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 

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 

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

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!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
You may reproduce and distribute this script freely,
but all copies must contain this copyright statement.  email: [email protected]