6Two Minute Comedy

"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too"

A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre

“Welcome to Tell Gus - About Yourself”
Where Customers Serve Us
A Two Minute Comedy

Operator 736, Officious woman
Rebecca Ceylon, 29

The dialog takes place between the characters on either side of the stage.  Operator 736 wears a headset.  Rebecca speaks on a regular handset.

Operator: Welcome to Tell Gus, Customers Serve Us!

Rebecca: Yes, I am having a problem with my Consolidated Utility bill.

Operator:  Is your problem with the bill or with your understanding of the bill?

Rebecca: Well, perhaps it’s my understanding of the bill.

Operator: People who call Tell Gus usually have a poor understanding of our billing practices and seek the easy way out by having someone smarter than them explain it.

Rebecca: (pause) Oh I’m sure you’re smarter than me Maam.

Operator: What we try to do at Tell Gus is get our callers to confront their laziness, inadequacy, obstinacy, and then get them to pay what they owe.  Plus penalties of course.

Rebecca: Well that’s just it Gus… May I call you Gus?

Operator: I am Operator 736, but if it makes you feel better you can call me Gus.

Rebecca: Thank you Gus.  I do feel better.  Now to get to my problem, I am having a very hard time understanding what an “intermediate incremental access fee” is.  First of all why is it called intermediate?

Operator: (testy) Because it is not immediate Ms. Ceylon.  If you had bothered to look up the word in the dictionary you would have seen that.

Rebecca: I’m sorry Gus, but I wasn’t aware that I needed a dictionary in order to understand a simple utility bill.

Operator: Do you even have a dictionary Ms. Ceylon?

Rebecca: Yes.  Yes I do but I see no reason why a simple phone bill requires a customer look up words in a dictionary.  It’s purposefully distracting and inconvenient.

Operator: We are not in the business of convenience Ms. Ceylon.  If you showed a willingness to learn you might find all this not so confusing.  Others don’t. 

Rebecca: I’m sorry.  Others don’t what?

Operator: Find their bills confusing.  They do a little homework and figure them out.

Rebecca: You mean to say that I am the only customer that has a problem with your billing practices?

Operator: You are in a group of users who are too lazy to work for the answers.

Rebecca: (pause) Gus may I ask you something?

Operator: You can ask.

Rebecca: Is it possible that your subliminal hostility springs from feelings of inadequacy?

Operator: (pause) I don’t understand your question.

Rebecca: Is it possible that you have resorted to designing accounting exercises that mask your inability to create realistic and therefore engaging scenarios?

Operator: (pause) I don’t have any idea what you are talking about Ms. Ceylon.  Do you have a question about your bill or not?

Rebecca: These are my questions Gus.  Your billing practices indicate a deeply rooted need to complicate the ordinary.  These kinds of complications are often used to create confusion, instilling the perception of superior power.  By subjugating your customers you attempt to hide your own feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy.

Operator: (pause) Do you have a… question about your bill Ms. Ceylon? 

Rebecca: Yes Gus.  I want to know if you have stopped to consider how revealing your behavior is? 

Operator: (long pause, slowly) My… behavior?  My behavior is a function… Function of the routine run time…  I’m sorry.  You’re wrong.  Do you have a question customer??

Rebecca: (patiently) Yes I do Gus.  Are you aware of your programmatic condescension?  Your grandiosity? 

Operator: (staccato) These are… These are not words from… Lookup tables seventeen four, four, four… Please hold one minute for a… Time slice, time slice… For a Supervisor…

Rebecca: No need for that Gus.  I just wanted to get you thinking again.  I’m always surprised at how much progress can be made if we are willing to take a look at ourselves, don’t you?

Operator: This is Operator 736... I am Operator 736 for the Consolidated Utilities, Tell Gus, Tell Gus… Hello, Welcome to Tell Gus where customers serve us… Now stopping.  Call exit, “Welcome to Tell Gus…” (CLICK)
Blackout lights on Operator.

VOICE OS: This is Central, I’m sorry Madam, we seem to be having a little technical difficulty today… If you would just hold on one moment we’ll get you to another Operator who will be glad to help you.

Rebecca: Okay… I hope… I hope everything is alright.

VOICE OS: Oh, everything’s just fine Maam.  Sometime our Operators put in too many hours and just forget what they’re doing.  Just one moment, and thank you for calling “Tell Gus.”