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Grocery Store lack-life
by Chad Hansen (jimmorrisonslovechild8@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A socially anxious employee of Fredricks Grocery Store #1244 decides that he is going to make a friend before he gets off work today.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


A hatchback car is parked at a drive-in theatre and a curly
haired, twentys something with glasses and a workshirt
complete with a nametag reading "Charles" is in the front
seat with his popcorn and attention on the film he's
      (V. O.)
Do you remember those teenage high
school films about the loser who
secretly loves the popular girl
from afar and as the film
progresses circumstances force him
to ball up and meet the girl and
they then find out that they have
everything in common down to the
same lame brat pack film?
Charles laughs at the movie and stuffs more popcorn into his
      (V. O.)
Well circumstances introduced me
to the pretty popular alcoholic,
addicted to cigarettes at age 16.
Too self absorbed to be interested
in anyone with feelings, and too
much of a bitch to let me down

And fuckin Molly Ringwald bugs the
shit out of me.
Charles's laughs again hysterically and sighs bringing more
popcorn to his mouth.
      (V. O.)
That was four years ago and I
still don't have the confidence to
make new friends or leave a dead
end job. It's like I'm watching
the golden years of my life play
out in some kind of placid


A shot of the drive-in screen moves in and becomes Charles
in a bathroom stall with a half finished cigarette in his
mouth running his hands through his hair.
      (V. O.)
You know I always thought I'd grow
up to save the universe, not
struggle to even talk to people.
When I'm by myself I have the
social charm of a Brad Pitt,
always thinking of amusing things
to say and cute reactions to
events I'm only imagining.
Charles drops the cigarette into the toilet and exits the
stall. Walking over to the sink he bends down and turns on
the facet. Holding his hands out over the water, he spoons
it to his face.
      (V. O.)
But when I'm actually around
people I turn into Woody Allen,
stuttering and fumbling around.
Why can't I think of these great
things to say then.
Turning off the water, Charles stands up, wipes his face
with a paper towel and looking in the mirror he pauses a
moment to make sure his nametag is straight, then lifts up
his workshirt to smell the collar.
      (V. O.)
And people always remember Woody
Allen as the geeky Jewish guy who
nailed his adoptive daughter,
nevermind that Annie Hall was a
great fuckin movie.
Charles smooths out his hair and turns to the door.
Charles in a hallway closing the bathroom door behind him,
as he walks on the shot stays on the door and the little
plaque with the "Men's" sign on it.


      (V. O.)
And now I'm late for the damn
morning meeting.
A group of Fredricks employees are gathered around the cash
registers, most leaning against the lane bars as they listen
to the manager, Clif Owens giving his morning spiel.
                       MR. OWENS
Ok, let's get on with this. Last
night we-
Actually since I'm not there yet
and you don't miss much at morning
meetings, let me show you the
An older lady wearing an apron over an old knitted sweater
standing in front of a pile of fruit. Charles is standing
next to her eating a pear.
This is Delores. She's been
working in produce since before I
was born, when she was young she
had dreams of becoming a singer.
Without ever having a conversation
with her I could tell you that her
coffee breath is lethal, and is
hardly deterred by her post
caffeination menthol mint.
A smiling man behind a deli counter handing a paper bag to a
middle eastern couple. Charles is leaning on the scale next
to him.
I wonder why its even called
fal-awful, when it tastes so good
it should be called fal-awesome.
The Middle Eastern couple laugh at this and accept the bag.


Denver. This man is just as
annoyingly friendly to everyone
he's ever met, and he can get away
with all of those jokes that
people get mad at me for. But what
reception have I ever gotten from
Mr. Friendly here?
Denver nods his head at Charles.
The cash registers, A brunette girl with a pierced lip is
ringing through milk and not glancing up at all. A tall
scowling man is visible over her shoulder. Charles is
bagging what she rings up.
Ok, It's not Jennifers fault that
we've never talked, it's mine.
Every time I pass by her at work I
avoid eye contact. But how can I
help it, she is a female and is
therfore scary. But in the life I
imagine about her she goes to
concerts at nights and often makes
it backstage to meet the band. She
is eager to prove herself in this
world and as such spends plenty of
time writing songs on her guitar
and drawing smiley faces on little
poems she writes for herself. She
is well versed in Shakespeare and
drives a fuel efficient car. But
as I've never actually talked to
her, this is all just speculation.
Charles gestures to the man over her shoulder.
This is Elvin. He's the
supervisor of the front area and
I've never seen him smile.
A blond girl with spiraled, product saturated hair, standing
in front of the milk refrigerators, Charles next to her.


