A worker is sitting at his desk, talking rapidly on his phone.
Worker: No, I’m telling you, sir, I’ll be able to pay the mortgage as soon as I get my paycheck, it’s just tomorrow-
The phone rings again and he changes calls.
Worker: Yes, I know, dear, but I can’t exactly spare the money for your new-listen, I’m still at work-I’ve got to go-
Another person comes to the worker with a pencil and a notebook, writing furiously.
Secretary: The boss wants to see you, I’m supposed to take you there.
Worker: Not now! Besides, when does the boss’s secretary do such demeaning jobs?
Secretary: Well, when the boss is a millionaire-albeit a lousy, philandering one- you’ve got to make a living. Come on, he wanted to see you, and he told me where I could go in very polite terms if I didn’t bring you.
They are waiting at the door.
Worker: Why does he want me? I don’t get paid to stand around waiting for him. And I need to get paid!
Secretary: Well, it’s no secret that you’re the best with numbers in the whole company. Maybe he wants you to help run the company.
Worker: (laughing) Oh, yeah? Will he give me a raise? (kicks his shoes against the wall) I hope he gives me a raise.
The door opens and the secretary walks off. The worker goes in and the billionaire is sitting at an ornamental desk, looking at him.
Billionaire: Do you know why I called you here?
Worker: (shuffling around) No.
Billionaire: Well, I was planning on asking you a favor. It’ll-how shall we say, it’ll pay well.
Worker: Go ahead.
Billionaire: I’m starting a deal with a group of brokers and a conglomerate, and you’ve got a head for numbers.
Worker: Yeah. Well, what do you need me for?
Billionaire: (eyes glittering) Well, this isn’t…..technically legal, but come on. At the end of the day, I’m a couple million richer, this firm’s a couple thousand richer, and a couple of brokers with plenty of money to spare don’t suspect a thing.
Worker: (gulping) You’re asking me to...to help you with your illegal money scheme?
Billionaire: Exactly. What do you say?
Worker: Well, I won’t do it!
The billionaire’s smile turns into a frown.
Billionaire: Excuse me?
Worker: I won’t do it! You think any normal, respectful, law-abiding person would go along with it?
Billionaire: Now, listen. You’re going to hear me, and hear me clearly. (towers over Worker) I know you’re not the richest guy in the world. Probably a law-abiding, good man? Well, I don’t give a-never mind. But you think I care about your troubles? No! I don’t care one bit, but I think you do. Now, listen. I need someone who knows their way around numbers to do these accounts for me and you’re the only one who can do it. Now, if you don’t go along with it, I am going to fire you, and you’re not gonna have a job to support your poor, suffering family with. And I looked into your bank account. Having trouble repaying your loans?
The billionaire chuckles and the worker stiffens.
Billionaire: And just so you don’t get any cold feet once you’ve agreed; I can turn the tables on you in the blink of an eye. You’ll be the one they get, and I’ll be free as a bird. And, uh, an incentive- (he tosses a thick roll of thousand dollar bills onto the table) Take that as a bonus.
The worker hesitates, and the billionaire shoots him a threatening look. He takes it, shaking, and leaves.
Two people walk on stage; the Worker and his sister. The sister has an air of uncouthness, and is greedy for money.
Sister: You’ve been the boss’s right-hand man for-what, five months now?
Worker: Yes, and everyone at work is congratulating me for finally “facing the world”. It makes me sick.
Sister: Well, why should you be? You’re getting paid prettily for it, right? $600,000 a month, and you’re the boss’s favorite.
Worker: But it’s-it’s illegal, and my wife knows it. She won’t accept any of the money, even though we could’ve gotten rid of all our expenses ten times over with that!
Sister: Well, your wife’s a stinger, She doesn’t know that you’ve got to grab what you can get, never mind what you lose.
Worker: Do you really believe that?
Sister: Sure! Look at all those criminals; Al Capone, Dillinger, James, look at them, they didn’t care about right or wrong, all they thought of was their own advancement. That’s what you’ve got to do. You can’t care about anyone else; you’ve got to get ahead.
Worker looks at the Sister, who nods.
Sister: See, that billionaire boss of yours knows what he’s doing.
Worker thinks for a moment, and looks at Sister.
Worker: You know what? For the first time in ages, I know what I’ve got to do.
He runs off.
Sister: (calling) Since your wife won’t take the money, give it to me!
Worker rushes into billionaire’s office and stands tall before him.
Billionaire: (carelessly) Good, you’re here. I’ve got the accounts right here; we’ve swiped nearly $10 million in the past week.
Worker: Forget it. I’m done taking your accounts, I’m done being part of your scheme, and I’m done helping you!
Billionaire: Well, well. What’s made you so rebellious today? Don’t be ridiculous. Sit down and start-
Worker: (firmly) No.
Billionaire looks at Worker in surprise.
Billionaire: No? You know, if you know what’s good for you-
Worker: I do know what’s good for me. That’s why I’m resigning.
Billionaire: (cruelly) Really? You’ll make yourself very unpopular among your co-workers. How many of them do you think would kill to be in your position? Besides, you think you’d be able to go anywhere else?
Worker: I think I will. Lots of places that need an accountant. And not everyone’s a criminal. I’d rather work for someone honest and make $5,000, than work under a criminal like you for a million dollars!
The worker is about to walk away when the billionaire cries “Wait!” The worker turns around; the billionaire is panicking.
Billionaire: You can’t go! The money racket will fall apart without you!
Worker: Let it fall apart.
Billionaire: You’re throwing away the money of a lifetime, just to satisfy your morals. That’s not the way the world works! You can’t live on morals! You need money, lots of it, and I can’t get it without you. It’ll completely fall into pieces!
Worker: (snorting) Let it. I won’t go on telling your lies, and letting you swindle without saying a word, out of fear. Your money stealing can go on, but I won’t have any part of it. And someone will find you out someday. I’ll make sure of it. (mock bows) Good day.
Worker turns and leaves triumphantly.
Worker talks to police officer off stage, and police officer nods.
Then, Worker goes into office, where billionaire is working.
Billionaire: So you decided to come back and grovel.
Worker: Not quite.
He pulls back the door and the police officer comes in.
Police officer: You’re under arrest for money laundering, fraud, and scamming honest workers out of their hard earned money.
Police officer handcuffs billionaire, who remains completely calm.
Billionaire: Fine. Take me. I’ll get out someday, and you’ll be sorry you didn’t decide to split the money-
Police Officer: Maybe someday you will, and maybe someday I will be, but not today. Come on.
Police Officer drags billionaire off stage, then comes back.
Police Officer: Tell me, how’d you get the guts to finger him? He’s very charismatic- I would’ve almost let him go. Almost.
Worker: He is, isn’t he?
Police Officer: Very charming guy, if he wasn’t such a sleazy racketeer. He’s got one of those voices. When he speaks, others snap to obey.
Worker: Yes, I suppose so. But I guess I’d had enough of obeying out of fear. At some point, you can’t let yourself fall under the sway of others out of fear, or-or something else, just because they’re charismatic, or persuasive. Temptation’s powerful-but not as powerful as knowing what’s right.
Police Officer: Maybe someone should tell him that.