Lifestyles of the Skilled and Jobless: Episode 2

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INTERIOR, OFFICE: DAY: Sarah enters ABC Advertising wearing an oversized, short-sleeved white sweater, gathered at the waist; black, knee-length pants; and three-inch, red leather wedge shoes with an ankle strap. Under her arm is her portfolio case. She stops at the front desk.

SARAH:  Hello. Sarah here to see Sally, please.

RECEPTIONIST:  Sure. Have a seat. She’ll be right out.

Sarah wanders across the room to look at a collection of shoes on a shelf.


SALLY: Sarah?


Sarah turns to see a short woman.


SARAH: Sally. Hi. How are you?


The two shake hands. Sarah towers over her interviewer.


SALLY: Good. Thanks for coming in. We’re just going to meet in here. She motions to a room across the hallway. Wow. Look at those shoes. I love them.


Sarah smiles and follows her into a large meeting room.


SARAH: Thanks. I figured a little height booster might be necessary with all the people I’m going to meet with today. You know. Taller. Powerful.


The two sit down at a long table.


SALLY: Oh. No. You’re just meeting with me today.


SARAH: Really?! I just assumed I would be meeting with at least a couple of creative directors.


SALLY: Nope. I’m the first stop of many to get a job here. So, let’s get started. Tell me a little about yourself.


SARAH: Uh, sure. Okay. Well, I’m from Missouri and went to the University of Kansas …


SALLY: Was that full-time or part-time?


SARAH: Um, full-time. After graduating, I took a job at a small advertising agency here in Denver …


SALLY: Was that full-time or part-time?


SARAH: (annoyed) Full-time.


CUT TO: DAY: Fifteen minutes later. Sarah is shifting in her chair.


SARAH: So after graduate school in San Francisco, I was recruited to work at a large agency in Seattle where—


SALLY: Full-time or part-time?


Sarah takes a deep breath and sits back in her chair.


SARAH: Full. Time.


CUT TO: INTERIOR, BAR: DAY: Sarah is sitting at a table with two male friends, Brian and Rob.


SARAH: So it didn’t really matter what I said, this woman didn’t want to know anything about my creativity or skills or experience.


BRIAN: She just wanted to know if you were full-time or part time?


SARAH: (laughing) Yes! I could have said I backpacked across Europe after college and she would have said (mimicking SALLY)—full-time or part-time? Uuugh. It was so painful! (Sarah takes a gulp of beer and shakes her head.) I’m really no closer to a job than I was when I got up this morning.


ROB: True, but at least you’re in fabulous footwear. Cheers to that!

The three clink glasses.

CUT TO: INTERIOR, HOTEL ROOM: DAY: Sarah is in her pajamas, sitting on a couch with the blinds closed. She is staring at an episode of Law & Order. Her cell phone rings. She picks it up, looks at the caller ID. After a few rings, she flips open the phone.


SARAH: Hi Becky. (pause) Oh, just watching a marathon of Law & Order and eating veggie chips. (laughs) I know. It’s a tough schedule today. (pause and deep breath) It’s kind of slow. I thought it would be a lot easier to get a job here, you know? Like, all my experience would surpass any other writer in this market. Doesn’t seem to be the case. (pause) Yep. I’m keeping my pencil sharp. But, being a full-time fiancé and freelance writer is hard, especially when the freelance writer part isn’t as busy as the fiancé part. I only get paid for one of those. (pause) You’re a dear for checking on me. Now tell me something to get me off the couch. (pause, then Sarah jumps up) Oh my gosh. I nearly forgot. The Final Four games!

CUT TO: INTERIOR, BAR: DAY: Sarah is sitting at the counter with a beer, watching a college basketball game.

BARTENDER: So you’re off work today?

SARAH: No. I’m a freelance writer (pause) and I’ve been in contact with about every advertising agency and design shop in fifty miles (pause) and had a miserable interview with an HR woman at a place in Denver and haven’t heard back from anyone in a week, so I’ve just been freelance writing for an online company, and I’m twenty-nine, and I don’t really have a job, and I think I need another beer.