Ah, Sarah. My pretty little milk
maid. Half the time I'm sure her
hair tastes like cotton candy and
half the time I'm sure it tastes
like rock candy, but all the time
I'm sure that if I ever ran into
her at a carnival my heart would
burst of intense pleasure.
Charles lifts up a lock of her hair and lovingly puts it in
his mouth.
An office with a fat man sweating as he yells at a stockboy
and a taller , annoyed looking man standing behind him.
And finally.
                       MR. OWENS
It happened again! What kind of
business are we trying to run
The fat man continues yelling inaudibly.
This is Clif Owens, Store Manager
of Fredricks Grocery Store,
Location #1244. He spends his
life going over numbers and
weighing statistics for accident
reports. The morning meeting,
which I'm right now late for, is
his daily chance at showing the
crew how much he doesn't care
about his employees. At all.
Charles gestures to the stockboy who is shaking from Mr.
Owens inaudible tirade.
I don't even know this jerkoffs
name. He's just always been a
prick to me and it's probably
because his wife has a penis.
The man behind Mr. Owens interupts his tantrum.


Clif, he has a job to do maybe we
should let him get back.
Mr. Owens rounds on the other man and they argue with their
dialogue once again muted. Charles walks up to this man.
Sean is the people's manager.
Every grocery or retail
environment has one like him. A
manager who gets way too shit on
for the crime of still caring
about their job and trying to feel
that vibe.
      (Out of Breath)
Wow that was exciting, now you
know the coworkers that I've
collectively talked to about four
The group of Fredricks employees just introduced are
gathered around the cash registers, most leaning against the
lane bars as they listen to the manager, Clif Owens giving
his morning spiel.
                       MR. OWENS
...have kept the numbers steady
and we've been making plan.
Charles creeps into the back of the group next to Jennifer,
who briefly looks at him.
      (V. O.)
Say hi to her.
Charles smiles weakly at her. Her nose perks up as she
smells the cigarette Charles just finished and she scowls at
him before directing her attention back to Mr. Owens.
                       MR. OWENS
And finally before we open we have
a special treat for you.
Mr. Owens smiles brightly and rubs his hands together.


                       MR. OWENS
Our District Guest Relations
Manager, Bill Prezlee is here to
talk to us this morning.
Mr. Owens gestures behind him to where a chipper man in a
long overcoat with a cup of coffee is standing, as his name
is mentioned he smiles broadly and strolls over, sipping his
                       BILL PREZLEE
Thanks Clif. Good mornin' folks.
mmm, good coffee.
He points at his coffee cup and does a thumbs up.
                       BILL PREZLEE
All right gang, Mr. Owens invited
me out here today to talk to you
all about customer service. Or
what we call the backbone of
Fredricks Grocery Stores.
Prezlee pauses to give a cheesy laugh before continuing on.
                       BILL PREZLEE
You see studies have found that if
you smile a lot for the customer,
the customer is more likely to
smile back, and when a customer
leaves smiling, they'll want to
come back to our stores.
      (V. O.)
I bet this guy has more friends
than me.
                       BILL PREZLEE
And coupons, if you spend the
coupons freely to the customers,
the customers will spend freely on
the groceries.
      (V. O.)
even if he is a tool.
                       BILL PREZLEE
And ask the customer how they're
doing, nine times out of ten
they'll tell you they're just
doing fine.


This is what happens when I try to
Charles raises his hand after this and Bill Prezlee points
to him.
                       BILL PREZLEE
Yes, sir.
What about that tenth time when
they're not fine.
For the first time Prezlee frowns and shakes his head.
                       BILL PREZLEE
Son, I'm giving a serious talk
here and I don't appreciate being
interupted for someones messin
He seamlessly flows into his bright mood again.
                       BILL PREZLEE
So, who can tell me Fredrick's
five point customer satisfaction
      (V. O.)
And there it is. I already loath
this man, and his rejection still
The shot remains on Bill Prezlee speaking and gesturing
without audible dialogue while Charles speaks.
What happens when I meet somebody
I like? or when I meet a woman. I
can't let this be one of those
things that stops me from human
Bill Prezlee finishes speaking and steps back, Mr. Owens
quickly takes his place smiling at Prezlee and clapping.
                       MR. OWENS
I'm sure we will all benefit from
Mr. Prezlee's speech. But right


