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THE COST OF NOT COMMUNICATING

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					                                                              1.


                           TALK ISN'T CHEAP



1.EXT. DRIVEWAY. DAY.

A man in his thirties, LEROY, is bent over the open hood of
car parked in a suburban driveway. He wears smudged
overalls and has greasy hands. His teenage son, MALCOLM,
leans on a fender, watching.

                          LEROY
             Quarter inch socket wrench.
             thank you.

Malcolm digs into a toolbox and hands him the wrench.

                          LEROY
             And the Phillips screwdriver,
             large one...okay.

Malcolm takes the wrench and hands him the screwdriver.

                          LEROY
             And I going to need the needle
             nose pliers.

Malcolm hands him the pliers.

                          LEROY
             Here we go. Okay say goodbye to
             that old pain in the butt
             carburetor. You got the new
             one?

Malcolm takes the old carburetor from his father, sets it
aside, and lifts a new one from its box.

                          MALCOLM
             Yeah, right here.

Leroy takes one look and knows it's wrong.

                             MALCOLM
             What is it?

                          LEROY
             You got the wrong one. That's
             a two barrel. I said get the
             four barrel
                                                              2.

                          MALCOLM
             No you didn't.

Leroy takes a moment.

                          LEROY
             Okay well, you got to take that
             one back and get the four
             barrel. Why don't you take the
             old one with you. Tell them you
             want one just like it.

Malcolm walks off with the two carburetors, driving away in
a second car. Leroy wipes his hands on a rag and talks to
us.

                          LEROY
             Well, so much for getting this
             done this morning. This kind of
             thing ever happen to you? You
             ask for one thing, and you get
             something else? Ever think
             about how many hours and how
             many dollars get wasted just
             because people don't
             communicate?

2.INT. MODERN OFFICE AREA. DAY.

BART, a manager, is heading to a meeting when he's
approached by JAN, a graphics designer, who proudly
presents him with a copy of a glossy, expensive-looking
brochure.

                          JAN
             Hey Bart. Hang on. I got the
             mock-up for that brochure you
             wanted. Got a second? .

                          BART
             Yeah, let's take a look.

                          JAN
             Okay now I went a little bit
             jazzier with it...but I don't
             think I went "you know--over
             the top..."

As Bart flips through the brochure, a look of gloom crosses
his face.
                                                              3.

                           JAN (CONT'D)
             What?   Don't you like it?

                          BART
             It's fine... It's just...it
             feels kind of cheap. I mean
             why aren't these product shots
             full color. I thought we went
             over this?

                          JAN
             We did. You said don't go
             overboard .

                          BART
             Jan the whole presentation is
             about this product line. I
             can't go in with a bunch of
             dull single color shots.
             Anderson will blow a rod. I'm
             sorry, it has to be re-done.

                          JAN
             By Friday! Oh come on Bart,
             that gives me one day! .

                          BART
             I don't care. Get somebody in
             here tonight if that what it
             takes. Just give me "color"
             products shots like I asked
             for.

Bart exits, leaving Jan holding the brochure. FREEZE.

SUPER OVER FREEZE a series of cards totaling up the costs
of redoing the brochure: Overtime: $$$; Freelance Artist
$$$; Rush Printer Charge: $$$$: Total: $$$$$.

3.EXT. DRIVEWAY. DAY.

The car waits with its hood open. Leroy leans impatiently
on a fender with nothing to do. He glances at his watch and
looks for his son.


                          LEROY
             I’m sure we can all think of an
             example of when poor
             communication cost money. And
             it's not just money that gets
             wasted. It's time. Energy.
                                                        4.

             Enthusiasm for the job. In this
             age of empowerment and self-
             directed teams, we’re all
             accountable. We need to take
             responsibility for
             communicating clearly.

                          LEROY
             The catch is that most of us
             figure we already know how to
             communicate. The problem is
             that other people just don't
             know how to listen. Right?
             Well, it might surprise you to
             learn that the number one
             reason people don't get what
             they asked for is because they
             don't know what they want.


4.INT. JAN'S CUBICLE. DAY.

A SUPER reads: "One week earlier".

Jan is at her desk, on the phone, as Bart approaches,
holding a file.

                          JAN
                   (into phone)
             ... the blue is fine. What do
             you think about the font size?
             You know, this doesn't work for
             me...

                          BART
             Jan. Got a minute?

                          JAN
             Ahhh... Can you just hang on
             one second. Sure. What's up?

                          BART
             I need for you to put together
             a brochure for this product
             roll out thing I'm doing with
             Anderson. Here's the file.

