Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who Loves a Piano? by Steve Provizer

The Actual Lock on the Park Plaza Piano (cel phone photo)
A Piano Lock(so you can actually see one)


SCENE: Executive Board Room, 13th Floor of the Park Snazzy Hotel in Boston. Two Vice Presidents (of unequal rank) determine the fates of various hotel employees.

V.P. 1: Now, tell me, Smidlapp. What about this expense on page 3: one lounge piano player. What's that all about?

V.P.2: You might recall, sir, on your walk-through of the hotel lobby, the small bar down in the back. It's cozy, if a bit out of the way.

V.P. 1: Then why are we paying a piano player to sit there?

V.P. 2: Well, I believe it was the decision of the last management team. They thought it would be an attractive feature.

V.P. 1: Smidlapp. An attractive feature is anonymous porn in the room. It's a jewelry store in the lobby that turns a nice profit. It's operating at 100% capacity, without a staff that gums up the works by throwing unions in our face.

V.P. 2: The waiters and barman tell us that having music helped their tips.

V.P. 1: Do you think our corporation is responsible for the tips of the waitstaff?

V.P. 2: No, of course not...

V.P.1: I'll ask you this: is it difficult for us to retain staff?

V.P. 2: Well, in this economic environment...

V.P. 1: The figures show me it's not difficult to retain staff.

V.P. 2: There was also note made on some evaluation cards by guests who enjoyed walking into the hotel and hearing the music.

V.P. 1: Do you think they enjoy it enough to cover the cost of a human piano player over what it costs to get Muzak piped in?

V.P. 2: I'm not sure, sir

V.P. 1: Don't you-like Muzak, Smidlap?

V.P. 2: Of course. It's just that the live music gave a kind of-a welcoming feeling to the place, and the piano player was very good, he knew a lot of songs and all different kinds of music and played requests and...

V.P. 1: Smidlap! Sometimes I feel like I'm harboring a viper in my bosom. Are YOU a viper in my bosom?

V.P. 2: I hope not, sir.

V.P. 1: There are times, my boy, when I don't believe you have the fiscal needs of the corporation front and center. When I moved you from hotel staff to corporate staff, I did not expect that your loyalty would remain divided.

V.P. 2: No sir, my heart belongs to the corporation. I will give the piano player notice tonight.

V.P. 1: And you'll do it in good spirits, because you know it's the right thing for the bottom line... Smidlap, sometimes I have doubts about you. If you weren't my son-in-law...

ACTUAL POSTSCRIPT: They fired the piano player; a great musician, my friend Ed.




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