Gail puts her head around the office door, holding a carton of milk. She's making a drink. Paul is smiling as he gets some money from the safe.
GAIL: Dad always says a man is only as good as his mind.
PAUL: Well, there's one thing to be said about that, at least you know where you stand.
GAIL: (coming in with her drink): Just the same, I wish he wouldn't speak his so often!
Paul sits at his desk and Gail sits opposite him.
PAUL: (fiddling with some papers) You're not still embarrassed about his offer to service the limos are you?
GAIL: I am about the way he did it. If Dad were a delegate to the UN, there'd be little piles of radioactive dust where you and I are sitting now. (Hand gestures the radioactive dust as Paul laughs.) I just hope you don't think I put him up to it, that's all.
PAUL: No, it lacked your finesse. It lacked any finesse, for that matter. (Gail pulls a face.) Anyway, it's worth considering. As far as I've heard he's a bit a whizz with cars.
GAIL: Oh, he is good with cars. It's people he finds a problem!
PAUL: (picks up money and keys and gets up): Well, as far as his offer is concerned, Gail, I'll do what I've done with everyone else's, compare it with the rest. Simple as that.
GAIL: Money talks, eh.
PAUL: (shaking his money-bag at her): Ha-ha. My favourite language!
Rob, in his own inimitable style, is trying to chat up Madge, who is wearing that lilac dress. She is distinctly unimpressed, but cracks a smile in the end. As Rob asks if he can leave some pamphlets on the bar, Paul arrives and introduces Rob to Madge formally.
Rob is talking to Paul at the bar. Rob asks Paul what he wants and he replies that he can be a bit of a driver on business himself. He says that things have been a bit quiet lately and Rob asks, Drinkers, you mean? Paul agrees and asks if Rob would try and persuade his friends, who usually drink at the Royal, to come to the waterhole. Rob says he'll give it a go, if Paul will give him free rein with his leaflets. Paul agrees, asking if he wants to shake hands or scratch backs. Rob says he doesn't shake hands. He's a man of his word. He tosses some leaflets onto the bar, picks up his black folder and leaves while Paul smiles.
MADGE: Quite a character, isn't he.
PAUL: Yeah. That's one way of describing him. (He grins) I wouldn't have thought he was your type, though, Madge.
MADGE: Really? So what exactly is my type?
(looks smug) Harold, perhaps?
MADGE: (moving away to clear and wipe tables) Do you mind if we change the subject?
PAUL: (turning) Is there something wrong? He came in this morning and cancelled his application to lease the shop.
MADGE: Harold may be leaving Erinsborough.
PAUL: Ah. I thought something was amiss. Seemed so keen to start with, too.
MADGE: (dryly) Yes, didn't he.
PAUL: Come on. Chin up. We can't have you watering down the beer, can we.
Madge moves back to the bar as Paul turns to leave. Meanwhile, Rob has been touting for business, and comes back to Paul. He asks if Paul has had time to consider the other thing yet. Paul admits he hasn't. He explains that he has a convention due in and suggests that Rob rings him next week and they'll discuss it. Rob, looking downcast, says that's ok. Paul leaves.
Rob turns to Madge, who is behind the bar, drying glasses. He says that he was thinking of coming back in a while for a counter lunch and asks of she will still be on duty then.
MADGE: If you're lucky.
ROB: I'll look forward to it, love.
He gives her a wink and a click of the tongue and leaves as Madge gives him a sour look and says that she is not his love or anybody else's for that matter.
Eileen (wearing a cotton dress in narrow pastel stripes and a narrow collar) is on the phone, unaware that Mrs Mangel (wearing a cotton dress with broad pastel stripes and a big collar) is listening in with an interested expression on her face.
EILEEN: Oh Daphne, I am so pleased that he is safe (pause to listen) Oh! How awful for him! (Pause) Has he got clean underwear?
Gail comes in (wearing a neat navy suit and orange blouse) and Eileen turns at her footsteps, but continues her phone conversation with Daphne.
MRS MANGEL: (in a smarmy voice) Oh. Hello, Miss Lewis. I do hate to be ignored, don't you? I asked Eileen for an iced water three and a half minutes ago.
GAIL: (smiling) I'm sure she won't be long.
MRS MANGEL: What a lovely smile. It's a pity that a nice girl like you has to work for a tyrant like Paul Robinson.
GAIL: I wouldn't say he's a tyrant. I enjoy working for him.