She glances through the file.

                          JAN
             Okay, do you want anything
             special?
                                                         5.

                          BART
             Okay, well let's see...it's a
             fairly big deal so I really
             need it to look impressive.
             Glossy paper, lots of color.
             Like that job you did for
             Winchell.

                          JAN
             Great, that's going to be fun.

                          BART
             But don't go overboard, okay?
             I'm kind of on a tight budget
             with this.

                          JAN
                   (glancing at the file)
             Okay, when do you need it?

                            BART
             Friday next.

                          JAN
             Wow. That's really is
             tight...alright, I'll see what
             I can do.

                          BART
             Great. Thanks.

Bart exits. Jan sets the file aside and returns to her
work.

                          JAN
             Okay, where were we...

5.INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

Leroy enters a suburban kitchen looking for a snack.

                          LEROY
             I want it to look expensive,
             but I don't want to spend any
             money, and I need it tomorrow.
             How often have you heard that?
             And how often have you asked
             for that?

He opens and hunts through the refrigerator.
                                                              6.

                          LEROY
             A lot of times, whether we
             realize it or not, we ask for
             the impossible. We have
             conflicting agendas. It not
             really that we don't know what
             we want - it's that we want too
             much.

He takes out a variety of lunch fixings and crosses to the
table.

                          LEROY
             I'm hungry for a cheese steak,
             but I need to lose weight, and
             I need to eat this lunch meat
             before it goes bad. Now, left
             on my own, I'll somehow manage
             to sort all that out. But if I
             asked you for it, well, you
             wouldn't know what to do. So.
             The first trick to
             communicating is to first
             figure out what you want. Sort
             out your agenda.

6. INT. BART'S OFFICE. DAY.

Bart is working at his desk with the brochure file, jotting
notes on a legal pad. He stops for a moment to think.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Think about what you want -
             before you ask for it. Make
             yourself a wish list. Then
             prioritize it. What's really
             essential and what isn't?

7. INT. JAN'S CUBICLE. DAY.

As before, Bart approaches Jan while she's on the phone.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             First off, don't try to have a
             conversation with someone while
             their talking to someone else.

                          BART
             Jan, got a minute.

                          JAN
             Ahhh...can you just hang on for
                                                        7.

             a second?

                          BART
             No. Finish up. I'll wait.

                          JAN
             Okay, just give us one minute.

Bart waits while Jan wraps up her phone conversation.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             People often have five things
             going on at once, and a lot of
             times they don't hear us
             because frankly they're too
             busy listening to someone else.
             So first, wait until you have
             their attention.

                          JAN
             Sorry about that. Thanks. What
             can I do for you?

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Keep it simple and to the
             point.

                          BART
             I need a brochure for the
             product roll out that's coming
             up. Here's the file on it.

He hands her the file.

                          JAN
             Okay, do you want anything
             special?

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Start with your highest
             priority and work from there.

                          BART
             What's most important is that
             it needs to be impressive. I
             liked the look and feel of the
             Winchell brochure. That size,
             that level of quality is what I
             want.

Jan glances through the file.
                                               8.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Be specific. Don't assume that
             people will somehow figure out
             what you want if you don't tell
             them.

                          BART
             The focus needs to be on the
             product shots—they need to be
             in full color.

                          JAN
             Okay, but that's going to be
             expensive.

She pulls out an example and shows him.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Just because you want
             something, doesn't mean it can
             be done.

                          BART
             Well I'd like to bring it in
             for under five thousand
             dollars. Let's see, here's the
             budget I was looking at.

Jan looks over his budget.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             It's O.K. to have a wish list -
             but sure to get feedback. Find
             out what problems they foresee.

                          JAN
             The Winchell brochure came in
             for way more than five thousand
             dollars. I think it was
             something like seventy-five
             hundred.

                          BART
             Is there any way we could get
             color pictures on this kind of
             budget?

                          JAN
             Well if we do less
             pages...maybe if we did eight
             instead of twelve?
                                               9.

                          BART
             I can live with that.

                             JAN
             Okay

                          BART
             I need this by next Friday. Is
             There anyway you could give me
             a look at it by Monday?

                          JAN
             Yeah, yeah, I'll see what I can
             do.

                             BART
             Thanks.

                          JAN
             Alrighty, bye.


8. INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

Leroy bites into an apple.

                           LEROY
             Rarely, will you get everything
             that you want. But if people
             understand what your priorities
             are, they're going to be able
             make smarter choices down the
             line. Well that's easy enough.
             Is that it? No. There's another
             thing that gets in the way of
             communicating that's a bit
             harder to deal with, because
             you can't communicate without
             it. Language.

