Shorts For Girls by Pete Malicki


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Corinne - a retail worker - is played by four actors:

Corinne 1 (or C1), Corinne 2 (C2), Corinne 3 (C3) and Corinne 4 (C4).

The four Corinnes stand in a line

They are each performing checkout-type movements, such as scanning items and
giving out change, in perfect sync with each other.

ALL: "How are you today sir? Just these?"

C1: My name's Corinne.

C2: I'm a cashier at ValueMart. A "Checkout Operator."

C4: People hand things to me and I hand them back and take their
money.

ALL: Beep. (slight pause)

C3: "Do you have any coupons? Fifteen sixty thanks."

C1: My name's Corinne and this is my thirteenth minimum wage job.

C2: I say hello and scan groceries.

C3: "Four forty change."

ALL: "Have a nice day."

C4: And yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it. Straight away, you're looking
down at me

C2: Dumb bitch should've gone to college or even VoTech and got
herself a real job. What's a thirty-two year old doing working at
V-Mart?

ALL: "How are you, ma'am?"

C1: Beep.

C2: Beep.

C3: Beep.

C4: Beep.

C2: At college, they'd tell me I have low SATs.

C1: They'd say it's statistically unlikely I will change my
socioeconomic status due to my income, education and occupation.

C4: And I have a kid, so that's about all there is to it.

ALL: "Eighty-two dollars, please."

C3: Hey, I dodged the bullet if you ask me. I should be fucking fat
like Sheree over there.

C2: "Do you have a five by any chance? Thank you."

C1: Truth is, I have climbed to the top. Job one was at the butchers.
I got twelve twenty an hour and cleaned guts and bone off tables when
I wasn't selling red-faced men and their stroller-pushing wives
steak and sausages.

ALL: "Enjoy your lamb shanks."

C4: You think that's better than this cushy job? I tell you, this is
the upper management of the service industry.

Beat.

C1: If you can hear that voice over there, it's the V-Mart robot
bitch who took five of our jobs.

C3: They brought in the self-checkout machines a year ago, or as we
call them here, the 'free fruit' machines. See, you put your fruit
straight into your bags

C2: "Sorry? I gave you seven eighty, ma'am, it cost twelve twenty
and you gave me a twenty. I'm certain, ma'am. It says how much
change to give you on your receipt."

C3: Sorry. Snob bitch can't count. You put the produce straight into
your bags and walk away and no one knows you've taken it. Still
costs them less than five wages so they don't much care.

C1: And that's the problem with the minimum wage circuit. We're
nothing but robots being phased out by robots. I'm not just talking
about the scanning and the giving of change, I mean the whole thing.
We have a script, for chrissakes.

ALL: "My name's Corinne and I'll be your Subway sandwich artist
today. Would you like white, wheat, Monterey Cheddar or Italian herbs
and cheese?"

C4: Everything we say to you is word-for-word off the script and small
talk beyond/

ALL: "How was your day?"

C4: /is rarer than a customer who tips. My conversations aren't much
broader than the ones had by that electronic piece of shit over
there.

C2: "This was four sixty five and not four eighty, you think? One
moment, please. Price check on Red Bull twin pack.

ALL: "Price check on Red Bull twin pack."

C1: You know, it's amazing how much you can tell about someone in
the one minute they take to pass through my checkout. This guy here is
into porn and video games. No one else buys nothing but energy drinks.

[end of extract]



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