Wednesday, 5 March 2014


I did write this once, ages ago, but lost everything but the first couple of hundred words and had to start again. Second time around came out a little better:


Scene: Any office, anywhere, ever.

Tony: F2. F3. F2. N

Grace: M?

Tony: No, N.

Grace: Ok.

Tony: Then R. F2. shift F2. F5. And enter. And there you have it, that's your product number.

Grace: BCH847391

Tony: Write it down. You’ll need it in a bit.

Grace: What and I have to do that for every case?

Tony: You do.

Grace: I'll never remember all that.

Tony: Refer to your process flow. But trust me, month from now it'll be so natural you'll wonder how you ever lived without this stuff.

Grace: H'm. I remain to be convinced.

Tony: Are you musical at all, Grace? Do you play an instrument?

Grace: Trumpet.

Tony: Great stuff. 'Cause what I always say when I get to train musicians such as yourself is this: Think of it like playing a musical scale. Learn the notes and you'll be fine.

Grace: Right. Bit of hippy really aren’t you?

Tony: What me? Not with my finally shaved scalp.

Grace: Yeah but it was long once. Wore a lot of hemp clothing did you? Got a lot of stoner friends I bet.

Tony: Used to. Their all tied down now.

Grace: You not married?

Tony: Not no more. Divorced.

Grace: I'm sorry.

Tony: Don't be. Best thing that ever happened to me. I get to do what I want now. Get to  stay up late. With whoever I want.

Grace: Anyway, what's next?

Tony: Well now you have the product number, you need the customer number.

Grace: And that’s where?

Tony: Tootie.

Grace: It’s where now?

Tony: On Tootie. You’ll hear it called the Toots system, but I call it Tootie ‘cause it always reminds me of Tootie Fruitti.

Grace: Tootie Fruitti? What’s that, like a gay website?

Tony: No, it’s a song by Little Richard.

Grace: Who?

Tony: Elvis covered it.

Grace: Elvis. I’ve heard of him.

Tony: Heard of him? Heard of him? What are they teaching you in school these days?

Grace: Sorry, I must have been at the dentist’s the day we did granddad music in history, granddad.

Tony: Cheeky get.

Grace: Do you even own an Ipod? Bet you’re still on CDs.

Tony: CDs? Hell no. I’m still on vinyl.

Grace: Vinyl? Mercy. It’s 2014 y’know, not 1814.

Tony [laughs]: 1814, when do you think records were invented exactly?

Grace: Before I was born. That’s all I needs to know.

Tony: The day before yesterday?

Grace: What? Oh, very funny.

Tony: So when were you born?

Grace: I cannot believe you said that. You don’t ask a lady her age.

Tony: If I meet one, I won’t.

Grace: What? I don’t get it.

Tony: It was a joke. Never mind. Sorry, you just look young enough not to mind saying.

Grace: I’m 27.

Tony: Right. Well wait until you’re my age. Wait until you have kids of your own. Then you’ll see. Your kids will take the piss out of everything you think is cool now.

Grace: That’ll never happen.

Tony: Happens to us all, Grace.

Grace: Nah.

Tony: Yes.

Grace: Oh my god, shut up talking. Where’s this Toots?

Tony: Toots. I don’t know, going with the herd, how disappointing.

Grace: Excuse me?

Tony: Nothing, I’m only messing. Go to Start:

Grace: Right.

Tony: All Programs

Grace: Yup.

Tony: Network Programs

Grace: Right.

Tony: Toots.

Grace: Uh huh.

Tony: Toots Start Up

Grace: Jesus.

Tony: And there, click that icon there.

Grace: This one.

Tony: Yes.

Grace: Ok.


Tony: It takes a while. Cardiff server.

Grace: Right.

Tony [shouts]: Phil. Hey Phil. You playing five-a-side after? Cool. Meet ya at Astroturf. What? [laughs] Ha ha, yeah. See ya later pal.

Grace: What was that about?

Tony: What?

Grace: That look.

Tony: What? Oh nothing.

Grace: Was that about me?

Tony: About you? No.

Grace: Better not be.

Tony: Get Little Miss Self-Important here.

Grace: I don’t fuck dirty old men.

Tony: Good to know.

Grace: So tell your pervy friend to keep his eyes to himself, yeah.

Tony: System’s loaded.

Grace: It wants a password. What’s...

Tony: Password123.

Grace: Wow, really keeping security tight.

Tony: S’only the customer’s details on Tootie. Nothing to do with the company, like they could give a fuck. Sell half of this shit to other companies as it is.

Grace: Now what?

Tony: Option 2.

Grace: Ok.

Tony: Er, then 3. 4. And 5.

Grace: It wants the product code. Wait, I have that. I wrote it down. Here we go. BCH847391.

Tony: Hey, I think she’s getting the hang of it.

Grace: Don’t patronise me. Right, the customer code is 1138946.

Tony: Right it down.

Grace: I’ll never remember this.

Tony: Refer to your process flow. I’m just here to take you through it a couple of times.

Grace: What and then I’m on my own?

Tony: In this place you’re always on your own. That’s why they tell you refer to your process flow. It’s a mantra 'round here. Saves them from having to take responsibility for anything. You fuck up it’s your fault for not referring to your process flow. And keep checking your emails, cause they like to change the process flow regular just to screw with you.

Grace: That sucks.

Tony: It’s the sign of a failed organisation, yes.

Grace: Now what?

Tony: So finally, we need load up the R.A.I.N.E. system.

Grace: Rain? Reminds me of Rhianna [hums Umbrella].

Tony: Always makes me think of Purple Rain by Prince.

Grace: Prince, now I’ve...

Tony: Heard of him?.

Grace: Know I mean I’ve actually heard him. My big sister. She lurves her some Prince. And I love my big sister. Prince is awesome.

Tony: Wow, see this? [makes noise of an elevator or something being raised] This is my estimation of you going up.

Grace: Thanks.

Tony: Welcome.

Grace: Still not sleeping with you though.

Tony: Y’know in my day it was considered polite for a woman to wait for a man to proposition her before she told him to shove it.

Grace: When was that? 1814?

Tony: Same year the gramophone was invented, yes. And anyway, you’re old enough to be my daughter. If I’d had you when I was at school. That sounds bad. Can I take that back?

Grace: I know what you mean. You got any kids, Tony?

Tony: A son. Tony, Junior.

Grace: H’m, imaginative. How old’s he?

Tony: 18.

Grace: You not get on?

Tony: Doesn’t want to know me. Not since the divorce.

Grace: Ah, I’m sure it’ll pass. I didn’t want to know my parents when I was that age. Couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there and off to uni.

Tony: Same.

Grace: Well then. Give him a couple of years, he’ll come around.

Tony: Ya think?

Grace: I did.

Tony: Me too

Grace: Well then.

Tony: Thank you Grace. I think you’ll get on well here. And that’s not a come on.

Grace: I never said a word.

Tony: Most people don’t last five minutes here. You either have to be tough or old and desperate enough not to quit. You seem tough enough that you’ll go far.

Grace: Thanks.

Tony: Welcome.

Grace: So where is this Rain system?

Tony: Right, well it’s another trek through subfolders I’m afraid.

Grace: Ok. Lead on.

Tony: Ok, so, start, then All Programs

Grace [humming Purple Rain]: Yup.

Tony: System Programs. Leeds Server. Now Financial...

Fade out.

Get it done.

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