                          LEROY
             It's amazing how often even the
             clearest message can be
             misinterpreted. "Meet me in
             front", "I need it tomorrow",
             "Take your first right". What I
             have in my head is a lifetime
             of experiences that no one has
             access to but me. When I talk,
             I translate those experiences
             into words. All you get are the
             words - which you have to
                                                            10.

             interpret in terms of your
             lifetime of experiences. And
             more often than not, that
             interpretation is wrong.


9. INT. FACTORY WAREHOUSE AREA. DAY.

CHARLIE, an anxious factory worker, follows JOEY, another
factory worker.

                          JOEY
             It just came in. I stacked them
             over here cause I knew you'd
             want to use them right away.

                          CHARLIE
             Great. I'm amazed you got them
             in so fast.

                          JOEY
             Well, I knew how much you
             needed them, so I had them
             special shipped.

They stop at a large pile of boxes. Charlie knows
immediately that something is wrong. He opens one of the
boxes.

                          CHARLIE
             You gotta be kidding me.

                          JOEY
             Whatsamatta? It's all here.
             Twelve hundred amp units.

                          CHARLE
             These are one-amp units.

                          JOEY
             Yeah. Like you said. Twelve
             hundred amp units.

                          CHARLIE
             Joey. I said twelve, pause,
             hundred-amp units. One dozen
             one hundred amp units.

                          JOEY
             Oh.
                                                              11.

                          CHARLIE
             And look. These are input
             regulators. I need the output
             regulators.

                          JOEY
             There's a difference?

                          CHARLIE
             Yeah, there's a difference.

FREEZE. Super a list of costs: Shipping fees $$$. Restock
charge $$$, Production Downtime $$$$$. Total: $$$$$$

10. INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

                          LEROY
             This may sound like I'm over-
             reacting, but here it
             is...never assume that the
             person you're talking to
             understands what you mean. It's
             in the nature of language that
             people interpret our words
             differently than we do. If you
             want to get your message
             across, what you need to do is
             add a little re-enforcement.

11. INT. FACTORY WAREHOUSE AREA. DAY.

Joey is at his desk in the warehouse when Charlie
approaches him.

                          CHARLIE
             Hey, Joey, I have a rush order
             here. You gotta minute?

                          JOEY
             Sure, what can I do for you?

                          CHARLIE
             I need twelve hundred amp
             regulators.

Joey grabs a purchase order form and begins filling it out.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             No matter how clear you may
             think your message is, it never
             hurts to re-phrase it a couple
             different ways.
                                                              12.

                          CHARLIE
             That's one dozen of the one
             hundred amp units. Not the
             fifties or the two hundreds.

                          JOEY
             Ooops. I'm glad you said that.

Joey crosses out what he wrote and starts again.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Don't assume anything. Be
             specific about the details.

                          CHARLIE
             They need to be output
             regulators, not input.

                          JOEY
             I didn't realize there was a
             difference. Let me look the
             right part number.

Joey takes out a thick parts catalog and looks up the part.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             It doesn't hurt either to use
             visuals. People get pictures in
             their mind of what you want -
             and giving them a visual is a
             great way to make sure they're
             not stuck on the wrong picture.

Charlie draws a crude sketch on a scrap of paper.

                          CHARLIE
             The output units that's the
             ones with the four screws -
             they like this.

                          JOEY
             Oh. O.K. I get it. Not the two
             screw ones.

                          CHARLIE
             Exactly.

                          JOEY
             How about that one right
             there...
                                                              13.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             When you think they've got it,
             ask them to repeat it back to
             you. Which isn't to say be
             obnoxious. Just ask if you can
             go back over what was said.

                          CHARLIE
             O.K. Great. Let me hear what
             you've got.

                          JOEY
             I got one dozen of the one
             hundred amp output regulators,
             the long ones with the four
             screws.

                          CHARLIE
             Sounds good to me. Thanks.

12. INT. TEAM MEETING ROOM. DAY.

A HALF DOZEN TECHIE TYPES are gathered around a conference
table. BARNEY, the team leader, is summarizing changes that
need to be made to a software program. KEN, a thin white
man from Iowa, is checking his summary against notes he's
made on a legal pad.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             To make language work, it's not
             enough to just be a better
             talker. You also need to be a
             better listener.

                          BARNEY
             ...moving on, item four, we
             need to add networking protocol
             for NetBEUI and TCP/IP.

NADINE, a small indignant woman, objects.

                          NADINE
             Wait a minute, I thought we
             decided against the NetBEUI.
             It's too expensive and nobody
             uses it.

