How To Succeed In Business
Written by Gene Thompson
Peter gets his first job and then proceeds to lose it. Hope you like the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
MR. MARTINELLI, owner of a bike shop.
(The episode begins with Peter riding home on his bicycle. When he gets home and parks it, it falls down. He goes back to re-adjust it and then runs into the house.)
Peter (excited): Mom, Dad! Mom, Dad!
(He accidentally bumps into Alice.)
Peter and Alice (to each other): Are you all right?
Alice: Just fine. What’s all the excitement?
Peter: Alice, the greatest thing in the world just happened to me!
Alice: Yeah, what?
Peter: First, have there been any phone calls for me today?
Peter: You’re sure?
Peter: Well, maybe it didn’t happen.
Alice: What didn’t happen?
Peter: Well, maybe it will anyway.
Alice: Peter, what happened that didn’t happen but maybe it will anyway?
Peter: Alice, I don’t want to get your hopes up.
Alice: I promise. I just want to know what’s going on.
(The phone rings.)
Peter: Maybe that’s it! (He answers) Hello, this is Peter. Yes, Mr. Martinelli. What? (He gets real excited) Oh, wow, that’s great! Sorry, Mr. Martinelli. (to Alice) I hurt his ear. (back to Mr. Martinelli) Sorry I yelled, but I’m real happy, sir. Yes, sir, yes, sir. yes, sir! (He hangs up) It did happen! (He runs off) Mom, Dad, it happened!
Alice (loudly): What happened?
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Mike and Carol in the den. Peter yells to them through the window.)
Peter: Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad. It happened! It happened! (He runs in the den) Dad, it happened!
Mike: That’s great. What happened?
Peter: I got my first job.
Mike: That’s wonderful.
Mike: Who are you working for?
Peter: Mr. Martinelli at the bike shop. I work for him on Saturday and after school. I’m going to fix bikes.
Mike: Well, put her there.
(He puts his hand out and Peter shakes it.)
Carol: My son, the bike doctor. Oh, we’re proud of you, Peter.
Peter: From now on I won’t be a financial burden anymore.
Mike: Oh, well, that’s a load off my wallet.
Peter: And I won’t be needing allowance anymore.
Mike: No allowance?
Carol: You’re sure?
Peter: Well, maybe one more for old times sake.
Mike: Oh, okay.
Peter: I’m gonna go tell the guys.
Mike: Oh, listen, Peter, now that you’re taking on a job, you’re taking on a responsibility, you know.
Peter: Oh, sure, Dad.
Mike: Be prompt, hard-working and loyal.
Peter: Got you
(He starts to run but falls.)
Carol (laughing): Peter, one more thing, don’t be clumsy.
(We take you to the bike shop, where Peter is working on a bicycle. Mr. Martinelli is seeing a customer out. He goes over to Peter.)
Martinelli: Well, Peter, how’s it coming?
Peter: Fine, Mr. Martinelli. And don’t you worry, I’m gonna be prompt, hard-working, loyal, neat and I’m not gonna watch the clock.
Martinelli: I’m sure, I’m sure, Peter. Uh, Peter, Mr. Martinelli is in a hurry for this bike.
Peter: Yes sir, I know, and listen to this.
(He pulls the pedal for Martinelli to hear the sound of the bike.)
Martinelli: Sounds perfect.
Peter: Only 9 more gears to go.
Martinelli: 9 more? (He looks at his watch) But it’s almost quitting time, Peter.
Peter: Oh, thanks for reminding me. I would’ve kept right on working.
(Next, Peter comes home and notices a bunch of bikes, and Bobby and Cindy waiting eagerly for him. He parks his bike and heads inside.)
Bobby: Oh, hi, Pete.
Peter: Hi. How come all the bikes?
Bobby: Well, all the guys at school just happened to hear that you were working for Mr. Martinelli.
Peter: How did they happen to hear that?
Cindy: Bobby called them up and he told them.
Peter: How come they didn’t take their bikes to the shop?
