Bigwigs

By: Khairul Kamsani

Characters

Elliot

David

Augustine

Barry

Elliot:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Our company may be young, but we have made great progress in the world already. Big corporations are taking notice; some are worried about how our success will affect their success. Others hope to form partnerships in hopes we rise up together. Right now, we have to decide who we are and where we wish to go from here. Even though as CEO, I'd rather not bear this decision on my own. Which is why I called upon you, my best, my most loyal employees; to tell me what you think we are and where we should go from here.

David:

Our annual reports indicate surplus and exponential growth due to export trade and international corporate diplomacy achieved through the years. Our fundamental economic infrastructure is strong, however, our company's morale, image, humanity and culture has suffered. From the beginning, we have been result orientated; only aiming for top dollar, to be the best. That has brought us to where we are, but perhaps it is time we look back on our shortcomings and mend them before progressing any further into a larger corporation.

Augustine:

Shortcomings? We earn top dollar, we are the best, we are where everyone else wants to be; I don't know what shortcomings you're talking about.

David:

Most un-eco-friendly company in the world of 2011, highest employee suicide rates of the decade, the least charitable corporation according to the UN and the media speculates that we hire assassins and hit men to do our dirty work while they have no idea what we or our employees do at all.

Augustine:

That's one way to look at it, but let me repeat: We earn top dollar, we are the best, we are where everyone else wants to be; I don't know what shortcomings you're talking about.

David:

To the outside world, right now we look like the death star, a conglomerate of drones that follow orders without question, dispensable minions that carry out the deeds of our overlords before knowing what exactly for; sometimes I even wonder who I am and what I am doing.

Augustine:

There's nothing wrong with that, it makes people take us seriously, if we are to be taken seriously in the world, we need to be the serious type. Work is work and life is life, here, work takes over your life, when you go home, you can have your life back.

Barry:

We could look into employee welfare, departmental synergy, the look and feel of our own offices, we could even revamp to a whole new type of company that we want to be, the kind that the world wants to see; eco-friendly, community building, arts endorsing. We need a company culture, we can build it from whatever scraps of a culture that we have.

David:

Ooh that's going a little bit too far there.

Barry:

Give it a chance!

David:

We cannot force what we want to happen; we have to let it happen-

Barry:

So you suggest we don't pursue the preferred, the desired-

David:

Please let me finish-

Barry:

So you just happen to work here, you didn't do your exams in school, attend your college, and graduate with first class honours because you were trying to get a job here?

David:

That is individual choice of action; I do not perforce action upon others on such a massive scale the way you are proposing we psycho this entire company to become the object of your desires; it comprises of people, they have their own ability to judge, to think and to be what they wish to be. As per now we, collectively have become a bustling economic success-

Barry:

Would you still think we ought to be proud of it when-

David:

Yes, of course-

Barry:

To be viewed by the world as robots, who only know how to work, to make money, to constantly return with results? To not know how to have fun? We come to our offices, do the work, nine to nine, go home, sleep and wake up and do the same goddamn thing as far as I remember every goddamn day! We earn shitloads of money but do we know how to spend it? Do we have the time to spend it?

David:

But we need to become instead, family oriented, where customer satisfaction comes first. Leave your family at the door; your family does not work here. You do, so we expect a certain degree of professionalism of you. What good is bringing your child to work if it hinders your productivity?

Barry:

I work for my family; I earn money to raise my family.

David:

This business doesn't make money in raising your family, keep it separate. Wouldn't it better to work for you? The money you earn, why divide by three, four or even five or more mouths to feed? You could've travelled by wherever you ever wished to go to by now. You are making five times less than you think you are; and it's time you got a new suit.

Barry:

I don't need all that money, I don't need to travel, don't need a new suit! I'm happy with what I earn, I'm happy with raising my family! You know why?-

Elliot:

Because you're fired.

Barry:

(Pause) What?

Elliot:

You're the only one who thinks so; perhaps this is not the company for you.

Barry:

You're right! But at least I'm happy! You know why? (Quickly) Because my wife makes me happy, my children make me happy. I work for them so they can be happy because that makes me happy!

David:

Is your wife and children going to be happy to know that you have lost your job?

Barry:

Yes, when they know that you are a bunch of soul sucking, lifeless, soulless, economic warmongers bent on reducing humanity to nothing but profits.

Elliot:

Mr. Davidson, I would prefer not to have to call security to escort you to leave.

(BARRY exits)

Augustine:

Mr. Richards, as you were saying?

David:

That's right; I'm sorry where was I?

Elliot:

Most un-eco-friendly company in the world of 2011, highest employee suicide rates of the decade, the least charitable corporation according to the UN and the media speculates that we hire assassins and hit men to do our dirty work while they have no idea what we or our employees do at all.

David:

Thank you sir. My solution to all these is far simpler as I do believe we can… relieve ourselves of these pressing issues.

Elliot:

And what do you propose Mr. Richards?

David:

I propose creating a positive image upon ourselves. Construct a veneer that cannot be seen through by the public eye; not even the media.

Elliot:

Go on.

David:

Ms. Augustine, if let's say, your mother told you that she has found a cure for cancer with apricots, would you believe her?

Augustine:

Of course not, my mother knows nothing of medicine; she was unable to even graduate high school.

David:

Let us presume a renowned oncologist released news that he found a cure for cancer, with apricots. Plus there would be no oncologists who would renounce that; would you believe that?

Augustine:

Until it is proven that it does not, I wouldn't have reasonable knowledge to doubt so.

David:

Would such news distract you from statistics on shortcomings of a company?

Elliot:

You propose we bribe an oncologist to pretend that he has found the cure for cancer with apricots?

David:

Simpler, we bribe the media to put the news on our company to be on the bottom pile, or not in it at all. Even a death of one celebrity will mask the death of unnamed thousands.

Augustine:

If I may. Apologies but I object, why bother? If that is what we have become then we cannot change how the way things are. If we have evolved so much to have a nose, why fight it and change it to be what we like? What you are proposing is to perform plastic surgery upon our image with our own hands!

Elliot:

Thank you. I have thought this over although I have foreseen this from long ago. We have had no time to think of recreation and leisure because we had a lot to do to get this company up and running to be as powerful as we have become. Perhaps it is time we cherish the success we have made with our money and focus on our weaknesses as uncultured robotic fiends behind a desk or in a cubicle. Perhaps we should start encouraging our workers to actually go outside once in a while. What are we working for if we cannot even afford time to take a break and enjoy a play, the museum, a concert or even read a good book? It's decided, as of immediate effect I am officially on vacation. See you in six weeks.