Toll House Tales: All Fired Up -102

Glimpse at Cube Dweller Life

Glimpse at a cube dweller’s life.

Now a visit to the ordinary world… In this case, the day job at TechCo.  This is where we get our first glimpse at what the Journal Writer has been encountering on a daily basis.


The door of the TechCo building opens and the camera, once again POV the Journal Writer, follows her as she navigates the lobby and hallway to her office.

Note: We still haven’t seen her. What we’ve learned about her so far is from her writing and the sound of her voice. The lobby receptionist greets her (that’s when we learn what the -F sign-off in her journal stands for).

(in fake Irish brogue)

Hey, Fran! Top of the morning to ya! How are you today?

Before a response is heard, the motor-mouthed receptionist continues.


Are those what I think they are? (answering herself) A tin full of the most amazing cookies ever made?  You must get your friend to share her recipe–

POV Camera shows hand opening up the cookie tin and holding it towards the receptionist for her to help herself.


Thank you! Thank you! This will for sure help me get through the
day… or at least the morning.


This is where we get a look at who the Journal Writer is…via a reflection in the window of the lobby door.  In a bit of funny business, Fran pulls on the door and it won’t open. Surprised, she looks back at the receptionist who reminds her (by motioning) to swipe her card key.  So Fran (has that ‘oh yeah’ realization look on her face) as she frantically searches for her key and nearly gets smushed by someone leaving. She puts her toe in the door to keep it propped open and lets herself inside.


Card keys are so over-rated! (she says to herself)

Now we see Fran, the Journal Writer, moving quickly down the hallway. She is dressed in the upper end of business casual (nice trousers, and a matching twin-set top with comfortable, Franco Sarto shoes). The sound of her PDA’s alarm can be heard coming from the direction of her briefcase. In her mind, she’s seeing (and hearing) one of those emergency vehicles navigating narrow European streets— eeee–uuuuu-

(again speaking to herself)

I know, I know. I’m coming…

She races past the cubicle of DOOGIE, a mid-thirties writer/editor in the marcom department (mentioned in the Journal), before getting to her own.


She throws her briefcase, cookie tin down on the visitor’s chair and shakes the mouse to wake up her computer.

(again speaking to herself)

That saved me 10 minutes of a ridiculously long boot-up process.

She puts her headset on and punches up her voicemail, while scanning her e-mail in parallel.


Pull back to see that Doogie is peering over the wall, watching Fran and smiling. He is amused at her disheveled appearance and at how harried she seems. Patiently, he watches until he sees his break.


Reading the message on the computer screen and hearing it simultaneously on her headset, Fran stands up and casts her headset aside. It slides to the floor with a “thunk.”


Hey sister! That’s company equipment you’re flinging about.
You know that’s frowned upon. I might have to put you under
citizen’s arrest–for willful destruction of…

Fran looks over smiles and cuts him off.


You know I was just seeing if it’ll pass the drop test.


Yeah right… (pause) So what’s going on? Did they do it to you again?


Of course. What else is new? I’m beginning to believe that this was written into my job description– like with an asterisk — leading to tiny print that I must have somehow missed.


With your attention span, I’m surprised that you even made it through the offer letter, much less the job description.

Fran takes a NERF ball from the open file drawer in her desk and throws it in Doogie’s direction. He catches it and tries to wing it back in one smooth motion– but fails. The ball lands on the chair where the briefcase and cookie tin are.

Before Fran can say anything about Doogie’s throwing skills he notices the cookie tin.


Are those what I think they are?

Before she could answer, his head has disappeared from the top of the cubicle and, like magic, he’s standing in Fran’s cubicle. Trying to play it cool, he’s carrying the Sports page from Monday.


Here. I saved this for you. I know this is two days late, but you’ve been so busy, I figured you didn’t have time for baseball talk. He hands her the sports section. She quickly flips through it and opens to the page with the stats. She scans the box scores for the last games of the season and shakes her head.


So they lost to the dreaded Braves (pause) yet again. You can’t say that wasn’t expected…  Look on the bright side— Didn’t they finish 2nd in the Division?


Let’s see. They finished 18 games back. Lost the last 5 games of the
season and are 0-6 at Turner Field. What’s to celebrate?


My Gigantes lost to the Cubbies in a one-game playoff for the wildcard
spot on Monday . You don’t see me crying in my coffee, do ya?


That’s because secretly, you LOVE the Cubbies and are hoping that
they’ll make it to the World Series.

He starts to get defensive and then looks at Fran, who’s smiling at him, and he starts laughing.


Ah! You know me too well. Ever since my college roommate told me
that “Billy Goat” story, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the Cubbies– and justified it because they weren’t divisional rivals.

Curse of the BIlly Goat

Curse of the Billy Goat


Don’t suppose you’ve got today’s Sports section with you by any
chance? Doogie points back at his cubicle. Fran laughs.


So you have today’s with you, and you are tormenting me with Monday’s?


Oh, you mean you actually care about David Wells pitching a shutout for the Yankees and Kevin Brown pitching 2-hitter enabling the Padres to take one from the Astros?


Nah. I heard that on the radio on my way in. I just wanted…

(finishes her sentence)

… to see what time the games were on today. Yeah right. Like you…
“Ms. Oh So Busy” … would seriously even make the time to
tune in.

Fran is looking around for something else to throw at Doogie when he reaches over and plucks the Nerf ball from the chair and makes like he’s going to throw it to her.  Fran feigns that she’s scared and then grabs her jacket and teases Doogie bullfighter style.


Here. I’ll give you a bigger target.

Just then, Fran’s phone rings.


And that concludes this morning’s fun and games. Back to work you!
(he says playfully)

Fran quietly sits down, puts on her headset and talks to the caller. Doogie exits and then moments later, his head pops up over the cubicle wall again. Fran sees him but tries to stay focused on the call.

Doogie motions to the cookie tin and signals that he’d like one for himself (pointing to the tin, holding up his index fingers, and then pointing to himself). Fran smiles and waves. Within seconds, Doogie is back in her cubicle. He quietly slips the top off the tin and pauses to admire the cookies before helping himself. He replaces the lid and slowly backs out of the cubicle…and nearly bumps into JULIE, who is racing by.

Doogie recovers and gives Julie an “admirer’s look.”

Fran observes this and is shaking her head. Just then, she hears the ping of her EMAIL and looks over at her computer. Smiling, she rolls her chair into a more comfortable position and starts typing a response.


>> Watch for Toll House Tales: All Fired Up -103.

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