                       MR. OWENS (cont'd)
now we have to open the store, and
I want to see his advice
implemented throughout the day.
The shot cuts to Charles whose face slowly loosens as he
      (V. O.)
Today will be the day. I will
make a friend before this day
(Possible Title Sequence)
WHISTLING can be heard as we get a side shot of a grocery
cart being pushed to somebodies car. The person pushing the
cart is visible from the middle down, and when they arrive
at their car they move in front of the shot and open the
trunk. Clearing way for their groceries inside they bend
over the trunk leaving a big shot of their ass. After a
minute of this scrambling the person rights themself and
proceeds to empty the cart into the trunk. After this is
finished they close their trunk and walk back through the
parking lot to the cart collector and leave the cart there.
The shot stays on the cart a second before raising up and we
see a Fredricks employee walk over to the cart and walk it
back inside.
A close up of Charles slowly dollys out and provides a view
of the aisle around him. Charles is standing by himself
with a couple clumps of customers off to either side in the
Society is kind of a funny thing.
When you look at the whole you get
a culture, complete with it's
dreamers, it's enforcers, drones,
queen bees, and transients. What
you never think about is that
every pocket of society funcitons
in a smaller version of the same
heirarchy. For instance a group
of hobos would have a lead hobo
who they would all defer to and
who would decide whether to make


                       CHARLES (cont'd)
war or peace on the bums or the
The shot dollys even further away from Charles to show
numerous aisles in the store. All with their gaggle of
customers or employees setting about their work.
And in the instance of... say a
grocery store...
Charles waves his arm at the surroundings.
Fredricks Grocery Store, Location
#1244 is exactly the same. A
class based society in which we
all just move around eachother and
respect the position and not the
person. What I'm saying is that
Everybody sees me as a palletjack,
endlessly moving loads back and
forth, nobody here sees a
personality, or cares about the
things I like. And sometimes I
hear the cashiers talk to each
other when it's slow, but nothing
beyond the regular banter. Nobody
has any interest in the life
outside the store.
It becomes obvious in the shot now how all customers and
employees are moving past eachother without eye contact or
any form of recognition to eachother.
Maybe I am asking too much. Maybe
to make a friend I have to defy
some kind of class structure and
overthrow the opression of store
If making a friend calls for being
different, I should be able to be
Joe Cool, I just have to find a
place to start.


Leaning on a desk with a memo in one hand and a paper cup of
water in the other, Sean listens with a creased down
forehead to Mr. Owens who is talking offscreen.
                       MR. OWENS
Excellent this morning I thought.
You know Bill Prezlee was manager
of the store where I was hired on
as stockboy. Fifteen years ago.
Yeah Clif, you told me. But I
think this series of pep meetings
is having a negative effect on our
The shot moves to incorporate Mr. Owens who scratchs his
head and scowls at Sean.
                       MR. OWENS
It motivates the employees, Sean.
It stops us from having to listen
to their problems because they're
busy doing what we want them to
Sean gulps the last of the water and throws the cup at the
It scares them, Clif. They're
afraid we're some kind of Grocery
Gestapo. They don't want to tell
us when things are wrong.
                       MR. OWENS
And why should anything be the
wrong? We're hitting the numbers
and because of that we're looking
good for our store review next
Sean sighs and waves the memo in his hand.
Well we obviously don't look that
good, seems the suits are upset
about our ongoing grafiti issue.
Mr. Owens starts at this and snatches the memo from Sean's


                       MR. OWENS
What's this! Grafiti problem! Oh
yes, in the bathrooms and
sometimes behind the store on our
                       MR. OWENS
As a matter of fact I have looked
into this a little bit.
Sean rolls his eyes while Mr. Owens continues examining the
                       MR. OWENS
It seems, er, uh, that, um,
because of when these occurances
have taken place and where... all
signs point to an insider.
You think this is an employee?
Mr. Owens looks pleased with himself.
                       MR. OWENS
Yeah Sean. That's right. And as
Junior Assistant Manager I think
you would be as good as any to
look after this problem for me.
                       MR. OWENS
That's right, just sort of pop
into the bathrooms after employees
use them and what not.
Sir, I have a job to do here,
things I need to get done, you
want me to keep checking that our
employees can use the facilities?
                       MR. OWENS
If you want to keep that job you
can do this one too, part of the
store review is the middle
management you know.


Sean shifts in place and is visibly trying to control his
                       MR. OWENS
Good, I'm sure we'll have this
sorted out in no time. Now I'm
going to see Bill on his way out.
Mr. Owens playfully knocks his fist against Sean's shoulder
and then leaves the office.
Sean folds his arms and breathes hard for a moment.
The shot hovers over the desk where there is a coffee cup
marked "Clif" with a pencil in it. Sean takes the pencil,
breaks the tip, and returns it to the cup.
The shot returns to Sean taking a deep breath.
Well that's better.
Elvin is is checking through a customer and being
fake-friendly. When the customers receipt prints up the
roll cuts off the buttom. Rolling his eyes he grabs the
phone off the wall and pages.
support bring register tape to the
Musak is playing to the rhythm of Charles steps as he walks
to one of the registers with a box in his arms.
Okay, confidence. This is going to
be so easy.