MRS MANGEL: But you're a tenderfoot really, aren't you. Just wait until you've been savagely retrenched, like me.
Eileen says, Bye-bye Daphne., hangs up and turns to the ladies. She unties her apron and asks Gail if she will look after the shop for her, as they have found Des and he's safe. She hands Gail her apron, which she takes, saying that it's terrific news. As Eileen dashes off, she says that she can only stay for half an hour and she doesn't know any of the prices. Eileen says it's ok they are all on the menus. As Eileen dashes back round the counter, Gail says she'd love to help but she really has to
EILEEN: You really wouldn't come between a mother and the son she thought she'd lost forever, would you?
GAIL: (resigned) Well, seeing as you put it that way, I
MRS MANGEL: (interrupting in a loud voice) Eileen!
EILEEN: What is it, Nell?
MRS MANGEL: I can take over the shop for you. I'm free this afternoon. I expect to be paid, of course.
EILEEN: (tucks her glasses into her bag and comes back round the counter as Gail watches, amazed) Would you? Oh that's wonderful. You see, I must see Desmond.
MRS MANGEL: What happened to hi ..
EILEEN: Later, Nell, later! (Her voice fades as she is moving away) It's a long story!
MRS Mangel: People rely on me for information at a time like this and
Gail hands her the apron.
Jim comes through the front door using old-fashioned arm-pit T crutches . He's wearing a loose blue shirt and blue trousers with one leg split to accommodate the plaster encasing his broken leg. Helen follows and as he reaches the sofa and is about to sit down, she asks if he's all right.
JIM: (impatiently) I'm fine, just fine.
Helen moves behind the sofa, and puts two cushions behind Jim's back as he sits down with a deep groan.
HELEN: Well I hope you're not going to insist on complete independence. The doctor said that you need lots of rest and I intend to see that you do.
JIM: He didn't mean that you had to molly-coddle me to death. (He grimaces as he sits back)
HELEN: (leaning forward, her arms on the back of the sofa) Well, you're not exactly Speedy Gonzales on those crutches, and whether you like it or not, your body has undergone a lot of punishment. The trouble is, you don't realise that.
She moves round the other end of the sofa and bends to pick up something from the floor.
JIM: The trouble is, Lucy's away and you need some sort of infernal outlet for your maternal instincts.
HELEN: (sitting down and gathering up the crutches) Well you and Des can thank your lucky stars that you've come out of this little escapade without more damage.
JIM: (wiping his hand across his face) I know. If it hadn't been for me, Des wouldn't have been in an escapade at all and Daphne would have been spared all the worry.
HELEN: (still holding the crutches) Yes. Well, you're both home safe now. And that's the way Daphne and I would like it to stay. And (wags her finger at Jim) no more talk of long distance runs or at least, until you've recovered from the last one.
Jim, looking fed up with himself, doesn't reply.
Des (like Jim, dressed in pale blue shirt and dark blue trousers, though his shirt is tucked in) has just arrived home and he and Daphne (in black trousers and a short-sleeved purple overall top with purple and white striped collar and sleeve trim) are in a tight embrace. Daphne lets him go.
DAPHNE: You'll need to take it easy for a while. I wish you'd stayed in hospital a little longer for observation like you were told.
She arranges cushions in an armchair as he moves towards it and groans. He sits down and she sits on the arm of his chair.
DES: There's no way I was gonna spend another minute in there more than I had to. I just wanna'd to get home and see you as fast as I could. (They kiss)
DAPHNE: Come hell or high water, eh?
DES: Oh, very funny, Daph.
DAPHNE: I'm sorry. It's not a laughing matter, I know. You must'a been scared outta your wits, being stuck in that creek all night.
DES: No creek. (He gets up). More like a raging torrent to me.
He is wandering round, touching things while Daphne watches.
DES: I was lucky to find a rock stuck out in the middle. Once I got outta the water, there wa now ay I was gonna get back into it again. (sits on the other arm of the chair) so I could reach the other side of the shore. Then it got dark n that was it. Took me till morning to pluck up the courage to risk it.
DAPHNE: (putting her hands on his shoulders) I thought you couldn't swim?
DES: Oh, I know how to, technically. I'm just scared to get outta my depth.
DAPHNE: I think you're very brave.
She kisses him on his cheek. They get up and put arms round each other's waists and wander round.
DES: You would't ha' said that if you'd seen me last night, sitting on that rock and shivering like a loony.
