BACK

SETBACKS 5'2m?f Trials: turn setbacks into blessings

ED ---- (enters, turns, impatient) Will you come on?!

FRED -- (follows reluctantly) Maybe this wasn't such a good 
idea.

ED ---- You're right, Fred. You're right. You don't need a job. 
You could live in your car when you get evicted. Then, when your 
car gets repossessed, you could live in a cardboard box. 

FRED -- Alright! Alright! I hear you. But I will remind you this 
is not a job. This is a job interview. And at a job interview,...

(they cross slowly toward opposite exit)

BOTH -- ...people get rejected.

ED ---- So you've told me three dozen times.

FRED -- Well, I hate rejection.

ED ---- You hated being laid off from your other job too. Did 
anything good come from that?

FRED -- You're talking about going back to school to learn some 
new job skills.

ED ---- Well, are you more qualified in your field now than you 
were before you were laid off or not?

FRED -- Well, of course I am.

ED ----  You were so busy at your other job, you would have 
never had time to take those courses, would you?

FRED -- Well, no.

ED ---- So, now, you're better than ever.

FRED -- (confidently) Better than ever.

ED ---- Top of your field.

FRED -- Top of my field.

ED ---- Well, then get in there an wow them with your expertise.

FRED -- (starts toward exit, looks at watch, wimpy) Oh, gee, 
it's ten o'clock. (turns, begins crossing toward own exit) 
They're probably at coffee break. I'll come back later.

ED ---- (grabs Fred's elbow, sling-shots him 180 degrees) Fred, 
what are you doing?

FRED -- (sobs) I don't want to go! Please don't make me go!

ED ---- Fred, we've be over this time and time again. What are 
the possibilities here?

FRED -- Are you aware that I'm missing "As the World Turns"?

ED ---- Fred, what are the possibilities here?

FRED -- You know this woman has an evil twin and she tried to 
kill her sister three times....

ED ---- (shouts) ....FRED!

FRED -- What.

ED ---- What are the possibilities here?

FRED -- I could get a job offer.

ED ---- Or...

FRED -- I could be rejected. (sobs) Please don't make me go.

ED ---- What value is there in having a setback?

FRED -- None. There is no value whatsoever. Let's go home. 
(tries to leave)

ED ---- (stands in his path) Fred, get a hold of yourself.

FRED -- I'm sorry. I hate rejection.

ED ---- Do you know anyone who had a setback recently?

FRED -- Yes. 

ED ---- Who?

FRED -- You.

ED ---- That's right. And did I go through exactly what you're 
going through right now?

FRED -- You had five rejections. Please don't make me go!

ED ---- And what good came from those setbacks?

FRED -- No good whatsoever. There is absolutely no good that can 
come from rejection. Please don't make me go!

ED ---- And what good came from those setbacks?

FRED -- Alright, Alright. You're living proof that setbacks 
aren't all bad.

ED ---- As a matter of fact, someone who has had a setback or 
two can be an example and an encouragement to the next person 
going through a setback. Isn't that true?

FRED -- Yes. I wouldn't even be here if it weren't for you. I'd 
be watching what's-her-name and her evil twin. Right now, that 
doesn't sound like such a bad idea. (tries to exit)

ED ---- (resists) Fred, what's the fatality rate from rejection?

FRED -- Zero.

ED ---- What? I'm sorry. I didn't hear you.

FRED -- Zero. Nobody ever died from rejection.

ED ---- If setbacks were fatal, five setbacks would have killed 
me. Right?

FRED -- Right.

ED ---- So, get in there and take your training.

FRED -- My training.

ED ---- You never know who will have a setback next month and 
need YOU to encourage them.

FRED -- You're right. I'm being self-centered. I'm sorry.

ED ---- Don't apologize. Go.

FRED -- I'm sorry for apologizing.

ED ---- Go! (points)

FRED -- I'm going. I'm going. (exits, reenters, about to speak)

ED ---- (silently points to exit)

FRED -- (exiting) You don't have to shout.

(optional lights out, lights up cue here)

ED ---- (stands for a while, looks at watch, crosses arms)

FRED -- (reenters, somber, crosses by Ed, toward opposite exit)

ED ---- Well? (follows)

FRED -- Well, what? (turns)

ED ---- Well, you've been in there for over an hour. Let's hear 
it.

FRED -- Well, I won't be much good at counseling who have been 
rejected.

ED ---- You mean you got the job?

FRED -- Well, I got a job offer.

ED ---- And?

FRED -- And it was pretty good. 

ED ---- Pretty good.

FRED -- (smiles broadly) Well, actually, it was fantastic. 
(pumps arm victoriously, whispers) Yes!

ED ---- Well, good for you.

FRED -- You were right about getting laid off and being better 
off because of the setback. They offered me more than I was 
making before the layoff.

ED ---- So? You're going to accept the offer, right?

FRED -- I don't know. I'm getting so good at interviewing, I may 
just shop myself around for awhile. Boy, I'm good! (exits)

ED ---- (follows, mocking) Please don't make me go!

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