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TUGOFWAR 4'?m2f Forgiveness, stress management, denial

(scene: a conference room or table and two chairs, phone)

AMY -- (enters, picks up phone) Yes, send in the next applicant,
please. Thank you. (hangs up)

LIZ -- (enters opposite straining and pulling on a long rope
that extends out of sight, strains when speaking) Hi, I'm here
to apply for the job.

AMY -- (pauses to examine rope)

LIZ -- Is something wrong?

AMY -- I was just noticing your struggle, there. (points)

LIZ -- Struggle? I don't have any struggles. (grunts and pulls)

AMY -- I see. Well, then, may I have your application?

LIZ -- (strains to approach) It's in my purse. Would you mind?

AMY -- In your purse.

LIZ -- Yes. In my purse.

AMY -- You want me to dig through your purse.

LIZ -- Oh, you don't have to dig. My application is right on
top. Please. (turns body so that purse is accessible)

AMY -- (opens purse, pulls out paper, points to chair) Please,
have a seat.

LIZ -- (strains against rope to approach chair and sits)

AMY -- (pauses while Liz maneuvers into chair, sits) Well, Ms...
(reads) Tuttle... I see you have quite a lot of experience in
this business.

LIZ -- Yes. I hope you don't think I'm over qualified. I really
need this job.

AMY -- I see here that you've had five jobs within the past
year.

LIZ -- Yes. That doesn't look so good, does it?

AMY -- Not usually.

LIZ -- Well, I can explain. Those employers didn't give me a
chance to prove myself.

AMY -- Tell me, how long have you been coping with... (points to 
rope) THAT.

LIZ -- With what? I don't know what you're talking about.

AMY -- Did you think I wouldn't notice?

LIZ -- Oh, you mean this? (nods at rope)

AMY -- Yes, that.

LIZ -- Oh, this is nothing.

AMY -- You seem to be preoccupied with it.

LIZ -- Oh, well, if you think this will keep me from giving one
hundred percent on the job, you're wrong. I'm a good worker.

AMY -- I'm sure you are. Can you answer a personal question?

LIZ -- Sure.

AMY -- What's on the other end?

LIZ -- The other end? Oh, of this?

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- My mother.

AMY -- Your mother.

LIZ -- Yes, about a year ago, my mother said something very
hurtful to me and we've been having a tug of war ever since.

AMY -- Isn't it time you let go?

LIZ -- Oh, I couldn't do that!

AMY -- Why not?

LIZ -- I'm the victim here.

AMY -- And...

LIZ -- Well, if I let go, she would win. I couldn't let her get
away with it.

AMY -- But holding on to it has had an adverse affect on your
job performance.

LIZ -- No, it hasn't!

AMY -- Are you saying that it's just a coincidence that your
mother's offense and your job turnovers just happened to start
at the same time?

LIZ -- Well, I admit, it may LOOK like the two are connected,
but I never let my personal life interfere with my business
life.

AMY -- I'm sure. Well, you can have the job...

LIZ -- I can?! I can have the job?!

AMY -- What I started to say is that you can have the job if you
can show me that your business life is not affected by your
tug-of-war with your mother.

LIZ -- What would you like me to do?

AMY -- (offers paper and pen) Put it in writing.

LIZ -- Put it in writing?

AMY -- Yes. Put it in writing.

LIZ -- You mean, I have to take that paper and pen and write?

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- (pauses, trying unsuccessfully to reach with right and
left hands) I can't do that.

AMY -- Why not?

LIZ -- I... I would have to... I would have to let go... I would
have to let go of... this.

AMY -- You know what it looks like to me?

LIZ -- What?

AMY -- It looks like your personal life is already interfering
with your business life and you haven't even started yet.

LIZ -- Well, it may LOOK like that, but I'm telling you I'm a
really good worker.

AMY -- Prove it. (offers paper and pen)

LIZ -- I can't.

AMY -- Why not?

LIZ -- I've been at this for over a year. I've gotten really
good at being a victim. My mother is almost ready to admit
defeat.

AMY -- (stands) Well, then, you can go celebrate your victory.

LIZ -- (stands) I can? I can celebrate my victory?

AMY -- Yes. You can celebrate your victory... somewhere else.
(exits)

LIZ -- (exiting) I don't know why everybody is so unreasonable.
It's just a tug-of-war. (exits straining) It doesn't effect me
in the least.

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