DAPHNE: Yes I would. You were prepared to go through all that for Jim. That's brave enough for me. Come on. Let's get you to bed.
Just as they approach the door, the front door opens and Eileen comes bursting in, carrying her handbag and a large round dish covered with a red and white checked cloth..
EILEEN: (at the top of her voice) Yoo-hoo!!! Desmond!!!
Des's face says it all
EILEEN: Ah. There you are. I have been out of my mind
DES: (has his hands in his pockets and his back to her) So have I, Mum.
EILEEN: (grabs his arm) well come over here and sit down. I've got you some chicken soup. I stopped by my unit on my way back from the Coffee Shop. I always keep chicken soup in the freezer. I'll heat it up for you in just a minute. Hello, Daphne.
As she talked and walked, Des moved and sat on the couch while Daphne watched, arms folded.
DAPHNE: (looking at Des) My hero.
The Coffee Shop.
Over the top of the coffee machine we see Madge come in.
MADGE: Oh, hello, Daphne. Preparing for the hungry hordes I suppose? Isn't it awful? I was just gonna have a cup of coffee myself.
She is about to sit on a high stool as Mrs Mangel straightens up from behind the coffee machine.
MRS MANGEL: Mrs Mitchell.
MADGE: (accusatory) What are you doing here?
MRS MANGEL: (moving to clear a table) Eileen was on duty, but she had to rush off. She needed someone capable to fill in and of course, she thought of me, instantly.
MADGE: (bridling) I'm surprised that even your good friend Eileen would consider giving you any responsibility. In fact, I'm surprised you've got any friends left, the way you back-stab people.
MRS MANGEL: How dare you! After the way you slandered me to Mrs Daniels yesterday
MADGE: (interrupting) I said nothing that wasn't true.
MRS Mangel: (supercilious) Mr Bishop knows all about you. I've seen to that (looks at Madge through half-closed eyes)
for his own good.
MADGE: Well. It's high time you realised that you're cutting your own throat.
MRS MANGEL: Poppycock!!!
MADGE: For your information, Mrs Mangel, Harold is reconsidering his decision to stay in Erinsborough. He's already cancelled the lease on the shop.
MRS MANGEL: But
he's said nothing to me.
MADGE: Whatcha gonna do for money without your job and your star boarder? Serves you right.
She walks round the table and leaves Mrs Mangel looking troubled.
Paul (in shirt and tie, no jacket) and Gail are sitting opposite each other at Paul's desk. Gail throws down her pen and puts her hands up behind her head.
GAIL: Phew. We've finally got everything ship-shape.
PAUL: (getting up to put a file away) Yeah, well I hope Mr Elliott appreciates all the trouble we've gone to.
GAIL: (also getting up with a file) Look, he'll love it. Lassiter's is the perfect place for his convention.
PAUL: Yeah. But from what I hear, though, the guy's a bit of a perfectionist. He's gonna want to see the laundry, the bathrooms, the kitchens
GAIL: That's a bit over the top, isn't it?
PAUL: (returning to his desk and sitting down) Ah, apparently he's pretty fussy.
GAIL: (resting her hands on the edge of the desk). Look, I defy anyone to tell me that this isn't the most organised hotel they've ever seen. And if Mr Elliott wants to be picky, I'll just have to turn on my legendary charm.
PAUL: H-ho. Modest, aren't we.
GAIL: (demonstrating her point) You learn to smile a lot when you're an air hostess.
PAUL: (sitting back and looking smug) And you do it extremely well, Miss Lewis. I think Mr Elliott won't fail to be impressed with you, anyway.
Gail is on her feet, holding a black folder. She smiles and wiggles her fingers at him and leaves Paul with a big grin on his face.
Dean, in his kitchen blues (including chef's tall hat!) is sitting at a table, doing paperwork. Madge brings him a drink, but spills some of it. Dean is not impressed and Madge goes to fetch a cloth to wipe it up and to top up his glass.
MADGE: Honestly, five minutes with that woman and I'm a shattered wreck.
DEAN (absentmindedly, his eyes still on his work): What woman?
MADGE: Oh, Mrs Mangel, of course. (Brings his drink over) Anyway, at least she doesn't work here any more. I don't know how you coped with her, sniffing around the kitchens all the time.
DEAN (looking up, peering over his large specs): I didn't. When she started interfering with the food I complained to Mr Robinson, but I'd no idea he'd give her the sack.
MADGE: I wouldn't worry about it, if I were you.