Charles approaches the cashier and sets down the box on the
Hey, Elvin.
What took you so long?
Charles is visibly shocked by this reaction.
I run out of register tape and you
slowly putz over.
Elvin, I'm sorry... I...
Why the fuck did I just apologize.
Its not my fault that years of a
five point customer satisfaction
plan is uncomfortably lodged in
this mans ass.
You what?
Nearby a customer drops a glass bottle and it SHATTERS on
the ground spilling its contents all over the floor. Charles
looks at Elvin who glares at him and raises his arms.
What are you waiting for?
Charles is looking miserable, mopping up the mess near the
milk refrigerators.
Sarah walks past Charles with a milk crate, he looks up and
forces a smile at her.
Hi Sarah.
Sarah keeps going without even acknowledging Charle's
prescence. As he frowns at her back he hears laughter and
he looks over to see Mr. Owens walking Bill Prezlee to the
door, schmoozing him the whole way. At the door they say
their goodbyes and Prezlee spares a glance in Charles's
direction. He shakes his head to himself and continues out.


Does he think I didn't see that? I
mean seriously, do I have somekind
of be a fuckhat to me aura?
Charles goes back to mopping.
Just bad luck, you'll get the next
A page of paper is being drawn on. The pencil moves in to
shade the gut of a fat man lying on his side bleeding, while
an evil looking cartoon is smiling above him.
The stockboy leaving the restroom walks past Sean, who looks
up from the clipboard he is doodling on, and waiting until
the stock boy is gone disappears into the men's room. While
the hallway is empty Jennifer walks through it and into the
ladie's room.
Sean reemerges from the men's room, shakes his head and
marks something on a page he has beneath his drawing. As he
goes back to doodling Mr. Owens acosts him as he walks by.
                       MR. OWENS
Sean, there's some stockroom
problem I have to deal with, could
you get me the numbers crunch for
noon? Thanks.
Sean looks up at him and is about to start walking away,
when Jennifer walks out of the bathroom.
What's up Sean, how was that
concert you were gonna go to.
I almost didn't go, Clif was gonna
have me work overtime that night.
So what happened?
I told him to stick it up his ass.


Yeah, I'm sure.
You know we can't all be cool and
collected like our cashiers.
Jennifer hits him playfully.
The fuck ever? See how calm and
cool you are when some perv asks
you for your number.
So asking you for a number makes
you a perv, What does staring at
your ass get?
Sean looks at her ass in mock appreciation and she hits him
That's it huh? Might as well go
for the gold.
Charles is carrying the bags of an attractive young brunette
to her car.
Fuck, I'm blank. Oh, well, just
go for it.
So how have you been doing today.
The brunette seems shocked by this breach of stoney service
and glances at him sidelength before answering.
Oh just fine, just fine, how about
I'm ok.


I'm OK!? You fucking shitbrick,
women aren't won over with ok.
Women are won over confidence and
cool... You have neither, try
being goofy.
So which one of these babies is
Charles gestures at the row of cars and hiking the bags
higher in his arms does a half waddle half dance in their
      (V. O.)
yeah, don't do that again.
The brunette doesn't look amused. And points at an expensive
Sedan parked nearby.
Um, this one. Not too much
further I could probably take the
bags the rest of the way.
Charles hangs his head and meekly surrenders the bags. After
she takes them he speed walks back into the store and walks
swiftly down a side aisle.
The shot follows Charles as he picks up speed and runs
headlong into the bathroom.
Charles runs into the handicap stall, latches the door, and
collapses on the toilet breathing heavily.
      (V. O.)
Aw. The physical prison I hide
behind so that I can ignore the
emotional one.
      (V. O.)
I'll be ok of course. Once the
panic attack stops, and the
following wave of shame subsides,


                       CHARLES (cont'd)
I'll do something silly to make
myself feel better. But it'll
take a few minutes and theres
better things you could be
A close up shot of a giant brick wall.
      (V. O.)
For example.
A sledge hammer swings into view and crashes through the
brick wall and standing behind it is the brunette. The shot
moves to incorporate Charles who had swung the hammer into
the wall and standing on the other side of it waves at the
Hi pretty brunette.
The brunette smiles back though the hole in the wall and
Hi Charles.
      (V. O.)
This is what I have to go through
every minute of everyday in my
The brunette looks at the camera and scratches her head.
      (V. O.)
You see I secretly know what I
want to say, or at least how I
want to come across when I talk to
people, but it always comes down
to this brick wall inside of me,
blocking my communication from
coming through. Every now and then
I can do what I just showed you
and get around it. But most of
the time.
Cut to a new brick wall that Charles strikes a few times
before he's out of breath and has to give up.


