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MMA Writer UnderGround >> Play about Welfare - Help.


5/3/11 5:31 AM
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JCMcGee
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Member Since: 4/11/05
Posts: 1557
 
I take it there is no FRAT on this forum?

I wrote this as for a movie writing course....as an exercise in how to film a dialogue heavy script.

It's about the lies a guy tells the welfare office in order to get money (It's British, so I can explain it if needed)

I suppose it's pretty simmilar to the interview scene in TRAINSPOTTING (worth a look for how to film dialogue)

I quite like it and want to expand it into a play.

I want to write a 2nd half....The welfare officers reply to the guy claiming welfare....basically saying things like:
"Just get a job" "We see funny men like you every day" etc but I need some good arguments, I want it to be quite clever rather than just right wing viterol:

A Graduate's Guide To Unemployment



Cast:


1.

Male, Civil Servant. mid 40's. Smartly dressed but a little grey. Officious & a little aloof.
2.

Male, early 30's. Casually dressed and a little shoddy. Smart, but not as smart as he thinks he is.




INT. TEN O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING

A JOBCENTRE. 1. & 2. SIT ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF A DESK


1.

So Sir, what have you done to try and find work in the last two weeks?


2.

I sorr, my Engrlish no ver goo?


1.

Ah? Yes??...Can you sign here....that's it, just here.


NUMBER 2 REACHES OVER TO SIGN THE FORM (but doesn't)


2.

(TO AUDIENCE)

Now, this is not my favourite way of avoiding that terrifying question.

I mean, this technique has all sorts of connotations that I don't like, not to mention the potential that it may just be “seen through” by your more astute job centre employee.

But it does work, mostly on new, inexperienced employees.


1.

Well Sir, your English was fine a fortnight ago....have you had a nasty bang on the head?


2.

“A bang on the head”? “Nasty”?

(TO AUDIENCE)

I've had bangs on the heads far more pleasurable than a visit to this place!

But, here, let me think, what have I done to look for work;

Monday – Drunk, Tuesday – Drunk, Wednesday -Drunk.

Thursday, well, Thursday's the start of the weekend and well, the weekend goes without saying.

Jees, I'm just too busy to look for work!

But you know, try telling them that!

(TO NUMBER 1)

Sorry pal, I'm just too busy to look for work.


1.

That's fine Sir, you won't be needing your payments this week then? Shall I inform the housing benefits?


2.

Wooooah....see, that's the problem, these poor folk, they aren't programmed to understand a joke or have a heart.

And I need this, well, the security that this place offers.

It's not so much the money, there are other ways of making money, a quick gig here and there, a few hours on ebay....a wee deal of this and that....

(TO NUMBER 1)

There you go, an eighth was it? Stick the money in my card.


1.

Thank you Sir, but I am going to have to ask you again about your job search....


2.

Is that a new shirt? I've not seen you in that before. It's lovely.


1.

Yes...actually...


2.

Ah...I thought so...the blue, it matches your eyes.

(TO AUDIENCE)

Yeah...it works best on the ladies this one. A wee cute smile and maybe a comment about their hair or earrings or blouse. You know, you'd be surprised by the men that fall for this as well.

It's almost like no one says anything nice to them all day, any day. Can you imagine working in a place like this?

Me, I can't imagine working anywhere any more.

Well, not for anyone else.

Three years at uni, another year on a teaching course and then what? A job at McDonald...or worse, a teacher...a schoolteacher teaching kids to say “yes” when their told to, to shut up when their told to so that one day they can get a job;

in McDonald's.


1.

Sir, I'll have to ask you again//


2.

Any jobs going in this place? I'd be great in here.


1.

Ha Ha, I'm afraid not //


2.

(TO AUDIENCE)

Afraid? What the fuck has he got to be afraid of?

I'm taking it that this job pays your bills? Yeah?

And it must be one of the most secure jobs in the country.

I mean there will always be dole scum, right? Folk that just don't work, just don't fit in, not even in McDonald's.

And, you can't exactly get sacked from a job in the dole office can you?