Bobby: Well, that way, Mr. Martinelli makes the money. This way, we do.
Peter: What do you mean, we?
Bobby: Well, you, and me and Cindy.
Cindy: You do the work, and we get the commission.
Peter: Forget it, I wouldn’t do a thing like that to Mr. Martinelli.
(He walks away.)
Cindy: You and your bright ideas.
Bobby: How am I supposed to know Peter wouldn’t moonlight?
(Next, Peter is at the bike shop , working on the same bike as the day before.)
Martinelli: How’s everything, Peter?
Peter: Coming alone just fine, Mr. Martinelli.
Martinelli: Peter, you are working on the same bicycle you were working on yesterday.
Peter: Yes, sir.
Martinelli: But Mr. Williams wants the bicycle.
Peter: I’m just trying to get it in tip top condition, so he’ll be a real satisfied customer. That’s what we want, isn’t it.
Martinelli: We want both, satisfied and customers, Peter.
(Carol and Mike are at home. Carol is making a salad platter. She turns around to get a paper towel and Mike reaches.)
Carol: Ah, ah, ah (she slaps his hand) Caught you.
Mike: Well, have mercy, man, you know how I love olives. (He goes to sit down) I’m an olive freak.
(Peter comes in.)
Carol: Hi, Peter. (He goes into the refrigerator.) Well, how was the big businessman today?
Peter: Mr. Martinelli couldn’t have been nicer.
Carol: No, I meant you.
Peter: Oh, I’m doing great. You know, while I was working today, I got to thinking about you today.
Mike: About us?
Peter: I was thinking that maybe you and Mom ought to take up bike riding. It’s very healthy.
Mike: Gosh, I haven’t been on a bike in years.
Peter: Well, it’s not too late. I mean, you’re not in bad condition. Considering your age and everything.
Mike (astonished): Thank you.
Peter: You too, Mom. You can get yourself back into shape again.
Carol: I thought I was in shape.
Mike: Peter, you’re trying to sell us a couple of bikes. Is that it?
Peter: Well, there’s nothing wrong with a businessman drummimg up a little business, is there?
Carol: No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a very good idea, Peter.
(Carol goes over to sit with Mike.)
Carol: Mike, you know that isn’t a bad idea at all.
Carol: It might tighten up all these olives.
Mike: Oh, honey, I get plenty of exercise. I play golf almost every weekend.
Carol: I don’t.
Mike: And I also play tennis with the guys.
Carol: I don’t.
Mike: And I go swimming at the club.
Carol: I don’t.
Mike: Well, maybe I’ll buy you a bike.
(Peter is at the bike shop. He is still working on the same bike.)
Martinelli: How’s it coming, Peter?
Peter: Just fine, Mr. Martinelli.
Martinelli: You’re still working on Mr. Williams’ bicycle.
Peter: I sure am.
Martinelli: You’ve been working on it for three days now.
Peter: I took the brakes apart today.
Martinelli: Mr. Williams did not ask to have the brakes fixed. There’s nothing wrong with them.
Peter: I found that out.
Martinelli (a little upset): Peter, how can you possibly work on the same bicycle for three says?
Peter: I guess I got a lot of patience.
Martinelli: I wish I could say the same thing for Mr. Williams. (The phone rings) Peter, please finish. I want good work, and I want it finished. (He answers the phone) Martinelli Bike Shop. Oh, hello, Mr. Williams. Nice day for a bike ride? Well, yes and no. (He closes the door to the office) I’m afraid, Mr. Williams, it’s not ready yet. Yes, I know I promised it to you by noon but I’m having trouble with help and I’m afraid I need a new boy. Yes, late today, definitely. I’ll finish it myself, Mr. Williams. Good-bye. (He hangs up and comes out) Peter, why don’t you go to lunch now and I’ll finish the bike.
Peter: Lunch already? Time really goes fast when you’re doing something you like.
Peter: Yes, Mr. Martinelli?
Martinelli: After work today, I’d like to have a little talk with you, all right.
Peter: Yes sir, you think I’m doing okay?
