It is late afternoon on Christmas Eve in the lobby of a downtown high-rise office building. The usual workday hubbub is over, replaced by an echoing silence in the now empty lobby. The Janitor is using a push broom to sweep the lobby floor as the final few office workers hurry past on their way home.
Janitor: A man in his late 60ís who is using a push broom to sweep the lobby. Middle-Aged Businessman,
Female Executive, Office Errand Boy, Female Office Worker, UPS Delivery Driver, Janitorís Wife.
Janitor: (Leaning on Broom) I think just about everyone has left the building by now, just a few stragglers left. Theyíre all hurrying home to celebrate with their families, I guess. Not many people take the time to tell me about it like they used to. (Begins Sweeping)
Businessman: (Middle aged wearing suit and tie exits elevator and approaches the Janitor) You there, is my driver waiting for me? I told him I wanted the car here five minutes ago. People are so incompetent now-a-days! Always whining about holiday bonuses, trees, gifts, parties and such nonsense. I put a stop to all that in my office I can tell you! (Throws cigar butt on clean floor and crushes it) Take care of that! (Looks and sees car and driver pull up outside) There, he is finally here. He can find another job after today! Oh, and get rid of that vagrant ringing the bell in front of the building. (Rushes out).
Janitor: (Calls after the businessman) Merry Christmas to you too, Sir! (Aside to self) I hope he doesnít really fire that driver. Traffic is so heavy today because of shoppers and he is only a few minutes late. (Shrugs, picks up cigar butt and continues to sweep).
Female Executive: (Dressed in business attire, approaches mumbling to herself) I suppose he will take me to that same stupid restaurant again. Itís the same thing every year, with same boring people. (Speaks to Janitor) I want to go to some new expensive, exciting places for the holiday, donít you? I hope those dreary carolers are not there again this year. (Continues without pause) He just better have that diamond bracelet I wanted or else! (Speaks to Janitor) You may call a cab for me now. Iím in a hurry.
Janitor: (walks towards lobby phone) Iíll call for you right now, Maíam. (Talks on phone- inaudible). Itís on the way, Maíam.
Fem Executive: I donít know why I have to put up with this inconvenience. There should be some expendable ďpersonĒ to drive Executives and not make them wait like common laborers!
Janitor: Thereís your cab now, Maíam. (Fem. Executive hurries to door) Have a Merry Christmas, Maíam!
Fem. Executive: (Without looking back) Whatever! (Exits)
Janitor; (Hums Jingle Bells and continues to sweep and place dust in trash can).
Office Errand Boy: (Approaches carrying a plastic bag filled with trash and hands it to the Janitor) Here! Pitch this for me will ya? Iíve got to get to my second job down at the corner X-Mas tree lot. My Boss expects me to sell the surplus trees for him. I donít know how though. They are pretty picked over and crummy looking by this time. Iím trying a few gimmicks this time. Iím placing some in the stands upside down and then painting them all of the colors of the rainbow. Am I smart or what? Oh well, there are always a few suckers desperate for a tree. (Turns to Janitor) We only make a 400% profit on them you know. If you need an X-Mas tree look me up. (Begins to leave).
Janitor: Thatís Christmas Tree, not X-Mas Tree! And by the way, Merry Christmas to You!
Errand Boy: (Turns toward Janitor) X-Mas, Nex-Mas, who cares? Itís all about making money anyway. Iím not some kind of religious fanatic like some people. You know, the ones with the tacky manger scenes in their yards! (Leaves)
Female Office Worker: (Approaches with sign in her hand. Hands sign to Janitor) My Boss told me to give this to you to post in the lobby. Itís a Happy Holidays Sign. ďWe want to be politically correct, you know.Ē Place it where everyone who enters can see it. If anyone comes in, greet them with, ďHappy Holidays.Ē Happy Holidays to you too! (Walks Away).
Janitor: (Softly) Merry Christmas, Miss.
UPS Driver: (Approaches Janitor) Hey Mack! Iíve got a delivery for someone on the 14th floor. Can you take it for them? Iíve got to get over to the Department Store for the last minute sales. Itís taking every nickel Iíve got for presents this year. Everything is priced so high and the stuff you get is not worth it. I guess the Holidays are about being broke, huh? The shoppers are always so crabby and thoughtless too. Wonít let you park and snatch things right out of your hands!