      (V. O.)
And that commonly looks to others
like this.
Cut to the Brunnette and Charles standing a few feet apart.
Hi Charles, How are you?
Charles looks at his shoes.
Um, hello.
      (V. O.)
I'm looking into getting a better
Charles back is visible at the toilet of a stall. As he is
peeing he has one hand with a sharpie writing on the wall.
"Minds that have nothing to confer, Find little to
perceive." - Sir Walter Scott.
I get tired of walking into this
fucking bathroom and seeing
"Jessica fucks niggers", or
"Cocaine is Live". Today I'm
going to break this cycle. Let
these fucking dunces be inspired
and read poetry as they defecate,
instead of this tenth grade angst
Charles finishes and zips up, flushes, and makes way to the
sink where he starts lathering up his hands with soap.
      (V. O.)
But this is really just a
distraction from what I've got to
do today. A momentary reprieve
from my failures. A friend, I
have to make a friend.


Charles finishes washing his hands and starts drying them
with a paper towel, as he is doing this he is stretching his
neck and shoulders. After he throws the towel into the trash
he looks into the mirror and throws up his hands in a mock
confident look.
Time to bring this good feeling
out there.
As Charles pushes open the door to the bathroom Sean sees
him and begins walking in his direction.
Hey Charles.
Um, hi.
You doing all right? I haven't
seen you much this morning.
I'm fine. Was there something you
needed me to do?
No, I'm just not used to working
these earlier shifts, my piss
schedules off. But how are you
aside from work, Charles? I don't
run into you that often.
Charles looks unsure of himself a moment before answering.
Oh you know, still healthy enough
to pay my bills.
Sean laughs at this and Charles gets a sheepish grin.
Doesn't look like the mobs after
you yet.
Charles glances down at Seans clipboard and sees a yellow
paper underneath the square of paper with the doodles.
Is that a job application?


Weel, uh yeah it is. It's for
this company I had done all this
research about in college, but I
don't even think they're hiring
right now.
Charles glances at the door he holding open.
Comin' in?
Ya know, I need to train my
bladder better anyway, plus I
think Clif could use my help in
the stockroom.
Charles lets the door close and beckons across the store.
Yeah, I was goin that way anyway,
I'll come too.
They both walk off toward the stockroom together.
Man, I was watching this fucked up
zombie movie last, it was called
the living head.
Oh yeah, the one where Phillip
Seymour Hoffman nails Madonna
before she crosses over and eats
his head.
They both LAUGH.
Charles and Sean, both dressed in their work clothes, are
inside a hatchback at the drive-in. The audio from the end
of Casablanca is heard.
Ok this is going pretty well. A
friend all ready and its only just
after lunch. Iron bladder Sean.


                       CHARLES (cont'd)
This one just fell into my lap.
Maybe I should take my goal
further and have a successful
conversation with... a girl.
Mr. Owens is talking to the stockboy and pointing violently
at unpacked crates sitting on the floor as Sean and Charles
enter the stockroom.
                       MR. OWENS
I don't care what they sent
yesterday! Look at all of this.
How can the customer buy tonights
dinner if it's packed in boxes
back here?
But, sir, I've only been here for
two hours and most of this is from
the previous shift.
Mr. Owens glares at the boy a moment before Sean moves up to
It's true Clif. This stuff all
came before the meeting this
                       MR. OWENS
Sean, I've already told you what
you should be doing today.
Mr. Owens gestures at Charle.
                       MR. OWENS
Your not doing anything, whatever
your scheduled for today, I want
you to fit in helping get all this
stuff out to where it can be
Charles looks like he wants to say something, but then
decides against it and grabs a box cutter and moves over to
a crate.
Turning back to Sean, Mr. Owens folds his arms in front of


                       MR. OWENS
Now remember what I want you to
find out for me? I want to know
before I leave here this evening.
Yes Mr. Owens, I forgot that
playing corporate look good games
is more important than running a
Sean turns and leaves of the stockroom. Mr. Owens is
spluttering on his anger, but since Sean is already out the
door he turns to Charles and the stockboy instead.
                       MR. OWENS
I want this stuff unloaded now!
Mr. Owens turns and exits the door left swinging from Sean's
Shot of Charles glaring at Mr. Owens back as he's leaving.
You heard him! Get to work!
Charles turns to look at the stockboy with his mouth open.
Fuck you. Fuck you?
You're right. sorry.
Charles runs the box cutter through the plastic wrap on one
of the crates.
      (V. O.)
Hmm, my whole brick wall thing
would be easier if it was seran
wrap, or toilet paper would be
cool too. Either way though how
am I going to talk to a girl when
I'm trapped back in this sausage