Peter: You think someday I can even become a bike salesman?
Martinelli: Well, to tell you the truth, I think maybe you’d be better selling bikes than fixing them.
Peter (excited): Really? Thanks, Mr. Martinelli.
(He goes to shake his hand but he accidentally squirts him with the oil can he is using.)
(Back home, Alice and Carol are making him a sandwich and he runs in and almost bumps into Alice again.)
Peter (excited): Mom, Alice.
Carol: Peter, we were just fixing your lunch.
Peter: You know what happened? I got promoted!
Carol: Promoted, after just three days?
Alice: Look out, Howard Hughes, here comes Peter Brady.
Carol: Peter, are you sure?
Peter: Well, I’m not really positive, but I told you how pleased Mr. Martinelli is with my work. Whenever he watches me, he has his surprised look on his face, like he can’t believe it.
Carol: What did Mr. Martinelli say?
Peter: He told me I’d even be better as a bike salesman. He wants to talk to me about it right after work today.
Carol: Oh, that’s wonderful.
Alice: Fantastic. You think that might call for an extra slice of baloney.
(She sets it on the table. Peter has a happy look on his face, which turns into a worried frown back at the bike shop with Mr. Martinelli.)
Martinelli: Peter. you’re a nice boy. You’re neat, you’re prompt, you’re considerate, you never goof off and you always look busy. But you don’t have the talent for the job. I’m sorry, Peter, but I have customers who need their bikes and I just can’t keep them waiting.
Peter: I’ll try harder, Mr. Martinelli.
Martinelli: You try hard enough. But you’re just not mechanically inclined. You know what to do, but somehow it gets lost between here (pointing to his head) and here (using his hands) Good luck, Peter.
(He shakes Peter’s hand and Peter leaves his office.)
Peter (to himself): I got fired.
(The scene fades away.)
(The next scene has Alice and the girls baking a cake to celebrate Peter’s alleged promotion.)
Marcia: That looks great, Alice.
Alice: Just a little Picasso and pastry too.
Cindy: I wish I can learn to do that.
Alice: It takes a little practice.
Jan: How did you learn?
Alice: I started with mudpies and worked my way up.
Marcia: Boy, will Peter be surprised when he sees this.
Alice: Well, he deserves it. (She puts the cake inside the cupboard over the refrigerator) After only three days on the job, he gets a promotion. If anything calls for a celebration, that does.
(Cut to upstairs. P:eter comes in his room and sees Greg studying.)
Greg: Hey, I heard you were promoted.
Peter: No, just the opposite.
(He goes inside the bathroom.)
Peter (coming out): Outmoded.
Peter: I got fired.
Greg: Fired? (He gets up and goes in the bathroom with Peter) How come?
Peter: Mr. Martinelli said I’m not mechanically inclined. I guess I’m too slow.
Greg: That’s too bad, Pete.
Peter: I don’t know what to do.
Greg: What did Mom and Dad say?
Peter: I haven’t told them yet. I didn’t want to spoil anybody’s dinner. Especially mine.
Greg: Tell them right after dinner.
(He leaves the bathroom.)
Peter: Yeah, I guess so. (He looks in the mirror) You sure wasn’t a business tycoon for very long.
(Later on, the family is outside having dinner. Alice is collecting plates from everyone. Peter goes to talk to his parents.)
Peter: Mom, Dad, can I talk to you about something?
Carol: I have a feeling it’s gonna be about bicycles.
Peter: Well, sort of.
(Alice comes out with the cake.)
(The girls all follow her and yell surprise as well. Mike and Carol admire it.)
Peter: What’s the cake for?
Jan: To celebrate your promotion.
Cindy: Yeah. Aren’t you surprised?
Peter: Boy, am I ever.
Alice: All the girls helped me make it. Look at that.
(It shows a picture of a bicycle with Congratulations Peter written on it. They all make compliments about it.)
Bobby: Speak, Pete, speak.
Peter: I don’t know what to say, I mean, so much has happened to me today. I guess I should say something. but I can’t, not right now.
