By Terri Savage
When a mom works more and more to gain the attention, admiration and a possible promotion from her boss, her family pays the price. When confronted with a choice, what will she do?
Colossians 3:1-5, Ephesians 5:15-17
Jan Mabry - 30s to 40s
Dan Mabry - 30s to 40s
Susan - daughter, 10-12
Mr. Logan - (will be off set, but must have a voice to suggest age at least same or greater than the Mabry's)
(Jan is working on at her desk - she is the only one in the office. Her phone rings.)
Jan: Priority Financials, Jan speaking
Mr. Logan: So how's the next possible associate coming along?
Jan: Pretty good, Mr. Logan, I'm almost finished with the Stetson project. I'll be emailing the financials within 15 minutes.
Mr. Logan: Excellent! That'll really put me ahead of the game come Monday. Listen, there's one more project that I need your help on. I need you to complete it this weekend so that I can look it over before my meeting with our clients at noon on Monday. It's the Weaver account - and it's BIG! This one could land you that promotion!
Jan: Well, Mr. Logan, I'd love to help, but my daughter's birthday party is today and I've already missed part of it finishing up the Stetson account. I promised her I'd be there by 1:00.
Mr. Logan: I don't think you understand the significance of what I'm offering you, Ms. Mabry. You've been vying for Jr. position for 6 months now - you tell me you really want this, but yet you're rejecting an account that could possibly land you that position?
Jan: Okay Mr. Logan - I understand. I'll call my family and let them know I can't make it. (Hangs up with boss - calls home.)
Susan: Hello, Mabry residence.
Jan: Hi honey, Happy Birthday! How's the party going?
Susan: It's fine mom, but it'll be better when you get here. We've done some of the games, but I'm saving the 3-legged sack race until you get here. No one can beat us, mom - we're the best team ever!
Jan: Yeah honey, we're pretty good. Listen, I'm running behind here at work. I'm not sure how long it'll be before I get home.
Susan: But mom, you promised! You said you were almost done and that you'd be home by 1:00. Mom it's Saturday! And it's my birthday - can't that stuff wait!?
Jan: Honey, I know I promised, but sometimes things come up. Can I talk to your dad?
Susan: Sure - things seem to come up a lot lately.
Dan: Hi Hon - why does Susan seem so upset?
Jan: Mr. Logan called. I told him I was almost done with the Stetson project and he was very excited. But
Dan: What "But"?
Jan: He wants me to work on the Weaver account - it's big. He told me this one could land me the promotion.
Dan: That's what he's been telling you for 6 months. When is enough going to be enough?
Jan: Don't start in on me, Dan. I supported you when you were going for your promotion and it took you MUCH longer!
Dan: Yeah, and our family life suffered for it.
Jan: It was a sacrifice that I didn't understand at time, but it paid off. You're now an executive and have more time at home.
Dan: That's because I finally listened to you and realized that my priorities weren't right and gave them an ultimatum. They finally saw things my way and now I work a somewhat normal schedule.
Jan: So is that what you're giving me - an ultimatum? It's always YOUR way - what suits you. What about me? I'm good at what I do and I deserve the respect, recognition and position I'm shooting for here. Why can't I have the time to prove myself like you did?
Dan: Do you really want to get into that again?
Jan: No, I don't - I have things to do. I'll talk to you later. (Pause) I just don't understand. It's okay for everyone else to go after their dreams - but it's just too much to ask if it's for me. I've worked hard throughout the years, and I stayed home for a long time while he chased after his dream. You'd think he'd be a little more understanding and supportive! Sure I gave him a hard time for a while about priorities, but that's just because I didn't understand how important it is to be somebody in the financial world. I thought family time was everything, and yeah, family IS important, but so is making your mark in the world. I was the only one around when Susan was little; it's time he pays his family dues. Besides, it's not like I don't see them. And it's not like Susan is a baby anymore - she's 12 now. Practically a teenager! Pretty soon she'll be out on her own making her own mark. What kind of example will I be if I quit now?
(Gets back to work: then in comes Dan and Susan)
Jan: What're you doing here? Isn't your party still going on?
Susan: Yeah, they're still there - but you're not.
Jan: Don't you think it's a little irresponsible to leave your guests alone at your own party?
Susan: I guess so - but mom I really want you to be there.
Dan: Honey - I don't want to argue, we just want to be with you. So we figured that if you can't leave, we'd come to you. It's important to Susan that she spends a little time with her mom on her birthday.
Susan: Mom, I love you.
(Phone rings. When Jan reaches for the phone, Dan puts his hand on top of hers and speaks his lines. It's really effective if he says the first and second part between rings)
Dan: We'll wait in the lobby . For few minutes (Dan and Susan leave, but stay downstage. Dan should be comforting Susan while they wait)
Jan: Priority Financials, Jan speaking.
Mr. Logan: So, how's the Weaver project coming?
Jan: Slow. I just don't see how I can finish this in your timeline.
Mr. Logan: Well that's disappointing. Perhaps I should give this account to Ted - he claims he wants the promotion even more than you do. I doubted that for awhile, but maybe he does want it more.
Jan: Mr. Logan, it's not that I don't want it. Trust me - I want it more than anything, but my family's suffering because I'm never home and I just feel so torn.
Mr. Logan: I questioned your interest at first Ms. Mabry due to your family obligations, but you assured me your priorities were in the right place. Why don't you take a minute and decide what you really want. Call me back. If I don't hear from you in ten minutes I'll call Ted.
Jan: Alright Mr. Logan - I'll call you back.
(Stands up, looks off towards family then back at desk)
Jan: Priorities - Right.
Copyright Terri Savage, all rights reserved.
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