Into the Arms of Angels, Part 6 of 14

Desk

Today, for your enjoyment — the sixth installment of my feature-length screenplay,”Into the Arms of Angels” (© 2005, 2016).

For Part 5, please click here.

For Part 1 and a glossary of screenwriting abbreviations, please click here.

(Each installment concludes with a link to its successor.)

 

INT. A BREAK ROOM AT COUNTY DAIRY – FRIDAY MORNING

Toby reads a newspaper. Otto and Jerri sip from mugs of coffee and flip through notes.

Joe walks in holding a mug and a clipboard and sits at a table.

TOBY

Morning, Joe.

 

JOE

Morning.

 

TOBY

Joe, I’ve been meaning to ask you something.

 

JOE

Shoot!

 

TOBY

Your family name’s Kleinschmidt. That’s German, isn’t it?

 

JOE

Yep.

 

TOBY

Then why’d your dad and your uncles pick an Irish-sounding name for County Dairy? Were all the German names taken or something?

 

JOE

I asked my dad that once, too. He said he had a great-great-grandpa who came over from Ireland.

 

TOBY

And they picked the name in his honor?

 

JOE

Maybe…Dad said the main reason was that it sounded cool.

 

JERRI

That’s good for marketing.

 

JOE

Yeah, I guess so.

 

Toby returns to his newspaper. Phil sweeps through the door and glides to the coffee machine.

PHIL

A full pot! What a blessed day!

 

Phil pours himself coffee and wanders over to Otto’s side.

PHIL (CONT’D)

Oh Otto and Jerri, thanks for all you did for Pulaski this week.

 

OTTO

You bet!

 

PHIL

We have been getting hints of an offer in the offing.

 

OTTO

Mmmm. That’s good.

 

PHIL

I’ve personally heard kudos for our marketing and financial reports. Not as much about ops, but that can change.

 

JOE

What’s wrong with ops?

 

PHIL

Really, the Pulaski show was a tremendous success. County looked strong except for some sectors –

 

JOE

Like operations?

 

PHIL

Yes, Joe, like operations, but not to worry. Pulaski has in mind some innovative changings for our post-merger co-creation –

 

JOE

“Changings?”

 

PHIL

Yes, Joe –

 

JOE

That’s not a word!

 

PHIL

I guess you don’t retain learnings from our professional growth seminars, so I will happily rephrase: Pulaski wants to revision paradigms of our operational responses –

 

JOE

And you criticize me for some adjectives!

 

PHIL

Yes –

 

JOE

None of that makes any sense to me.

 

PHIL

And since it doesn’t, you might need to be relocationed.

 

JOE

Moved?

 

PHIL

I prefer not to put it that way –

 

JOE

You’d move me?

 

PHIL

It wouldn’t be I, of course. It’s Pulaski’s call.

 

JOE

Pulaski would do that?

 

PHIL

It is on the table for them, yes.

 

JOE

Where to? Not their HQ?

 

PHIL

Heavens, no. And of course it’s tentative, pending the sale. In truth, Pulaski doesn’t know where to put you – maybe HR. But they do know they might need new leadership in operations.

 

JOE

How in the world could they know something like that? We’ve had the strongest year in a decade. Turnover’s at a three-year low. Because of Toby’s team, capital outlays have plummeted –

 

PHIL

All I can say is that Pulaski didn’t like what it saw Tuesday.

 

JOE

At your presentation.

 

PHIL

Yes, Joe –

 

JOE

And whose fault is that?

 

PHIL

Perhaps Operations’?

 

JOE

Phil, this is insane. Pulaski, and you, you’ve got it backwards. I just can’t let you –

 

PHIL

But how can you stop them, if it’s what Pulaski wants?

 

JOE

Otto, do you have that email from the other day?

 

OTTO

Yes, uh, right here.

 

Otto opens a folder and pulls a sheet of paper from a thick stack. He hands the paper toward Joe, who grabs it.

JOE

Thanks, Otto. Now Phil, are we married to Pulaski?

 

PHIL

Married, Joe? I’m not –

 

JOE

Have we committed ourselves to them?

 

PHIL

There’s nothing formal –

 

JOE

Have they committed to buy us?

 

PHIL

Not yet. They’re reviewing options, as well they should –

 

JOE

Do we even know for sure that they want to buy us?

 

PHIL

Well, no, but –

 

JOE

What have they said?

 

PHIL

The details really aren’t your concern.

 

JOE

Even if it costs me my job? So will Pulaski buy us or won’t they?

 

PHIL

I don’t know, but we should plan for the case that –

 

Joe holds up the piece of paper from Otto.

JOE

Then maybe these folks will.

 

PHIL

What, I mean, who – really, Joe,-

 

JOE

This is Bongo!

 

PHIL

Bong-who?

 

JOE

Bongo Foods, in New York. They tried to buy us a few years back, and now they’re trying again. Their market’s huge, even international, and they want us.