Jennifer is standing at her register shifting back and forth
under the uncomfortable gaze of an old man who is in her
line, waving a small square of paper at her. Jennifer takes
the paper and scrutinizes it a moment before handing back to
the customer.
Yeah, I am sorry sir but this ad
ended yesterday.
The man squints hard at the paper.
                       OLD MAN
The sign was still up in the
aisle. If the ad was done the
sign should be gone.
And it's a mistake, confusing I
know, but the sale is over.
                       OLD MAN
Who's confused, your just lazy
around here, I want to see your
Jennifer looks at the man and doesnt brake eye contact as
she grabs the phone and makes her announcement over the
Elvin to register 4 please. Elvin,
you're needed at register 4.
It'll be just one moment sir.
As she is waiting Jennifer begins checking through the rest
of the mans purchase and putting it in plastic bags. The
uncomforting feeling of the mans stare settles back over
her. Behind her shoulder Elvin is visible walking towards
the lane.
Jennifer, you called me?
Yes Elvin, this man here, wants to
talk to a supervisor.


Elvin smiles at the old man.
How can I help you sir?
                       OLD MAN
Yes, I wanted to use this coupon
here, but the girl told me it was
expired. So I pointed out that
there were still signs up for it
in the aisle and she still refused
Elvin takes the receipt from the old man.
Oh, this. This is no problem.
Jennifer, please give the man his
Elvin glances down at Jennifers register.
And your bags are running low, you
should have called for more
already. I'm sorry for the
inconvenience sir.
                       OLD MAN
No problem at all.
Elvin hands Jennifer the coupon and walks off, the old man
smiles wryly at her as she runs through the rest of his
ok, 37.19.
                       OLD MAN
You got the coupon then?
Yes I did, 37.19 is after the
The old man grunts and pulls out an old rotty wallet that is
full of junk. He sneers at Jennifer the whole time until he
plants the money, (exact change) in her hand.
Have a good afternoon.


Jennifer thrusts out the bags at the old man. He scowls and
grabs his items before pushing off. Jennifer picks up the
phone and uses the intercom a second time.
Support bring more bags to
register 4, more bags to register
Charles looks up as he hears the intercom and walks over to
a shelf with some small boxes on it.
Hey, where are you going?
Charles faces the stockboy and points at the wall.
Bags to register 4.
Then who's gonna do all of this.
Charles eyebrows draw down at the stockboy as he begins
loading his arms up with the small boxes.
Ext. Brickwall - Day.
The brick wall is standing there and Charles hurls his
hammer through it, breaking a large section of it and
revealing the stockboy on the other side.
Who's gonna do my job for me?
Charles takes a hefty swing with the hammer and brings it
down on the stockboys face.
      (V. O.)
Finally some action!
Int. Stockroom - Day
Well, it is your job, quit
bitching and get to work.


But Mr. Owens said that you...
Should help you when I have the
time, not do your fucking job for
you, you piece of shit.
The stockboy looks at Charles completely shocked with
nothing to say.
That's right, you take that bitch.
Charles turns around to leave. But turns back to the
stockboy once more.
If you can get most of this done
before I get back you'll get a
prize, I won't break your fucking
      (V. O.)
OK that was a little too
implosive, but what the hell, I've
earned it.
Charles gathers up some small
boxes with a satisfied grin on his
Charles is carrying the load of boxes through the store
towards Jennifers register.
So, I know, I'm not making any
friends that way. But I did learn
a valuable lesson... making an
enemy can sometimes be just as
satisfying as making a friend.
Charles reaches Jennifer's register, smiling to himself. He
sets the boxes down on the belt.


      (V. O.)
OK, now that the wall is down,
keep it down.
Thanks for coming so fast. Elvin
was being a dick about the bags.
Yeah? Elvin definate has that
quality going for him.
Charles pulls a box knife from his pocket and sets about
opening the boxes.
Yeah he let some old guy use an
expired coupon because he was
upset about the signage.
You know it's sad that the biggest
whiners are usually the biggest
fuckin hate old people.
They both laugh for a second as Charles hands Jennifer a
pile of bags. Looking down Charles notices a smiley face
drawn on Jennfiers nametag.
How come I've never talked to you
umm. I don't really talk... to
anyone here.
Yeah, but we work together, you
can at least say hi to people you
have to see every day.
Yeah, but I don't really know any
of them.
I don't care. You should make the


Well it's just that I see these
people all the time and they never
seem to take an interest in what I
do. I kind of have this theory
about how everyone here just sees
eachother as a piece of work
equipment, and nobody wants to
take the time to know me.
That's kind of a selfish theory. I
mean if we're all these droning
worker bees that can't be bothered
to notice each other, how does
that exclude you from acting the
same way?
Charles looks thoughtful for a second before leaning
Jesus, that's true. I always just
figured it wasn't me, it was them.
Weird, I guess I didn't really
put much effort into it, beyond
And now?
Maybe I will.
Charles finishes with the bags and begins gathering up the
empty boxes. Jennifer helps load a few into his arms.
Well... goodluck with that.
You know maybe it'd be an easier
transition if I had a work buddy
to start out with?
Does that mean I get to braid your
hair too?