DEAN: Ye-as. But she is pretty hard up for cash, from all she used to say.
MADGE: Yes, but she's only got herself to blame for being fired. Do you know that she blabbed to some sleazy magazine about Paul's private life? No wonder he hit the roof.
ROB (seated at another table): You reckon? I'm sorry, but I couldn't help overhearing. I think the old duck got the rough end of the stick, m'self.
MADGE (who does not look convinced): Thank you very much for you opinion, Mr Lewis, but you don't know anything about it. She deserved everything she got.
ROB (indignant): What, for telling stories out of school? If that made that a law, every woman on this planet'd be behind bars!
Dean laughs and acknowledges the truth of this with a raised hand.
ROB: Anyway, my daughter Gail reckons that Mrs Mangel was one of the best housekeepers that Lassiter's ever had. She shouldn't have got the sack at all if her work was all right.
MADGE: You'll have to excuse me. I've heard enough of this nonsense.
She walks back to the bar as Rob gets up and crosses to Dean, who takes a sip of his drink. Rob pulls out a chair and asks Dean if he works at Lassiter's. Dean says he does Cordon Bleu chef. Rob's impressed.
ROB: I'd watch out if I were you. Doesn't seem much in the way of job security round here, does there.
Dean sits back and looks at Rob, a thoughtful look on his face.
Helen, wearing a bright green blouse and blue patterned skirt, carries a tray across to Jim, who is sitting on the couch. She puts it across his lap and sinks to her knees beside him.
HELEN: There you go. Are you going to eat it all up like a good boy, or would you like me to cut it up for you?
JIM: I can manage perfectly well on my own, thankyou very much.
Helen smiles, gets to her feet and heads back towards the kitchen, leaving Jim with a plate of cheese salad. The doorbell rings. Helen asks, in an odd tone, if she should go, or if Jim wants to get it. Jim sighs and moves to put down the tray, but Helen answers the door to des and Daphne. They exchange greetings as Des and Daphne walk across to Jim.
HELEN: You gave us quite a fright there for a while oh, do sit down.
DES: I gave myself quite a fright. (points) How's the leg, mate?
JIM: Ah, fine. How are you feeling?
DES (looking very sheepish): Err, embarrassed. Having to be rescued like that, I wasn't much help to you out there.
JIM (hesitantly): Only because someone else found me before you could get help. I thought you were great out there, Des, just great.
HELEN (as Des smiles): It's a lovely feeling to know that you have friends who will go through all that for you. But I do hope that you intend to spare us any more silly rivalry, you two?
DAPHNE: Des is all for that. (nudges him) Aren't you, Des.
JIM: (as Helen looks at him as if to give a cue): Well, don't look at me. I couldn't run if I wanted to. Anyway, I wouldn't put you through it again.
HELEN: (bounces on her seat on the arm of the couch) Oh! Why not join us for dinner? There isn't a pack of cards in the house.
DAPHNE: We'd love to.
HELEN. Let's call it a celebration dinner. Err, shall we have
Oh! Roast chicken. (Des groans) Des, are you all right? You don't feel ill, do you?
Des is looking sick and Daphne is laughing as she explains that Eileen has just fed him half a gallon of chicken soup. Clapping Des onn the knee she assures Helen that he will be find by dinner time. They all laugh.
Madge is clearing glasses and Rob is still talking with Dean.
ROB: The trouble is, mate, some of the fundamental rules of trades unionism are being completely overlooked here. You've gotta learn to stand up for yourselves.
DEAN (quietly, as Madge comes closer): You think so?
ROB: I KNOW so. I worked for these big companies for years
MADGE (interrupting): Don't listen to him, Dean. Paul might be a tough businessman but he's never been anything else but reasonable where my employment's concerned.
ROB: Which isn't far at all, if you ask me.
MADGE: Nobody asked you. Nell Mangel had it coming to her.
DEAN: I'm not so sure about that, Madge. Well, even though we had those arguments about the food supplies, she was only trying to save Mr Robinson some money.
ROB: Of course she was. And look at the thanks she got.
DEAN: Y'know, when you think about it, Mrs Mangel didn't get much of a fair go.
MADGE: (impatiently) Oh, don't be ridiculous! You of all people should k now what an old troublemaker she is.
DEAN: Maybe, but a hard-working one, just the same. (Gets up a little stiffly and picks up his papers and calculator). I've got to get back to work. (Holds out his hand to Rob) Nice to meet you, Rob.
