LAY OFF

November 28, 2015

 

Directed by Laura Jane Bailey
With Ray Renati, Maryssa Wanlass & Philip Watt
 

CHARACTERS

A – a tech worker

B – a tech worker

C – a tech worker

 

Age, race and gender are variable.

 

TIME

Present day.

 

 

PLACE

A bar. Night. 

 

(A, B and C sit at table, each 

with a smartphone in his/her hand. A 

bottle of tequila is in the 

center, along with a full shot 

glass for each. Shakers of salt 

and sliced limes also fill the 

table. A reads from his phone.)

 

A

‘Last week in my email to you I synthesized our strategic direction as a productivity and platform company.’ 

 

B

Take one.

 

C

Wait, wait—are we doing a shot every buzzword? Or when the jargon becomes insufferable. Cuz I got to look for work tomorrow.

 

A

The latter.

 

B

Ok. Then keep it coming.

 

A

‘We are moving forward with a restructuring of our workforce so we can put our company on a stronger path to grow. To align more fully with Switchly’s overall strategy, we need to refocus our efforts and synergize for maximum success.’

 

(A pauses and looks at C.)

 

C

Yeah, that’ll work. 

 

(Each (wo)man licks the back of his hand, sprinkles 

salt on the wet area, grabs a lime, licks the 

salt, takes the tequila shot and takes a bite of 

the lime.)

 

B

My turn!

 

(B reads from his phone as A pours another shot  for each.)

 

B (cont’d)

‘The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmaps for Switchly, Outcomer and Brandacadanza’—

 

C

Fucking Brandacadanza.

 

B

—‘and they are shaping up to be strong. The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact. We launched the first of these experiences last week with SitchSwitch, a great beginning, and a bold peek into the future of how people will switch their current situations.’ Take one?

 

A

I can still handle it.

 

B

He used a damn tagline.

 

C

Keep going.

 

B

‘The roadmap is also a plan to change how we need to work to greet the challenges of the 21st Century. We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.’

 

A

I can’t take it anymore!

 

(Each (wo)man licks the back of his hand, sprinkles 

salt on the wet area, grabs a lime, licks the 

salt, takes the tequila shot and takes a bite of 

the lime. C begins reading as A pours more 

shots.)

 

C

‘So we have made a tough decision, and we’ll have to reduce Switchly’s workforce by an estimated 10,000 employees over the next year. We are doing this with the utmost respect for each and every person. We will honor those leaving us by doing our best to serve all the people who try every day to ‘switch it up’ with Switchly.’

 

B

A tagline!

 

(Each (wo)man licks the back of his hand, sprinkles 

salt on the wet area, grabs a lime, licks the 

salt, takes the tequila shot and takes a bite of 

the lime. A begins reading as B pours more 

shots.)

 

A

‘Thank you all for your trust and understanding here. This isn't easy. But it is right. Regards, Tim.’

 

B

How did I get fucked by Switchly. I never saw it coming.

 

C

The writing was on the wall, c’mon. Brandacadanza? That’s where the whole business was heading. People don’t need to switch around like they used to.

 

A

I don’t even use it anymore.

 

B

And that’s why we were all laid off!

 

A

What’s there to switch?

 

C

Well, now you need to switch to a new job.

 

A

Seven years. Seven years I gave them—I practically invented Turnstr!

 

C

Did that ever leave beta?

 

B

No one ever used it—‘take your turn’? That’s a horrific tagline.

 

A

I wasn’t in charge of the marketing. If I was, Turnstr would be huge—it’d be bigger than Switchly. 

 

C

What would the tagline be?

 

A

‘Turn with the world.’ ‘Turn the world.’ Something like that.

 

B

Yea…I mean there’s no reason to stress about it now. No one is paying you to come up with taglines.

 

C

The only thing to stress over now is the entire future. 

 

(Each (wo)man licks the back of his hand, sprinkles 

salt on the wet area, grabs a lime, licks the 

salt, takes the tequila shot and takes a bite of 

the lime. A begins reading as B pours more 

shots.)

 

(Blackout.)

 

 

END OF PLAY

 

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