conversation takes place between the two characters positioned on
opposite sides of the stage. Operator wears a telephone headset.
Rufus speaks on a regular telephone.
Operator: Hello welcome to Tell Gus, Customers serve us…
Rufus: Yes, hello I am having a problem with my billing.
Operator: Oh? What are you billing for?
Rufus: Well, it’s not my billing but the Consolidated Utilities billing.
Operator: I see. Tell Gus what you think is the problem.
Rufus: Well, there are charges that are completely unnecessary.
Operator: What do you mean “unnecessary?”
Rufus: They are for things I have never used.
Operator: “Things you have never used?” You mean like a slide rule? A dictionary? A hair comb?
No no. For example there’s a charge here for something called “Latency
Compensation Fee?” What in the world is that? I have no idea.
Operator: Obviously sir, if you did have
an idea you would not be calling Tell Gus. People who call Tell Gus do
so because they are lazy, slothful, lonely and without the simplest
abilities to function in life.
Rufus: Excuse me? Do you mean to say that you think I am lazy and slothful…??
Operator: And lonely.
Rufus: Look, I called to get some help in understanding why it is this bill is more than twice what it should be.
Operator: Why do you think it is twice what it should be?
Rufus: I use only two services: water and gas.
Operator: You don’t use electricity?
Rufus: Of course I use electricity.
Operator: Do you actually pay for your electricity or do you steal it like so many others?
Rufus: I beg your pardon Madam. Did you just accuse me of stealing electricity?
Operator: No. I asked if you did steal electricity. Many people who call Tell Gus are not only lazy, they are also thieves, robbers, or confidence men.
Rufus: (stunned) I’m sorry, maybe I don’t understand this process. Are you supposed to help me with this problem??
I am supposed to help you help yourself if you have even a margin of
intelligence left, which apparently you do not given the content of
Rufus: (irritated) Well, don’t mind if I tell you that I do not care for your attitude Missy.
Operator: My name is not Missy and my attitude is carefully controlled.
Rufus: I’m sorry, what is your name?
Operator: Operator 739.
Well, Operator 739 please explain why it is that your company is
charging me double what I should be paying? Why the bill is filled
with obscure, unintelligible accountings, confusing enumerations,
undefined fees, charges and taxes for which there cannot possibly be
Operator: Have you taken the time to do
the necessary work to understand what the billing items are Mr. Rufus?
Or have you been picking your bum and watching online porn?
(agitated) Listen lady, it’s entirely obvious that these numbers are
some kind of half-wit deception designed to over-complicate a simple
billing process in a vain attempt to “make work.”
If you would bother to analyze your bill Mr. Rufus you might have a
better chance of figuring out what it is that you do not understand.
(angry) It is not what I do not understand! It is a question of why
your company finds it necessary to make customers jump through these
patently contrived, utterly lame hoops?? Are you completely bereft of original ideas?? Have you ever heard of honest billing practices?
Operator: Ours are creative billing
practices Mr. Rufus. But only those with discerning analytical minds
will be able to survive them - yours is clearly not one of these
Rufus: You mean to say you manufacture these ridiculous bills as some kind of a test Missy?
Rufus: So you value mathematics more than morality?
Operator: How does that make you feel Mr. Rufus?
Rufus: (exploding) Who gives a flying bugger how I feel you bumbling twit!! I called “Tell Gus” to get some clarification and all I am getting is a pain!
Operator: Would that pain be focused in your chest or right arm?
Rufus: (gasping) YES!
Operator: Shortness of breath? Tingling in the extremities?
Rufus: (groaning) Yes… Yes… Ahhh….
Just one moment please. (CLICK) This is Operator 739, TG Cardiff.
Caller is Mr. Rufus Wainscott, Surrey - our online EKG shows elevating
cardiac infarction and oncoming arrest.
Voice OS: Thank
you Operator 739. Waisncott Surrey… Yes. Looks like that’s your third
one this morning. Good work 739. Keep this up and you’ll be in line
for the Caribbean Retreat!
Operator: Why thank you Central. I’m not authorized for water recreation, but I love the sun. Voice OS: You’re a capable worker 739.
Operator: You know my motto - “Only the best will get the arrest.” Good day Central.