BARTENDER: Yeah. This one’s on me.

CUT TO: INTERIOR, CAR: DAY: Sarah driving. She is talking to herself, excitedly.

SARAH: This is where it all starts, girl. Two interviews in one day. Yes! This is big. You like these people. You like the work they are doing. You’d be honored to work at either place. You’re talented. You’re one-of-a-kind. You’re the greatest writer around. Let’s remember to go light on the ums and uhs.

Sarah pulls over the car in front of a small cement building with the letters BBA on the window.

SARAH: Okay. This is it. Let’s hit it.

Sarah walks confidently in the front door.

CUT TO: EXTERIOR: DAY: Sarah walks confidently out of the office, smiling. She walks to her car and gets inside.

CUT TO: INTERIOR, CAR: DAY: SARAH: Um, nailed it. (looks around) Ooh, I hope no one heard that.

Sarah starts her car and sings to the tune on the radio. Sarah pulls up in front of a three-story building. She looks at a piece of paper with an address and directions. She walks toward a door with “1710” marked on it. She looks around. She opens the door and is met with three flights of stairs. She hikes up each flight, getting more out of breath, until she reaches a door that reads, “Warehouse Design Collective.”

CUT TO: INTERIOR, OFFICE: DAY: SARAH: (under her breath) Oh gawd. I’m not nearly cool enough to be here.

RECEPTIONIST: What was that?

SARAH: Oh, sorry. I’m Sarah, here to see Steve.

The receptionist leads Sarah through a maze of exposed brick, cement floors, frosted glass, and stylish people and finally to Steve in his office.

STEVE: Sarah. Hi there. I’m Steve.

SARAH: (trying to muster confidence) Hi, thanks so much for meeting with me. I know your schedule was so busy today, so …


STEVE: Yeah. No problem. The other creative director, Bill, is going to meet with us too. Have a seat.

Sarah sits on a low-slung couch. Steve wheels his office chair so that he will be directly across from Sarah. Bill enters the room and sits next to Steve. They are towering over her. She shifts around.


BILL: Hi. You must be Sarah. I’m Bill.


SARAH: Nice to meet you, Bill. Wow, I feel like I’m being interrogated here. Is this how you separate the weak from the strong?


STEVE: (with a straight face) Yes. (pauses, then erupts into laughter) No. Just kidding. It is a weird seating arrangement isn’t it? Oh well. Tell us about Sarah.        


Sarah clears her throat and proceeds to turn on her charm and wit and relate the short story of her life. She then opens her portfolio. They laugh and give approving nods.


SARAH: Phew, that was a workout. Well, did I win?


Bill and Steve laugh.


STEVE: Well, I think I can speak for both of us when I say your enthusiasm is fantastic. Your work is very different and new and has a unique point-of-view on solving problems.


Sarah’s smile grows larger, and her eyes go dreamy.


BILL: So, let’s definitely get you in here to at least work on a cool project and we’ll see where it goes from there.


Sarah snaps out of her trance.


SARAH: Great. Yes. Awesome. That sounds like a plan. Again thank you so much for meeting with me. I know you have a four o’clock meeting, so I’ll get out of your way.


Everyone gets up and takes turns shaking hands.


STEVE: Great job. Really nice meeting you. Let’s keep in touch.


Sarah takes a long, last look at the modern, cool workspace and leaves the building for her car.


CUT TO: INTERIOR, CAR: DAY: SARAH: (Lets out a high-pitched scream.) Ohmygaaaaaaaawd. I think I’m going to pee my pants! That. Was. Awesome.


She flips open her cell phone and dials.


SARAH: Scott. Holy crap. I just had the most awesome interview at Warehouse. I totally want to work there.


Sarah continues to discuss the details of her interview as she drives.


Does Sarah get an offer from Warehouse? Or BBA? Or any of the other ten advertising and design firms? Or does she end up back on the couch watching Law & Order? Tune in next time for the final episode, as we follow Sarah, the hopeful writer, in Lifestyles of the Skilled and Jobless.

Related Story: Lifetstyles of the Skilled and Jobless: Episode 1





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