There's an idea....what a cunts trick that would be!


(TO NUMBER 1)

Here, let me light that for you//


1.

Ahh....that won't be necessary.... have you tried an internet job search Sir?


2.

(TO AUDIENCE)

Right...I've got all day with the internet; it's all I've got,

thee hugest, most universal font all human knowledge ever assembled since yon library at Alexandria and I'm going to use it to look for a fucking job?

Ahhhh....look! There it is, in my bookmarks, right after

“www dot cut your own balls off with a rusty spoon dot com”:

“Find a job dot co dot uk”

(TO NUMBER 1)

Yes. Yes I have;


DROPS LARGE PILE OF PRINTED EMAILS ON DESK


(TO AUDIENCE)

323 since this January. That's an average of 4 a day or one every six hours, I have 323 applications, 127 different covering letters, 25 finely tuned CV's and yes, 323 rejection letters. 14 of them from McDonalds.


Technique number 3 that is, confuse them with quantity, hide the important lies amongst a huge pile of dumb “facts”.

(TO NUMBER 1)

All this printing out, it costs me a lot of money you know.

Is there any way that I could maybe claim some of that back?


1

Sir we...


2.

You do ask for evidence.....and I'm sure there must be some money available somewhere for printing, envelopes, stamps?

(TO AUDIENCE)

Technique 4....Questions. They don't like questions. Oh, they like asking you questions, but try it, try asking them some questions!

(TO NUMBER 1)

Now, remind me please, volunteering, is it 16hrs a week? Does that include lunch hours 'cause I could do probably a wee scan of the newspapers in my lunch time, there's always newspapers lying about these places and you know, some of them places have got that internet thing!

Is it just one company? Am I allowed to volunteer for more than one? I mean I could do the homeless in the morning and the mentals in the afternoon.

To be honest though, I'm not too good on a Monday, with people, maybe I could do the cats and dogs on a Monday? If I volunteer with them...maybe I could be a vet in a few years!
5/3/11 5:32 AM
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JCMcGee
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Member Since: 4/11/05
Posts: 1558
Cont/-


1.

We ask that our clients be realistic in their job searches Sir.


2.

(TO AUDIENCE)

Yup, that's me realistic.

I have no realistic chance of holding down one of your "jobs"

Not without ending up killing someone:

"Number 473 this is the third consecutive monthly quarter in which you have been unable to hit your agreed targets"

Hit my targets? If I "Hit" any of my "targets" I'd end up inside!

Is that a bad thing?

I mean, obviously it's a bad thing, but for the figures?

How does one less on the unemployment figures balance with one more on the crime statistics?

What if I shoot the whole office?

Think of the new jobs that would create!


1.

Some of our Skills training courses can help//


2.

Oh yes. The last one I was on was brilliant.

Two certificates, a new CV and a first aid card.

A certificate in hypnosis. That's true here it is, I keep it on me in case of emergencies, so far it's been more effective than my first aid skills.

(TO NUMBER 1)

Watch the finger....follow the finger.....

"This job search is satisfactory. This job search is satisfactory."


"SLEEP!"

(1 FALLS INTO TRANCE)


TAKES JAZZ CIGARETT OUT OF 1's POCKET, LIGHTS IT, TAKES A PUFF & PUTS IT INTO 1's MOUTH.


1.

You're next signing date will be the 30th. You won't be required to sign on the 16th as we//


2.

Are on Holiday?


1.

//will be closed for a training day.


2.

A Holiday, you know, that's the one thing I really miss.

Two and a half years and not one holiday.

Again it's not just that I can't afford a holiday.

I've got a dozen places I could go, friends, family even.

Just a tent on a beach or up a hill some place.

You know, a break.

It's just, the 300 forms I'd have to fill in and the hours of questioning. God help me if I want to go abroad.

What is it they say?; "Cash Poor...Time Rich."

I enjoy the time. Is there anything more valuable? I don't think there is. Sure, some days it can be difficult to get myself out of bed, but, I like that no ones forcing me to get out of bed.