Mike (to Bobby): Give him a sparkle.
Bobby (bringing it to him): Here, Peter. (Alice starts cutting the cake and giving pieces to everyone. Peter’s sparkle goes out, to his dismay.)
(Later on, Peter gets out of bed to talk to Greg.)
Greg (waking up): Yeah.
Peter: I know I should tell Mom and Dad, but I hate to wake them up.
Greg: I don’t think they’re asleep yet.
Peter: If I wait any longer they might be.
Greg: You should’ve told them after dinner.
Peter: How could I with the cake and the speech? Greg, I’m gonna need some advice.
Greg (tiredly): Ask Mr. Martinelli for one more chance. If he takes you back, then you won’t have to say anything to anybody.
Peter: Yeah, yeah, I knew you’d help me. Thanks, Greg. (to himself) Yeah, one more chance. Yeah, yeah.
(Cut to the bike shop the next day. Mr. Martinelli is shaking his head no.)
Martinelli: Peter, like I said before, Peter, you’re a nice boy, very nice boy, and I’m sorry, really sorry, but I have to get a new boy.
Peter: I just thought I’d ask, maybe…
Martinelli: Nothing personal, it’s just, you’re not mechanically inclined.
Peter: Maybe I can learn to be mechanically inclined.
Martinelli: Peter, Peter, some people make picture frames. Some of the people paint the frames. Who knows, maybe you’re an artist. (He sees Peter out of the office) Good-bye.
Peter: Thanks, Mr. Martinelli.
(He starts to leave but comes running back.)
Martinelli: What’s the matter, Peter.
Peter: My sisters. They’re coming to see me. They don’t know I’ve been fired.
Martinelli: You didn’t tell your family.
Peter: Not yet. Please Mr. Martinelli, don’t say anything.
Mr. Martinelli: But….
Peter: Thanks, Mr. Martinelli, I’ll tell them later.
(Mr. Martinelli gets aggravated as the girls enter the shop.)
Martinelli: Well, can I help you young ladies?
Marcia: Well, we’d rather wait for the other salesman to help us.
Martinelli: Other salesman?
Jan: We’re Peter Brady’s sisters.
Cindy: Are you the nice man who promoted him?
Martinelli: Promoted him?
Marcia: Made him a salesman.
Martinelli: Oh, I see.
Jan: We wanted Peter to wait on us.
Cindy: I need a horn for my bike.
(She takes one and squeezes it. Mr. Martinelli looks agitated.)
Martinelli: Why don’t you let me help you with the horn. We got loud horns, soft horns.
Cindy: Now remember, Peter gets the credit for this sale.
Martinelli: Oh, yes, ma’am.
(She squeezes a few more horns. We next see Peter in the park feeding a flock of pigeons.)
Peter: That’s it, that’s all I have to feed you guys. Mr. Martinelli should be closing up the shop about now. So I guess I better be going home, from my job.
(He throws the bag of food away, gets on his bike and goes home. He sees Greg outside as he parks his bike.)
Greg: Congratulations, Peter.
Greg: The girls told me you’re a salesman now. Doing great, huh.
Peter: Yep. Got it right out of my hands.
Greg: I guess you got Mr. Martinelli to take you back.
Peter: He didn’t.
Greg: You’re kidding.
Peter: Yeah, I’m kidding everybody. I asked Mr. Martinelli to cover for me so I can break the news myself.
Greg: Where were you all afternoon?
Peter: In the park.
Greg: Doing what?
Peter: Feeding the pigeons and thinking.
Greg: Pete, you’re gonna have to tell the folks.
Peter (to himself): That’s just I was just thinking.
(The next day, Peter is back at the park with the pigeons.)
Peter: It’s nice to have someone you can tell your troubles to. I wish I could tell my Mom and Dad. But I can’t. I’m a failure at 14. But who am I to tell them a thing like that about their own son.
(Later on, Mike and Carol are playing chess in the family room. Peter comes in.)