                          BARNEY
             Right. But didn't Bob say there
             was reason to keep it.
                                                             14.

                          NADINE
             Well, Bob isn't here. If he
             wants something, he should show
             up.

                          BARNEY
             Right. Whatever. Item five,
             Java support. We to investigate
             the cost of adding Java
             support...

A puzzled look crosses Ken's face: are we keeping NetBEUI
or dumping it? He crosses out the line on his pad that
reads "Add NetBEUI".

FREEZE: Super list of costs: Software Programmed
Incorrectly: $$$$, Manuals Written Incorrectly, Product
Release Delayed $$$$, Total: $$$$$$$

13. EXT. DRIVEWAY. DAY.

                          LEROY
             We don't speak up because we
             don't want to look foolish or
             we don't want to slow things
             down or whatever. But walking
             away confused not only hurts
             you, it hurts everybody. If
             you're not clear what somebody
             is saying how are they going to
             know that if you don't tell
             them? Speak up. Chances are
             you're not the only one who is
             confused.

14. INT. TEAM MEETING. DAY.

We return to the moment when Ken glances down at item four
on his notepad. Barney has moved on.

                          BARNEY
             We need to investigate the
             costs of adding Java support...

                          KEN
             Excuse me. Can we stop for a
             minute?

                          BARNEY
             What?
                                  15.

             KEN
Are we adding NetBEUI or not?

             NADINE
I say no. It's ridiculous and a
waste.

             BARNEY
But Bob asked for it. I don't
think we should take it out
until we talk to Bob first.

             NADINE
Well Bob isn't here and this
project is already behind
schedule.

             LEROY (V.O.)
Sometimes, the reason you don't
understand is because the
people talking are as confused
as you are. Help them out. Ask
questions.

             KEN
Why does Bob feel we need the
NetBEUI?

             NADINE
Because he's under the mistaken
impression that people are
still using it.

             BARNEY
I believe it's because one of
our subsidiaries still uses it
and he wants them to have
access to our system.

             NADINE
Who?

             BARNEY
Anodyne. In Cleveland.

             NADINE
Oh.

             LEROY (V.O.)
When you get an answer, it
never hurts to feedback what
you think you've heard.
                                                             16.

                          KEN
             So we should go ahead with
             adding the NetBEUI?

                          BARNEY
             Yes. Add NetBEUI.

                          KEN
             Thank you.

15. INT. SALES OFFICE. DAY.

SHEILA, a sales manager, crosses through a sales office to
MONTY, a salesman. She's holding a fax.

                          SHEILA
             Monty, I wondering, could you
             take care of this please? It's
             a fax I just got in. Evidently
             somebody at Raybar is unhappy
             with an order.

                          MONTY
             Isn’t that Ramond’s account?

                          SHEILA
             Yeah, but he’s not here. So
             would you please take care of
             it?

                           MONTY
                    (pissed)
             Give it to me. I'll take care
             of it.

                          SHEILA
             O.K. Fine.

She exits, wondering what's up with him. Monty tosses the
fax into his "to do" box.

FREEZE. Super "Customer not called immediately - Order
Canceled"

16. EXT. DRIVEWAY. DAY.

MRS. CRABTREE, a retired woman neighbor, is gardening in
her front yard. She eyes the open hooded car with barely
concealed disdain.

                          LEROY
             Morning Dorothy.
                                                              17.

                          MRS. CRABTREE
             Morning Leroy. I see you
             working on that old car of
             yours again.

                          LEROY
             Yeah, we're going to get it
             running eventually.

                          MRS.CRABTREE
             I'll sure miss seeing it parked
             there in your driveway. It
             beginning to look like the
             local landmark.

                          LEROY
             Yeah, yeah...well...

She walks away, hand full of weeds, shaking her head. Leroy
knows that he's in trouble. We can tell by the expression
he gives us.

                          LEROY
             Beneath every message lies a
             buried message. Actors call it
             the "subtext". Subtext is all
             the things that don't get said.
             But it's what people are really
             thinking. And feeling. And its
             the message that, in the end,
             guides what they actually do.

                          LEROY
             So how do you get people to
             tell you what's really on their
             minds? Well, you sure can't
             force them, but you can make it
             easier for them to open up. The
             way to deal with subtext is to
             give people the opportunity to
             express themselves.

INT. SALES OFFICE. DAY.

We flashback to the end of Sheila's conversation with
Monty.

                           MONTY
                    (pissed)
             Give it to me. I'll take care
             of it.
                                                            18.