These "signing" days are actually the hardest.

"Meet John at 9 for breakfast", easy. "Jane for coffee at 6", no problem. "Sound check at 8", I'll be there at half seven.

Ask me to get out of bed to sign on at ten though,

that is a problem.

Is it me and my authority thing?

Is it the place? It's not designed to be very welcoming is it?

Sometimes there's a hundred questions, "what have I been doing?", "where have I been looking?", "who have I been speaking to?"

Other days they just want you in and out;

I can work with that:

Technique number 5: Slooooooooowwwww.

You can usually tell. Body language, they'll call your name but they won't look at you. They'll look rushed and stressed, a pile of paper work in front of them.

Slooooooooowwwww. It can take me over a minute to get round to an answer and, in under three I'll have signed and been sent on my way.


1.

Have your circumstances changed at all in the last two weeks?


2.

Well, actually....

(TO AUDIENCE)

Sympathy? I've never tried going for sympathy!

I don't expect or ask any but with all this PC stuff you just never know:

(TO NUMBER 1)

My girlfriend left me last week.

She said she needed a break, a holiday, that she was sick of my constant form filling and job searching, couldn't take all my rejections.

Right now I'm finding it hard to even look at a job section in a newspaper without thinking of her.


1.

There are people we can arrange for you to speak to?


2.

(TO AUDIENCE)

Woop! There you go; Number six; Sympathy.


(TO NUMBER 1)

You know what helps?

Poetry.


1.

Poetry Sir?


2.

Well, a poem I got from one of the training days.

Can I read it to you?


1.

If you think it will//


2.

//It'll help me.

Ahem:



NEVER GIVE UP

When you're feeling down: NEVER GIVE UP

When it's all going wrong: NEVER GIVE UP

If you're tired and bored: NEVER GIVE UP

One day it will work!

NEVER GIVE UP


It's good isn't it?

(WINKS @ THE AUDIENCE)


1.

We'll Sir, it's not Kipling, but if it helps.


2.

Oh yes it helps!

(TO AUDIENCE)

Number, what is it now? Eight? "Feigning Mental Illness".

Again, not one of my favourites, but when needs must.

(TO NUMBER ONE)

I read this to myself every morning.

Then I turn on the internet, make a coffee and try my best to read through the job sections.

I will never give up!


1.

Yes Sir, if you could sign here.


2.

Positive thinking.

You know, it does help, in it's own way.

For one, I'm pretty damn positive that I'll never work in a place like this! Or a call centre or for any credit company.

Though, I'm also pretty positive that they will never have me!

I mean, you will have to deal with two or maybe three interviews with those fuckers every year.

This is when a "mental illness" can come into its own.

Mental illness, you know, a tick, a twitch and a liberal dashing of sweary words. Couple that with a bad suit and a really old pair of socks. And one hour interview can be over in ten and group interviews?

A bit of sexism and some sushi.

I've been slapped in American Express interviews and nearly started a riot in seven different call centres.

It's a game isn't it?

You've got to play it like a game.

You know where I learnt that?

P.O.W's...Prisoners of war in World War two.

They never gave up. Treated it like a game. Just to get through. Yes, a very much more serious and potentially lethal game, but that's how they coped and how I cope.

Now, I'm not comparing these people to the Nazi's, I mean this lot are just following orders they're not going to shoot me, are they?


1.

Have you considered options other than a job?


2.

I'm digging a tunnel.


1.

I beg your pardon?


2.

Yes. I have.

I've thought about a 32nd degree or maybe an apprenticeship.

I'd love to retrain. Maybe a carpenter, a plumber or a sparky.

I'd love to get a trade. Get a trade and then travel.

Build my way round the world.

It's all a bit fucked isn't it?

"Go to University son...get an education son...you don't want to work with your hands all your days do you?"

I mean, jeez...if I had just learnt to do one thing with my hands.


LEANS OVER AND SIGNS THE CLAIM SHEET.



---FIN---
5/4/11 5:09 PM
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zealot66
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 I'd chime in but I have experience in plays.

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