ROB: (shaking the proffered hand) Likewise, mate. Thanks for the beers.
DEAN: You're welcome. See ya, Madge. (He leaves).
MADGE: Bye, Dean. (To Rob, who is sipping his beer) You're a troublemaker, too.
ROB: Me? What've I done?
MADGE: Made trouble for your daughter, probably. Dean was hard enough to get along with anyway, without you getting into his ear.
ROB: (wheedling) Oh, come on, Madge. I'm not such a bad bloke. (Stands, and Madge backs slightly) What're you doing when you knock off?
MADGE: Not going anywhere with you, that's for sure.
ROB: (follows her to the bar, laughing) Woo-hoo. You're even more beautiful when you're angry.
Madge slaps the bar and he jumps back.
Mrs Mangel, holding a tin, walks to answer the door, sighing. She greets Dean with, Oh. It's you. and tells him that it's a terribly inconvenient time to call as she is just about to scrub the bath. He steps in as he greets her and says, quietly that he was very sorry to hear that she lost her job.
MRS MANGEL: Were you indeed?
DEAN: (speaking earnestly and quietly) Yes. I feel that Mr Robinson treated you quite unfairly.
MRS MANGEL: Do you?
DEAN: Yes, I do. I was hoping that you might have a minute to discuss it, you know, worker to worker?
MRS MANGEL: In that case, you'd better come in and make yourself comfortable.
They have hot drinks and Mrs Mangel offers him a biscuit. There are two on a large dinner plate, and as he takes one she explains that they are not very nice, but she can't afford the chocolate ones any more. Den puts the biscuit back on the palte and says that he feels terrible about her losing her job.
MRS MANGEL: If I'd only realised what that dreadful reporter was up to! I don't mean to cause Mr Robinson any embarrassment.
DEAN: Of course you didn't, Mrs Mangel. He had no right to fire you.
MRS MANGEL: He's a hard man. Never mind that I've struggled a lifetime and he's only just beginning his. Huh! I bet he can afford any sort of chocolate biscuits he wants. (She takes a sip of her tea)
DEAN: (getting quite heated as he plonks down his mug) Oh! I think this is on e of the most unfair things that I've ever heard of.
MRS MANGEL: I do so appreciate your concern, Mr Bartholomew, especially as we used to be such (pauses) adversaries
DEAN: (interrupting) Oh, no, no, Mrs Mangel. Forget that. Personal differences shouldn't come into it and they shouldn't have come into it when you were fired, either. Ermm
I've already spoken to some of our other staff and they're with us all the way, you know.
MRS MANGEL: Really? Oh, I knew they would be, I ..
DEAN: Well, it could be any of our jobs next! In fact I'm going to go and see Mr High and Mighty Robinson right now! (Slaps his thighs as he gets to his feet) See if we can't do something about getting yours back, eh?
MRS Mangel: (as they head towards the door) Oh, bravo, Mr Bartholomew. Bravo.
DEAN: I'll let you know how I get on (they shake hands) Goodbye, Mrs Mangel.
MRS MANGEL: Thankyou so much.
DEAN: It's a pleasure.
MRS MANGEL: Bye, now. Bye.
(Dean turns to go as Eileen comes in, and they bump into each other.)
DEAN: Oh, hello!
EILEEN: Oh, hello.
He leaves and Mrs Mangel says Eileen had better come in.
EILEEN: Nell, wasn't that the chef from Lassiters?
MRS Mangel: (coyly) That's right.
EILEEN: What's going on, Nell?
MRS MANGEL: All in good time. (She bends to pick up the large plate with its two sad biscuits) How about a pot of tea and some chocolate biscuits?
Dean is with Paul, and Gail is working in the background. Both men are standing, leaning across Paul's desk, voices raised.
PAUL: I do not believe you! One minute you're calling her a meddlesome old boiler and the next minute, you're treating her like the Queen Mother!
DEAN: She's a defenceless, destitute woman, and she was the best housekeeper you ever had. You couldn't find anything wrong with her work so you fired her on some stupid pretext! (In the background, Gail is looking anxious). It's not on, Mr Robinson, the staff won't stand for it.
PAUL: Well the staff can keep the hell out of it. I can hire and fire whoever I want.
DEAN: I'd like to re
PAUL (in a real paddy now, stalks to the door): Why don't you go and do something constructive like the job I pay you to do?
Dean stands at the desk, back to Paul, hands in pockets and swaying slightly.
