JACK as about ten years, which wasn't my intent but also...I don't mind. However feel free to picture them how you like, I generally believe the best stories are the ones that readers immerse themselves into so much that they are part of creating the characters. 

Alright, I'm nearing the homestretch on my handwritten work so keep your fingers crossed for me that I can pull this off. "I think I can. I think I can." 😉

Enjoy the ride. 

 

🎄

Scene 6: Ugly Sweater 

 

Scene cuts between basement IT, 

basement break room, and conference

Room for individual interviews.

 

Basement IT 7:55 a.m. Tuesday Dec 11

Only GABRIELLA and camera crew 

present. 

GABRIELLA walks from desk to desk 

laying out envelopes with snowflake

Seals. At GABRIELLA’s desk several 

Decorations are noticeably missing,

Including Santa and reindeer. 

 

GABRIELLA (to cameras)
Okay, so I’ve remembered to bring a (air quotes) “gift” to my own desk today, check. 

 

GABRIELLA lays envelope on her desk 

Moves off to other cubicles.  

 

GABRIELLA 
You know this is all sort of weird, but fun. I was a little upset about the assignment when I first got it. Offended to be picked because I was the only female in the department. But I’m having fun. And people are loving it! Its Christmas adjacent with all the Christmas fun. And I think everyones enjoying the suspense of coming to work to see what todays surprise will be. Even I like the suspense, and I always know whats coming. (giggles) I just can’t wait everyday to see what it brings out in everyone. Its the big gifts at the end that are still troubling me. I mean fifty dollars wouldn’t make much of a year end bonus, but I get the feeling people would still prefer the money. I should have bought all the gifts by now, or at least know exactly what Im getting, but I don’t. I hope thats not what Mr. Coleman wants to see me about later, his secretary Debbie sent me an email saying she would call when he was ready to see me today, but she didn’t give a reason. 

 

GABRIELLA enters break room a

Large bag waits on a chair. Begins

Removing items and arranging them

On the table neatly. Including: tee-shirt

paint, stickers, glow bracelets, glitter

Faux flowers, ribbons…art supplies 

and a cardboard train sign that reads 

“Decoration Station.”

 

GABRIELLA (organizing)
Today’s event is to make your own ugly rain slicker (smirks) like an ugly sweater, but So-Cal appropriate. People will get to use their breaks and half of the hour before the end of work to decorate. The last half hour will be the voting and award giving. 

 

GABRIELLA carries bag to the 

elevator headed to the next break 

Room to set up.

 

GABRIELLA
Using the slickers I gave them Friday and the various supplies I’m leaving out (holds up bag) they each make their own ugly slicker. And then we have a little break to view and vote. I wasn’t sure everyone would participate so I pushed for something special. 

 

Elevator opens. GABRIELLA 

Enters next break room and lays

Out supplies. 

 

GABRIELLA
 Second and third prize are a coffee gift card and little desk cactus respectively. Nothing awesome. But the grand prize winner will get one extra paid vacation day! And no one gets to vote for themselves so… (grins confidently) I think everyone is going to get involved and have fun. I had to really push for that vacation day. My aim was to get one for everyone, and to give the cactus to the winner, but Mr. Coleman said he prefers a healthy competitive atmosphere in his workplace. (shaking head)     

 

Beat unheard question

GABRIELLA heads back to 

elevator. 

GABRIELLA (breathing carefully)
Actually their won’t be a punishment for Jack today. He hasn’t shown anything remotely like contrition, and I don’t think he was thoroughly punished to have learned his lesson. But Mr. Burns was right, I was behaving childishly. This is a work place. I even took home a bunch of my decorations. It didn’t need to be here. 

 

Elevator door opens. 

GABRIELLA steps in. 

Doors close.

 

Cut to IT break room

11:15 a.m. JACK, CORY

And MICHAEL at table

Decorating slickers. 

 

CORY
Quit hogging all of the glow bracelets.
MICHAEL
Come up with your own design. Mine needs stripes. 
CORY
So use the paints!
MICHAEL
The paints don’t glow.  
JACK
This one does. 

 

JACK is painting a reindeer 

With a glowing icicle booger. 

MICHAEL (observing JACK’s creation)
Only in the dark. The contest takes place in doors
JACK (effecting injury)
How dare you belittle my masterpiece. I’m wearing this baby everywhere.

 

MICHAEL rolls eyes.

CORY laughs.   