Oh, you know, just regular, how's
your day, what did you think of
the newest bond flick type shit
works for starters.
Sounds like a deal.
Charles smiles at her as he turns and walks back down the
Normally when people talk to me
like she just did it hurts my
feelings, but I could tell she was
just telling it like it is. Hmm. I
actually talked to a girl, and it
went well, I think. At least she
was smiling when I left, and I'm
pretty sure it wasn't because I
was leaving.
Sean is sitting at the managers desk looking at his job
application alternating between idly filling his information
out and tapping his pencil against the table. Looking at a
small envelope he smiles to himself and reaches for the
Charles to the Managers Office
Sean keeps up this routine with the application and pencil
Grassroots Coordinator
After a moment Charles comes in and Sean looks up.
What's up Sean?
Sean smiles at Charles, moves the application further back
on the desk and hands the envelope to Charles.


Need someone to put this in our
mailbox, and I figured you'd want
to get out of the stockroom.
Oh, you don't know how great that
Sean absently picks up his pencil and smiles.
It's not your job back there, and
Clif's been an asshole all day, so
Charles looks down at Sean's application.
Goin' for it huh?
Well you know, still just kind of
toying with the idea. Kind of a
major step for me though.
What kind of job is it?
It's not a grocery store, that's
for sure. Non-profit, grassroots
stuff. Fairly laid back, but it
would still pay me a lot better
than here.
Than go for it.
And leave the fate of the store in
the all capable hands of it's
manager. I could be brought up on
cruel and unusual punishment
hmm, yeah? Well, I'm gonna take
care of this.
Charles waves the envelope at Sean.


Charles is walking to the mailbox and smiling to himself.
      (V. O.)
Didn't think listening to someone
elses problems came in the whole
friend's package. I'd have to say
this day has been therapeutic in a
fucked up sort of way.
      (V. O.)
Another thing I can't figure out
now is if I have a crush on
Jennifer, or I'm just really
excited to know a female.
Denver walks past Charles and nods at him.
Charles stops and grabs Denver's work apron.
Hey, Denver, slow down there, I
got a question for you.
We never talk. You've never said
more to me than my own name and I
know dick about you.
How 'bout we change that?
Sounds great man, I've got to
take care of this letter real
quick, but then I'll be inside, we
can dish it out.


Charles continues walking towards the mailbox, leaving
Denver standing there slightly stunned.
Sounds good.
Charles reaches the mailbox and drops the envelope in.
      (V. O.)
Hmm, still doing well, maybe as a
sort of growth ritual it'd be in
my best interest to make a
farewell stop to my fortress of
Charles is writing on the bathroom stall again. {Friendship
is born at the moment when one person says to another "What!
You too? I thought that no one but myself." -C.S. Lewis}
A celebration of the death of my
desire and a monument to my new
found friends.
After finishing Charles closes the cap on his pen and throws
it in the garbage, and whistling leaves the bathroom.
I feel like I should pray or do
something to make this more
official, but I'm almost done with
work and Ive still got some shit
to do.
Charles is changing out garbage cans at registers and can
hardly contain his smile when he gets to Jennifers.
Whats new in the past three hours,
work buddy?
She laughs softly to herself while Charles is switching her
garbage out.


I watched Elvin chase off a
homeless guy who was trying to
steal one of our shopping carts.
Sad, I mean to us and Elvin, it's
just a shopping cart, but to a guy
like that it's a magical chest
that will hold all of his "urban
So when do you get?
Twenty minutes and I'm gone!
I get off in an hour, would you
wanna hang around we could hang
out and practice being work
buddies? If you don't plan on
going home and doing more poverty
class philosophy.
Charles just blinks at her a couple of times before smiling.
poverty class philosophy? I have
to write that one down.
Charles laughs sheepishly and waves as Sean is walking up.
About out of here Charles?
Yeah, I was gonna wait around for
Jennifer though.
      (V. O.)
Wait is this real.
Int. Hatchback - Night
Charles is in his car at the drive in with both Sean and
Jennifer and the themesong to threes company is playing.
Int. Registers - Day


      (V. O.)
I'm gonna go for it.
You want to come hang out with us?
Sure, Charles, I'd like for all of
us to hang out together.
Sean winks at Jennifer.
Well, that was innocent enough.
Anyway, I've go-
                       MR. OWENS
Sean, I need to see you right now.
Startled by the sudden appearance of Mr. Owens they all look
over at him. And Sean leaves the other two to talk to him.
Clif, whats this about.
Mr. Owens points over at Charles and Jennifer.
                       MR. OWENS
Charles is the little bastard
that's been doing all the
Sean looks across at Charles and back to Mr. Owens.
Charles, what makes you think
                       MR. OWENS
I went in the bathroom after he
left a few minutes ago. There was
more. Now since I had to take
care of this myself, I want you to
get over there and fire him.
Fire him. What the hell Clif?


