Enron by Lucy Prebble

Scene 7: Skilling's Office

Skilling is watching the financial news.
Roe I've been trying to avoid you.
Skilling Well. This is my office.
Roe Yeah. Maybe it was the wrong place to come.
Skilling turns the sound down on the television.
Skilling You probably want Ken's office. It's just down the hall.
Roe Come on.
Skilling Have you seen the stock price today?
Roe I see it every day. I see it in the elevator, I see it on the walls. I see it on my desk.
Skilling nods.
Roe I said to people, wait, just wait, the shine'll wear off, the bubble's gonna burst folks. And … a year goes by, two. But I keep saying it because, if I stop, it's bound to happen and the worst thing would be to not be able to say I told you so.
Skilling Well, I'm sure you've got more class than that.
Roe I don't. I don't think you do either. Go on, you can say it.
She waits for him to say it.
Skilling It's not about that.
Roe Oh come on! I know what you guys call my division on your biking weekends in Mexico.
Skilling That's traders. I don't call it that.
Roe Tits Industries. It's not even clever. At least it used to be … what did it used to be?
Skilling I don't know.
Roe You know.
Skilling Skank of America.
She nods. Beat.
Roe Anyways. I came by to say an old friend of mine from college emailed. He's a professor at Harvard now. He used to drink his own urine for a dare by the way. Now he's a professor. Still. He asked if I could put him in touch with you. They want to use Enron as one of the business models they teach.
Skilling At Harvard?
Roe Yeah.
Skilling Really?
Roe He said I must be proud.
Skilling Give him my number.
Roe I did. Just don't ask him for the stories about me.
Skilling I heard about your party for the opening of the plant at Dabhol.
Roe It was a great party.
Skilling You hired an elephant.
Roe Shame you couldn't make it.
Skilling I don't have time to jet off to your consolation prize in India. I'm running a company here.
Roe Ouch.
Skilling You know the whole thing was a coward's way of getting things done.
Roe I had to go to Ken. You wouldn't have. Every time I look at my assets there's less of 'em. You're selling everything I have!
Skilling That's not true.
Roe It is! I'm running a division which isn't expanding, it's not even contracting, it's having its balls cut off.
Skilling That's business!
Roe It's your business.
Skilling Damn right it is!
Roe I'm fighting to survive here!
Skilling Either I'm running this company or Ken is.
Roe You should tell him that.
Skilling I do! He just … nods and … gives me a cigar!
Roe It's his company.
Skilling It's the shareholders' company.
Roe You need smart people around. To disagree with you.
Skilling I don't know if Ken is the smartest guy ever to run a company or the dumbest motherfucker in the world.
Roe I meant me. You need me around to disagree with you.
Skilling Do I?
Roe Yeah. You look good, by the way.
Skilling I … You mean I lost weight.
Roe Sure, but. You know three guys in my division got Laseks on their eyes after you. Can't find a soul in the building with glasses now. Everyone's copying Daddy.
Skilling It works.
Roe It's not dangerous?
Skilling Well, I don't know, Claud, I guess. It's lasers in your eyes.
She uses this as an excuse to look into his eyes.
She's deliberately close to his face. She puts her hands on his face.
Roe Have you ever failed at anything, Jeffrey Skilling?
Skilling Don't. I don't think that's / (a very good idea).
Roe I'm not.
Beat. Skilling closes his eyes. He leans in.
Just then, over her shoulder, Skilling spots a massive graphic flash up on the screen showing the financial news – 'ENRON!'
Skilling spins around. Once he sees what she's referring to, he's just as excited as Roe. They both scrabble for the volume control. One gets there first and turns it up.
Business Anchor By close of market today, energy darling Enron's stock rose twenty-six per cent in a single day to a new high of $67.25. That's staggering isn't it, Elise?
Analyst It sure is, Gayle. That's why we're naming them our Must Buy of the Week!
Business Anchor It's astounding, their ambition and creativity –
Analyst Yeah, yeah – they're unstoppable. They're the light of the new economy. I mean, I'd rate them, right now, at being worth sixty billion dollars.
Business Anchor Well, that's great news for their investors. So Jeffrey Skilling over at Enron's certainly doing something right!
Analyst He sure is!
Skilling reacts to his name.
Business Anchor Now let's go over to Francine for a tale of two very different cities …
Roe Sixty billion dollars! How can we be worth sixty billion dollars?!
Skilling If someone's prepared to pay that for us then / that's what we're worth –
Roe But that's huge! That's fantastic!
Skilling Sixty billion dollars. That's nearly two thousand years.
Roe What?
Skilling Forget it.Fuck. How is that possible?!
Roe Hey, we're announcing profits all the time, and you seem to know where that money's coming from. Everyone's behind you! And I'm just saying that includes me.
Skilling Yeah.
She makes to leave.
Roe Oh, and I don't know if you heard. You know your guy in finance, with the suit and the hair?
Skilling Andy Fastow?
Roe He's had a baby. Little boy. Named him Jeffrey.
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