 

CORY
Seriously man, I want some glow bracelets. 
MICHAEL (unconcerned)
Only losers whine, loser. I’m getting another vacation day! Its just good strategy to steal all the best supplies.  

 

JACK snorts.

MICHAEL
I still don’t believe management actually offered up both an hour off to do this, and one free work day. Last year they denied me my third day with the flu because I would no longer have been contagious. 
JACK (laughing)
Oh management didn’t offer it. This gift idea was all Santa’s doing.

 

CORY and MICHAEL chuckle

JACK looks out break room 

window. Camera follows JACK’s 

eyeline. 

GABRIELLA sits at desk, nodding

As she types intently.

 

CORY
Yeah, about that. You said Coleman picked one person to do the whole thing this year. (disbelieving) Is this all you?
JACK
Santa never reveals his secrets. 
MICHAEL
Thats a magician. Santa revealed his secrets long ago: magic and slave labor. 
CORY
Wow. You’re a terrible person. The elves aren’t slaves, they’re magical helpers.
JACK (smirking)
Like house elves?

 

MICHAEL
Slaves. 
JACK
Or Fairy godmothers?
MICHAEL
Voyeuristic and judgmental slaves.

 

ALL chuckle.

 

CORY 
You guys are the worst. Santa is definitely putting you on the naughty list. 
JACK
Eh, Santa is a big softy. 
CORY
Right. Well whoever is running it this year is doing a good job. This is actually fun. Maybe the best year yet. 
MICHAEL
Oh its going to be. When I win. Ta-Da!

 

MICHAEL reveals his creation

Diagonal stripes with star and 

Heart sequins between each 

Stripe. 

 

CORY
Dude, its supposed to be ugly.

 

JACK laughs hard. 

 

MICHAEL
It has glow bracelets and sequins.
CORY
In a pattern Mr. Rogers would wear. What do you moonlight as a seamstress?
MICHAEL
It pays to be neat. And its gonna win. 
CORY
I’m going to three and steal some of their supplies. I bet they’re better than here. 
JACK
I’d bet my winning slicker that they have exactly the same things. (grins) Exactly.
CORY
You ought to know, Santa. Hey! Do you have extra glow bracelets stashed somewhere?

 

JACK (glancing to GABRIELLA)
Oh, most definitely. Just email the dummy account and I’d bet they show up magically on your desk. 
MICHAEL
Special slave delivery.
CORY
Ugh!

 

CORY exits. 

MICHAEL 
Are you going to submit your resume for the promotion?
JACK
Dunno. You know I really hate to travel on other peoples expense accounts. (sarcastic)
MICHAEL
We’ll its not like they’ll be going cliff diving in Costa Rica or anything. Its probably just to Cincinnati to meet distributors. But it is a pay raise. 
JACK
So you’re doing it?
MICHAEL
Are you kidding. I already had my resume out on three headhunter sites. I emailed it to Coleman thirty seconds after Daniel left my desk. (beat) What was with that shouting match between you and Gabby? Its like the third time one of you yelled at the other this month?
JACK
I thought she had prank reported me. And she thought it was unfair that no one wanted her resume. 
MICHAEL
Gabby in management? (laughs) She’s a good tech, but she can’t handle people. 
JACK
She is incredibly skilled and committed. Honestly they don’t need half as many techs as they have, and she’d tell them that. She’d probably crack down on waste in a lot of ways. 
MICHAEL
She’s too meek.
JACK (defensively)
Meek? She just about took off Daniel’s head when he didn’t ask for her resume.

 

MICHAEL (slowly)
Okay. (beat) Got a little thing for Gabby, do you?
JACK
No! I just…I work next to her. She isn’t someone to underestimate. 
MICHAEL
No one is doubting her skill, or commitment. She’s out there right now fixing a glitch on the website even though it has its own techs, all because Clara complained that the website techs weren’t getting back to her. She’s committed. Too committed, management won’t let go of a worker like her. Its counterintuitive. She hasn’t even taken a break to join the contest.
JACK
Yeah. (lightly) I on the other hand have just taken an extra twenty-five minute break and look at the results. 

 

JACK holds up his slicker

Rudolph with an icicle booger

And a lop-sided Christmas tree

With star shaped sequin lights. 

 

MICHAEL (grinning)
Well it is certainly ugly.

BOTH laugh. 

Cut to conference room. JACK

 

JACK (shaking head)
He was just saying things that I had. Some of it to Gabriella. But…Hearing it from someone else, I sort of heard her point. She’s good at her job. She works harder than anyone down here. Why exactly wouldn’t they want that?

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