                       MR. OWENS
You heard me. We can't afford a
little shit like him around when
we have an inspection next month.
I want him gone.
If you want him gone you're gonna
have to do it.
Mr. Owens looks through the top of his eyes at Sean and
folds his arms.
                       MR. OWENS
You could just as easily go with
A moment of silence passes while the two just stare at each
other. Finally without breaking eye contact Sean lifts his
arm towards Charles and waves him over.
Charles, get over here a minute.
Charles sensing the urgency walks quickly over.
uh, yeah Sean?
Charles, were you aware that we
have been having problems lately
keeping the bathrooms clean and
free of grafitti?
Yeah, I'd heard about that.
Well it was just brought to our
attention that there is more, as
of a few minutes ago when you left
the bathroom.
Wait, what are you saying you
think it's me?
Charles, what I'm saying is that-


Off shot Jennifer screams and the shot moves to incorporate
a man across the counter from Jennifer holding a gun at her
while the others all stare.
Shutup! Shutup! If you just fill
up a shopping bag with whats in
your register we can get this over
Ok, I have no idea what the hell
is going on over there. and I
have no idea what the hell is
going on over here. Maybe I
should do something.
Jennifer is in shock, not moving and just staring at the
Hurry the fuck or your getting
That's my problem. Not that some
guy has a gun on a girl that I may
potentially have a crush on,
although that sucks. I always
overthink and underact. One thing
at a time.
Charles looks at Mr. Owens and Sean before turning to run at
the gunman.
Hey man. Over here!
The gunman surprised by this looks at Charles and grabs
Jennifer and pulls her over the counter and brings the gun
to her head.
Back the fuck up man. This shit
is loaded!
Charles lifts his hands up and takes a step back.


Whoa, hey. How is she going to
fill up your money if you have her
down on the counter.
Charles inches forward.
Back up man. Back up.
Charles inches a little further forward.
I'm going to take the money in
this register and then I'm gonna
Are you telling me or you?
The gunman brings his gun up at Charles and when Charles
takes a full step closer puts it back down on Jennifer.
Charles jumps and grabs his gunarm and points it upwards,
throwing his weight into the mans side and pushing him away
from the register. The gunman brings his other fist into
Charles's side and turns him around bringing the gun to his
Anybody else want to try some
Jennifer moves out from behind the register as Sean and Mr
Owens run into the scene.
                       MR. OWENS
Nobody wants anything except for
you to take what you want and
Help me.
Sean just stares at the man and Jennifer avoids eye contact
with Charles. Mr. Owens backs up as the gunman jams the gun
a little harder in to Charles's neck.


I had thought these past few hours
were real, they were good. But
they won't even look me in the
Charles eyes narrow at everyone in front of him.
So this is what it comes down to.
You fucking cowards.
Charles rams his elbow into the man's stomach and brings his
arm back up to grab the gun. Once the gun is pointed away
from him, Charles twists around and slams his forehead into
the mans face. The man lets go of the gun and brings his
hands up to his face out of reflex. Realizing what he's
done he looks up in horror to see Charles with his gun.
Now get the fuck out of here.
Today you get nothing.
The man whimpers a little and turns around stumbling as he
runs for the door. Charles turns around to face the others
and he is starting to cry.
This fuckin' job. All I wanted
was some friends.
The three of them are just staring at Charles now. The
whole store, all of its employees and customers are now
gathered behind the three and watching Charles as well.
I j..j..just never had anyone I
could give my all to. Just wanted
people to talk to.
He points the gun at Jennifer and she backs up, frightened.
I was trying to protect a friend
in trouble. And when I'm in
trouble? You won't even look at
Charkes moves the gun in Seans direction.


You were the cool one. I thought
"Sean's so cool if anyone could
save the day it'd be him." I
would have done it for you, it
doesn't make sense that it was me.
Charles then points the gun at Mr. Owens.
Mr. Ownes, you are a fat prick of
a boss and I'm pretty sure you
have no heart. All you care about
is the way things look on paper.
You could give a shit about what's
realistically going on in your
store. And yes, even if it was
you with a gun to your head I
would of done something. Because
in my mind a smug asshole grocery
store manager's life is more
important to the world than my
I was mad about two things at the
beginning of the day. Not being
able to make friends and not
having the courage to quit a dead
end job. At least I'll be able to
take care of one of those
Charles brings both his hands up to his head and turns a
quick circle. He then stares at all the employees of the
store once more before screaming and raising the gun in the
air. He fires the gun and the overhead lights get shot out.


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