PAUL (standing holding the door open): Dean, you haven't been in the kitchen all afternoon. Now Mrs Mangel has been fired and that is the end of it.
DEAN: we'll see about that.
He turns and leaves, without looking at Paul, who returns to his desk with a sigh and stands fiddling with some papers. Gail clears her throat quietly and moves towards him.
GAIL: Aren't you worried about having Dean on the warpath so close to the convention?
PAUL: Nope. He's all right. He's always in here complaining, but he always gets his work done.
GAIL: Don't you think it might have been wiser to have been a little more
PAUL: (face screwed up with frustration, shouts) No! I do not!!! (More quietly) Look, when is everyone going to learn that I am the boss here?
GAIL: (intently, but not sorry at all) Sorry I spoke. (If looks could kill
She turns and leaves the office. Paul, very frustrated, moves across to the door and slams it closed.
Helen answers the door to Rob, who comes in with a cheery, G'day, Helen., to which Helen replies with a very dry, Rob
Rob sits down and Helen comes to stand in front of him.
HELEN: We weren't expecting you.
ROB: Heard about Jim's little accident. Thought he could use a little bit of the old neck oil and a friendly face to cheer him up.
HELEN: Yes, well he hasn't been home long and the doctor said he has to get some rest
JIM:(off screen, interrupting Helen) That you Rob? (Comes in on his crutches)
ROB: G'day, Matey. Been in the wars?
JIM: Yeah. You could say that. Got through Vietnam without a scratch
ROB: (interrupting) Only physically, mate. We all bear the scars of war.
HELEN: (bends to pick up the half-case of beer) Well if you two old war horses will excuse me, I have a dinner party to organise.
Rob calls after her, No worries! as Jim sits on the opposite couch with a deep sigh. He catches the beer that Rob tosses to him and thanks him as he puts his crutches aside. He asks what brings Rob. Rob replies that he's taken the afternoon off.
ROB: They brought Des Clarke's car in this arvo. Left a mechanic working on it. Nasty business, that.
JIM: Certainly was. The police are trying to find the culprits now.
ROB: Yeah, I hope they nail em to the wall. By the way, you don't know that, er, barmaid from, er, Lassiter's, do ya? Madge?
JIM (after sipping his beer): Yeah. I've known her for years. She lives next door, as a matter of fact. Why?
ROB: Ah. Well I hope she's nicer to you than what she was to me today. I mean, she's not a bad sort, but can she let fly!
JIM: (sounding surprised) She can, but she's usually pretty good. Sure you didn't do something to upset her? Cause a scene at the pub, or something?
ROB: (bridling):Me? Never! You know me, mate. I'm no stirrer.
Jim looks at him quizzically over his beer can.
Paul is donning his jacket as he walks across the office towards Gail who is perching on the computer table.
PAUL: OK. Now I want your critical opinion. How do I look?
GAIL: (points to a spot just below the knot of his tie) What's that? (Paul looks down and she flips her finger up to his nose and laughs). Perfect. Every inch the fastidious businessman.
GAIL: (arms folded, smiling) Mr Elliott will take one look at you and demand to sign on the dotted line immediately.
The door opens and Madge comes in.
MADGE: Paul, I'm sorry to barge in, but I thought you should know. Dean's been stirring up the staff.
PAUL: Oh, what's he done now?
MADGE: Called a stop work meeting. Something about job security. Oh, I didn't go, of course.
PAUL: But when did all of this happen?
MADGE: (twisting her hands together) About half an hour ago. I would have let you know earlier, but your line was busy and I couldn't get away from the bar till now.
PAUL: Ah, well, thanks for letting me know, Madge. (walks purposefully towards the door) I'll go and sort this mess out once and for all.
Dean comes in as Paul comes out.
PAUL: Ah, Dean I want to talk to you.
DEAN: I need to inform you that the staff has taken a vote. We don't like the way you've dealt with Mrs Mangel.
PAUL: (unaware that Madge and Gail are now watching from the door) You're lucky that I don't sack the lot of you! Look, I haven't got time for this and neither have you. (as his voice rises, Gail looks anxious) This convention starts tomorrow. Mr Elliott's gonna be here in a few minutes to check things out and why don't you get back to work?
DEAN: (quiet, determined): Will you reconsider your decision on Mrs Mangel?
DEAN: In that case, we don't care if you have a convention or not. As of now, the entire Lassiter's staff is officially on strike.
He turns to leave, while Paul and Gail look shocked.