Preston Dirges and the Need for Chairs

Blue City Sunset

Preston Dirges’ office saga nears its conclusion, with Preston and his colleagues preparing themselves for the final audit meeting. And that means finding enough chairs for everybody to sit on…

Int. Preston’s Floor – Morning

PRESTON: You’re not ready.

VALERIE: Ready for what?

PRESTON: Thimbleby’s going to be here in 10 minutes for the final audit meeting.

VALERIE: Why didn’t you tell me. What do I need to do?

PRESTON: Because I didn’t want to alarm you. And because you don’t need to do anything. Except to find yourself a chair. And to look interested. It doesn’t look good having you sit on the desk. Plus can you find a chair for Gordon, whilst you’re at it?

VALERIE: You want me to look for two chairs?

PRESTON: I like the way you collate the information presented, and then neatly synthesise the expectations into a coherent plan.


PRESTON: In other words, yes.


PRESTON: Two chairs. Find. Now.

Int. Second Floor – Morning

Valerie comes out of the lift on the second floor. She looks around for any spare chairs in meeting rooms, but each room has a meeting take place in it. She tries asking a friendly-looking stranger with a vacant chair in front of her desk.

VALERIE: Excuse me. I’m Valerie, and I work downstairs. I’m really sorry but we’re short of chairs on our floor, and I wondered if you had two spare?

AMY: Hello Valerie, I’m Amy. So you work with Preston, do you? Never mind. Let me go see if there’s any spare chairs. Wait here.

VALERIE: There’s this chair here – could I borrow this one?

AMY: That’s my chair. For when people visit my desk.

VALERIE: I know, but I’m only going to borrow it for a little while.

AMY: That’s my chair. I’ll see if there’s spare chairs. You wait here whilst I see.

Amy walks away, into a different part of the office. Valerie waits.

Int. Preston’s Floor – Morning

Gordon walks up to Preston’s desk, pushing a chair.

PRESTON: Good man. You brought your own chair.

GORDON: Do I really need to be at this meeting?

PRESTON: Yes. But remember the golden rule: don’t speak unless I cue you in. Even if Thimbleby asks you a question directly, wait to see if I give you the nod.

GORDON: Whatever you say, Preston. I’d rather sit quietly and say nothing.

PRESTON: That’s what they pay you for.

Int. Second Floor – Morning

Valerie is anxious and checks her watch. Amy has not come back. Valerie looks at the chairs in front and behind and Amy’s desk. She looks around furtively, then grabs hold of the chairs and starts wheeling them away. When Valeries reaches the doors, she runs into Amy coming the other way, pushing two chairs.

AMY: Hello? Were you going to take my chairs?


AMY: Then what are you doing?

VALERIE: I was just checking to see how easy the chairs are to wheel around, in case I needed to come and give you some help.

AMY: (Doubtful) Right.

VALERIE: Can I still have those chairs you’ve got?

AMY: You can borrow them, if that’s what you mean.

Valerie puts Amy’s chairs back where they were, then takes hold of the chairs Amy brought.

VALERIE: Thank you, I really appreciate this.

Valerie pulls a cringing face as she walks away.

Int. Preston’s Floor – Morning

Valerie pushes up the chairs. Preston and Gordon are drinking coffee.

VALERIE: There’s an extra chair now.

PRESTON: Gordon brought up his chair from the basement.

VALERIE: Tell me I can have a coffee.

PRESTON: Would you like a coffee? Or a tea perhaps?

VALERIE: Coffee. Black, like my mood.

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