 

PHIL

Let me see –

 

JOE

These folks are eager – you might even say “enthusiastic.”

 

PHIL

Gimme that.

 

JOE

No can do, Phil. Can’t let you touch this one.

 

PHIL

It was not I who ruined it last time.

 

JOE

And it wasn’t me either. This time, though, I want to make sure Bongo can happen.

 

OTTO

Joe, wait. I thought –

 

JOE

So did I. Then Phil here went and lost me my job, and I can’t let him do that.

 

OTTO

Joe –

 

Joe stands and walks toward the door.

JOE

Excuse me, folks. Lots of work to do before I leave for New York.

 

PHIL

Joe, this is crazy.

 

In the doorway, Joe turns to face Phil.

JOE

Crazier than letting you present my department…

 

PHIL

As you did on Tuesday.

 

JOE

…so that I end up being “relocationed?”

 

PHIL

Pulaski won’t take this well.

 

JOE

They’ll have to if Bongo pays us more.

 

Joe leaves the room. Phil sits down at a table with Otto.

PHIL

What just happened?

 

OTTO

Bongo emailed me two days ago – a test balloon really, asking whether we’d entertain a deal.

 

PHIL

And you told them no.

 

OTTO

I didn’t tell ’em anything. That’s your department.

 

PHIL

I would have said “No,” outright. Absolutely. Just when were you going to tell me about it?

 

OTTO

I was planning to forward you the note today.

 

PHIL

Today.

 

OTTO

This morning, after coffee.

 

PHIL

And now Joe has it.

 

OTTO

Yes.

 

PHIL

And he won’t tell them no.

 

OTTO

No, I don’t think he will.

 

PHIL

That’s just great. Why would these Bongo folks be so keen on us, all of a sudden?

 

Otto shrugs.

PHIL (CONT’D)

I suppose Joe’s in his office right now, calling New York?

 

OTTO

Probably.

 

PHIL

We’re courting a second buyer when we’re nearly engaged to the first!

 

Otto nods.

PHIL (CONT’D)

And I can’t stop him?

 

OTTO

Probably not. He’s the senior VP, and he can get the board’s OK when they meet tomorrow morning.

 

PHIL

But, Otto, you know Joe – his work, his style. I’ll admit that I’m probably too harsh.

 

OTTO

Probably, Phil?

 

PHIL

OK, I rag on him more than he deserves. But really, Otto. Joe isn’t Gabriel. He doesn’t have the, I mean, he can’t –

 

OTTO

You think he’ll go out and fail.

 

PHIL

Candidly, yes.

 

OTTO

Maybe.

 

PHIL

But our standing in the industry – people talk – I mean –

 

OTTO

So I’ll go with him to New York. I’ll help him write his talk and then attend the meeting with him.

 

PHIL

Yes, that’s what to do.

 

Otto stands and walks toward the door.

PHIL (CONT’D)

Thank you for standing up for County, Otto.

 

Otto stops in the doorway and turns to face Phil.

OTTO

Actually, I’m going so that Joe doesn’t have to face it all alone.

 

INT. JOE’S OFFICE – LATER FRIDAY MORNING

Joe leans forward at his desk and speaks on the phone.

JOE

Mr. Roberts, my name is Joe Kleinschmidt. I manage operations at Country Dairy in Black Earth, Wisconsin…yes, well, I have here an email you sent to our former CEO, Otto Kleinschmidt …yes, he’s my uncle. He and my dad and another uncle, they formed County Dairy together …Uh-huh, I wanted to discuss that.

 

Outside the window of Joe’s office is a brilliant blue sky.

INT. WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER, MANHATTAN – FRIDAY – 2006

ROBERTS (O.S.)

They want to explore a relationship and make a case to us here.

 

Three men and two women sit at a conference room table.

The CEO sits at the head of the table with his assistant JOY (early twenties) on his right. ROBERTS (mid-forties) is on the CEO’s left. On Roberts’ left is JEANNE (early fifties.) On Joy’s right is VINCENT (early thirties, natty.)

CEO

Benefits, Stephen?

 

ROBERTS

Strong dairy; high quality; complements our snack and beverage lines.

 

CEO

Issues?

 

ROBERTS

Regional company with regional market. Product recognition in the northeast.

 

CEO

Risks?

 

ROBERTS

Viability of high-protein. Blend of corporate cultures.

 

CEO

Financials – Vincent?

 

VINCENT

Strong earnings growth. Gross revenue up four of five years.

 

CEO

Thoughts, Jeanne?

 

JEANNE

For us some new products; a safe and wise direction with current trends.

 

CEO

Sense of the table?

 

ROBERTS

Go.

 

VINCENT

Go.

 

JEANNE

Sure, I say go.

 

CEO

We’ll go then. Joy, arrangements for a day next week.

 

JOY

Should they come in before or after the other group?

 

CEO

Before. Definitely.

 

Joy rises from her seat and leaves the room.

 

Please click here to read Part 7.

 

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