Peter: Mom, Dad, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I was just looking for my books. There they are. I’m sorry to bother you.
(He goes to take his books.)
Carol: Peter. Your father and I have been thinking about what you said.
Peter: What did I say?
Mike: About bike riding.
Carol: We decided we’d like to get bicycles.
Mike: And we’ll buy them from Mr. Martinelli’s star salesman.
Peter (alarmed): I wouldn’t do that. All the excursion in a man as old as you are could be bad.
Mike: Just the other day you said it wasn’t too late.
Peter: Well, that was the other day. And besides, some people get excited and go out and buy bikes and never even use them.
Carol: Well, we’d use them.
Mike: Sure we would.
Peter: Well, I’d give it more consideration. Like maybe a week, or two, or even a month. What’s the hurry, excuse me.
(He leaves with his books.)
Carol (surprised): Well, that’s a switch.
Mike: I’ve heard of low pressure salesmen, but never no-pressure salesmen.
Carol: I wonder why the big change.
Mike: Listen, maybe Mr. Martinelli could give us a clue.
Carol: I’d sure love to know what let the air out of Peter’s tires.
(Next, Peter is again at the park feeding the pigeons.)
Peter: You guys just don’t know how lucky you are to be pigeons. Nobody can fire you. You can get free food. But I can’t keep this up forever. Sooner or later I’ll have to tell my Mom and Dad. (He picks one pigeon up) No wonder you guys like me so much. You’re pigeons, and I’m a chicken.
(He hears the sound of a bell. He turns around and sees his parents on the new bikes they just bought. He tosses the pigeon.)
Peter: Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.
(They put their bikes down and join him.)
Mike: Uh, that’s pretty good for an old man.
Carol: Hey, you got any room on that bench for a woman my age?
(Peter moves over and they both sit down.)
Peter: I was just feeding the pigeons.
Mike: Peter, Mr. Martinelli just told us what happened?
Carol: And Greg filled us in on the rest.
Peter: Oh, I wanted to tell you, but I was too ashamed.
Carol: Peter, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Mike: Of course not, there’s no shame in being fired. I lost jobs.
Peter: You have?
Mike: Why, practically everybody has at one time or another.
Peter: But this was my first job, and I bombed out, only after three days.
Carol: Peter, Mr. Martinelli said you really tried. It’s just that, he didn’t think you were cut out for this particular job.
Mike: He thinks you’re a very bright young man.
Peter: Is that what he said? Honest?
Mike: Peter, you should’ve told us, hiding out in the park hasn’t helped anyone.
Carol: Ah, except maybe the pigeons.
Peter: Yeah, they kind of liked it.
Mike: Oh, by the way. (He reaches into his pocket and takes out a check) This is for you from Mr. Martinelli.
Peter: What for?
Carol: That’s your commission for the 2 bikes you talked us into buying.
Peter: But I tried to talk you out of buying them.
Mike: Well, you can’t help it if we’re stubborn.
Peter: You know something, I feel a lot better right now.
Carol: Good, so do we.
Mike: Listen, now that the whole family has bicycles, I know a great way to keep them from rusting away in the garage.
(We next see the entire family riding their bikes down the road, including Alice, who has training wheels. The scene fades.)
(The final scene has Mike working in his den. Bobby comes home in an excited mood.)
Bobby: Mom, Dad!
Mike: In here, Bob.
(Boby races into the den.)
Bobby: Dad, guess what?
Bobby: I got my own job, all by myself, I got my own job!
Mike: Hey, you did? (Bobby nodded) Hey, that’s great. What are you doing?
Bobby: Delivering newspapers before school.
Mike: Bob, you have to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to do that.
Bobby: Well, I don’t mind.
Mike: You have to go all over the neighborhood. You know, that’s miles.
Bobby: Well, I don’t mind.
Mike: Besides, you can’t do that on a bike. You have to have a car.
Bobby: I know.
Mike: Now you’re being silly. You can’t drive.
Bobby: No, but, you can.
(Mike looks at him very incredulously, then hits him on the head with a blueprint.)