                           SHELIA
             Okay, fine.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             First, be sensitive to the
             warning signs of subtexts,
             those emotionally charged
             little comments that say, "I'm
             holding something back here."

                          SHEILA
             Something wrong?

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Open a door. Give people the
             chance to talk.

                          MONTY
                      (still irritated)
             Nope...it’s fine.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Express to people what you see.
             Get it out in the open. Maybe
             it means something, and maybe
             it doesn't.

                          SHEILA
             You just seem a bit annoyed

Monty squirms.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             People don't open up because
             they're afraid of how you might
             react. So don't react. Don't be
             judgmental.

                          MONTY
             I just don't appreciate
             cleaning up Ray's mess. He does
             this all the time. Now he's off
             probably working on some new
             account, and I'm stuck having
             to take care of this.

This outburst gets Sheila's dander up, but she suppresses
it.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             Don't get defensive. Remember,
             the whole point of the
                                                             19.

             conversation is to get them to
             tell you what's on their mind.
             Listen to them. Repeat back
             what you think you heard them
             say.

                          SHEILA
             You’re right, Raymond’s
             sometimes over extends himself.

                          MONTY
             Exactly. Look. I don’t mean to
             complain, it's just I don't
             appreciate having to be the
             janitor around here.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             If there's a problem to be
             solved, ask them to suggest a
             solution.

                          SHEILA
             I don’t blame you. I’ll talk to
             Raymond, but in the meantime,
             what should we do about this
             fax?

                          MONTY
             I’ll give ‘em a call and see
             what needs to be done... But
             Ray’s got to take it from
             there.

                          SHEILA
             I hear you. Thanks.

                             MONTY
             Sure. Thanks.

Sheila exits and Monty picks up the phone to call the
client. In his attitude on the phone, we can see that he's
relieved to have vented his frustration.

                          LEROY (V.O.)
             People don't like keeping their
             frustrations bottled up. They
             want to tell you what they're
             really thinking. It's just that
             they're afraid. Give them a
             chance to open up - and then
             make them glad that they did.
                                                           20.

                          MONTY
             Yes, hello is Bob there...


EXT. DRIVEWAY. DAY.

                          LEROY
             Talk isn't cheap. And I'm not
             just talking cost savings. I'm
             talking making your
             relationships with the people
             you work with more productive
             and fulfilling and enjoyable.
             And it's not that hard to do.
             Just pay a little attention to
             how you talk and to how you
             listen. You'll be amazed.

Malcolm's back.

                          MALCOLM
             O.K. dad. Here you go. Here's
             your four barrel carburetor.

                          LEROY
             Did I say four barrel?

                          MALCOLM
             Don't start with me.

                          LEROY
             Okay, let's get see if we can
             get this boat out of the
             harbor.

They cross to the car and return to work.

                          LEROY
             Oh, one more thing. Mrs.
             Crabtree?

The camera pans over to Mrs. Crabtree, who is trimming a
hedge.

                          MRS. CRABTREE
             What?

                          LEROY
             Would you mind giving these
             folks a recap. I got to get
             this car running.
                                                 21.

                           MRS. CRABTREE
             You got it.

Mrs. Crabtree turns to camera.

                          MRS. CRABTREE
             Hello. Now listen up because
             I'm only going to say this
             once.

RECAP

                          MRS. CRABTREE (V.O.)
             The First rule of communicating
             is to make yourself clear.
             Think about what you want.
             Make yourself a wish list.

             Don't have a conversation with
             somebody when they are talking
             with somebody else. Wait your
             turn.

             Keep your requests simple and
             to the point.

             Be specific about critical
             details.

             Get feedback. Find out what
             problems they foresee.


             Second, think of way to
             reinforce your message.


             Watch your language. People
             interpret words differently, so
             never assume your message got
             through on the first try.


             Use visuals to shake loose
             preconceived pictures people
             have in their heads.

             Once you think they got it, ask
             them to repeat it back.
                                  22.


Third, be a better listener.

Walking away confused hurts
everybody. So if you are not
sure what's been said—speak up.


The truth is, other people are
as usually confused as you are.

Keep asking questions until you
get an answer.

When you think you've got an
answer, reconfirm that it's the
right answer.


Finally, find the hidden
message.

Be sensitive to the warning
signs of subtext.

Open a door, give people a
chance to talk.

Don't get defensive. Remember
the point is to get them to
open up.

If there's a problem to be
solved, ask them to suggest a
solution.

Ultimately making an effort to
communicate better not only
adds to the bottom line, it
also makes your job a whole lot
easier, and a whole lot more
satisfying.

				
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