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A monologue from the play by Zina Camblin
DENISE (twenties, African American)
Denise talks to her friend Jasmine about her trials and tribulations at her various jobs.
It’s fine for a nine to five. Mr. Kaufman is a real slave master. He calls me his secretary, but I’m really a personal assistant. (Cell phone rings again.) Kaufman Realtors. No he’s not in yet.
Maybe he did, but I’m sitting in front of his office door, and he’s not here. Hold on. I’ll transfer you. (Hangs up phone.) I can’t believe he gives his clients my cell phone number.
This is my fifth job this month. I’ve been fired four times in one month, and none of the reasons have been in my control. . . . I’ll get there when I get there. Massa doesn’t get there until eleven anyway.
At first I was working at a marketing company. You know, telephone stuff. The guy in the cubicle next to mine, we’ll just call him Jeff cause that’s his real name, he used to throw these paper airplanes into my cubicle with vulgar messages on them.
I wanna stick my plane in your terminal, let me slide down your runway, you know freaky stuff. When I finally reported it I was told that the tweed knee-length skirts I wear to work were too revealing and it was my own fault.
Can you believe it — and Jeff turned out to be the bosses nephew — so nothing happened to him. Looking up my skirt, talking dirty to me at my job? So then I had to go down a peg and work at Shoe World.
Not that there’s anything wrong with shoes. But people got some nasty feet. This older guy comes in to try on some athletic sandals and insists that I be the one to put them on his feet.
That wouldn’t have been a problem if he hadn’t had fungus growing out of his toes and rotting toenails which were causing me to dry heave. I refused to help him into his sandals and was fired on the spot.
(Cell phone rings.) Kaufman Realtors. We’re closed for the day. I know it’s only 9:30. We had a bomb threat. (She hangs up.) So then I had to go even lower down on the ladder and work at a coffee shop.
We’ll call it Starchucks to protect its identity. Things started off well. By the third day I could make any drink off the menu with no mistakes and run the register.
My boss said I had a lot of potential and he could see me being promoted to manager within six months. Everything was good until this b*tch on her cell phone comes in, orders I guess a decaf vanilla latte, and a bunch of pastries.
Well after I get all the damn pastries I forgot if she said decaf or regular. When I asked her to repeat it, this lunatic took her cell phone from her ear and snapped at me, “I already told you once.
Figure it out.” So I made it a regular. Well she took two sips of it and started having convulsions. I was fired on the spot. (Cell phone rings.) Kaufman Realtors. I’m not his keeper. I don’t know where the hell he is.
(She hangs up.) Well a friend of mine worked at this bank and she said they needed tellers. This was a huge step for me so I applied and got the job. Now I don’t have a car. I ride the bus to work.
So my first day the bus breaks down. I’m late for work. I tell my boss it won’t happen again. Second day a car runs a red light and side-swipes the bus. I’m late again. My boss says he’ll give me one more chance.
Third day the bus is hijacked by a homeless man with an ax. I’m fired on the spot. My boss thinks I’m making it all up. He doesn’t understand my luck with jobs. So that leads me to this job where Mr. Kaufman is accusing me of not taking the job seriously. Ain’t that a b*tch.