I Really Hate My Job

Synopsis: 'Every day is another day closer to the day I'll never have to do this again.' Five women, one restaurant, one night, one birthday, one breakdown. Then the phone rings. A famous actor is coming for dinner. I Really Hate My Job is the story of an evening in a café in London's Soho. As in so many jobs, nothing much happens - except laughter, song, rage, collapse, intrigue, cooking, lying, nudity, conversation, secrets, love, friendship, ageing, hatred, rat-infestation and the arrival of a movie star. I Really Hate My Job. Who hasn't said it? A career. It's what happens when you lose control of a car on a wet road and it slams into a brick wall. You might assume they're just three waitresses, one cook and one dishwasher but they see themselves as an artist, an actor, a lover, an author and a philosopher.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Oliver Parker
Production: 3DD Productions
90 min

[cars passing by]

[woman narrating]

What if good things

don't come to those who wait?

I mean, do you just

keep waiting or what?

God, everyone else

is going home.

Why do I have

to go to work?

How is it possible

to feel both isolated

and claustrophobic

at the same time?

Maybe that's my problem.

I think too much.

Christ, all these people.

They're probably

all thinking, too.

But what are they thinking?

Maybe my hopes

are too high.

What I need is not to need

and to live in the moment.

That's it.

I should live in the moment.

What on earth does that mean?

As if I could avoid

living in the moment.

I mean, I'm in it

whether I like it or not.




Okay, I'm fine. I'm fine.

Oh, God, I'm late.

Every day,

another day closer

to the day I'll never

have to do this again.

- Hi, Alice.

- Hey, Suzie.

- [door closes]

- [gasps]

Madonna, I'm sorry I'm late.

It's fine.

Suzie, could you

make me a coffee?

Sure. Cappuccino?

Yeah, thanks. Yeah.

[beeps, whirrs]


Hang on.

- [baby yells]

- [woman]

There, there.

- Good girl.

- [coos]

- Sit nicely.

- Hi.

- [phone rings]

- [Madonna]

Hello. Stella Bar.

Uh, I'm sure

we can fit you in.

One moment.

I'm just going to my book.


Can I take your name?

Yes. Great.


- Thank you.

- See you tonight. Thanks.

- Bye-bye.

- Thanks. Bye-bye.

- See you again soon.

- [baby cries]

Hey, Alice.

- [camera shutter clicks]

- Smile.

I met a guy last night

who said he could smoke

with his eyes.

- How?

- I don't know.

- Didn't you ask him?

- No.


How could you not ask?


I don't know.

Uh, guys, I hate to nag,

but it's getting late.

Did you know it's a fact

that 70% of women

live their lives embroiled

in a miasma of disgust?

- A fact?

- Seventy percent.

Where did you get

this... fact?

The news.

And it wasn't a headline?


What's a miasma?

It's sort of like, you know,

a cancer or a dry rot.

Women spend most of their time

in a dry rot of disgust?

[Alice laughing]


How's your book going?

I finished it a week ago.

Alice, that's great.

- Congratulations.

- Well done.

What's it about again?

About a woman who runs away.

Where does she go?

To the sea.

What then?

She sits on a pier

and looks at the sky

for about 150 pages.

- [sighs]

- I'd like to read that.

- Thanks.

- I mean, I'd like to read it

if it was interesting.

[phone rings, beeps]

Hello. Stella Bar.

Your name?

Could you please

stop doing that?

Dave, you should be

here cooking. What?

- He hung up.

- Who?

Dave... barking.

- Barking mad?

- No, like a dog...

- Oh.

- drunk.


So, can Paolo cook tonight?

- Paolo resigned at lunch.

- What? Why?

- He burnt his arm.

- Is he okay?

He works in a kitchen,

and I'm sympathetic

to a point.


There's only 25 booked.

- What?

- Bonus?

For what?

But I've never

done it before.

Dave told me once he thought you

had real potential as a chef.

You're recommending the opinions

of a man who just barked at you?

He said that

before he barked.

I'm a kitchen hand.

Alice, we are

a family here.

Families pull together.


[Alice narrating]

Families don't pay by the hour.

[Madonna thinking]

Please, please, please?

Sixty quid

and no more bookings.


- Rita can help you.

- Rita burns water.


Maybe you should

get started now.

- Can I just finish my coffee?

- Of course, yes. I'm sorry.

[phone rings, beeps]

Hello. Stella Bar.

Greg. Hi.

There's been

a change of plan.

[clears throat]

Yeah. Um...

"Dear Alice..."

Dave can't come in.

He's had some kind

of terrible accident.

But Alice is cool to do it.

Yes, she is.

Oh, she'll be fine.

She'll be fine.

Okay. Bye.



Where is Abi?

Hey, ladies.

Abi, I hate to mention this,

but you are 15 minutes late.

I am not.

- Yes, you are.

- Sorry. My yoga teacher died.

[camera beeps]


You sure you're gonna be okay

doing this by yourself?

- Can you smell something?

- [sniffs] Like what?

You can't smell flesh?

[chuckles] No.


Did your yoga teacher

really die?

Right in the middle

of a downward dog.

How's the acting going?

I didn't get that job

I was going for.

- Which one?

- Kitchen sink drama.

Depressing, really,

considering what

an expert I am.


anything else lined up?

Did you get up to anything

last night, Al?

Don't call me Al. No.

I'm too broke. You?

Broke up with the boy.

How old are you, Al?

Thirty-three or -four

or something.



I'm sorry about--

What was his name?

- Phil.

- Phil.



I'm 30 today.

Oh, my God.

Happy "get older" day.

Hey, don't tell anyone,

all right?

What, about Phil?

God, no.

About my birthday.

Why'd you tell me, then?

I needed to tell

someone older.

Tell Rita, then. She's 48.

Hey, is this okay?


Mm, I don't know,




- You know Keats?

- The poet?

- Yeah.

- What about him?

Dead at 26.


Rita, Alice would love

a hand when you're ready.

I had such a vivid dream

last night.


I can't bear dreams.

It concerned light.

I'm not listening.

- The light had a face.

- I'm warning you.

It was singing.

It had a nose.

Okay, stop.


[quiet chatter]

Can you ask them to leave?

- No.

- [groans] Come on.

You get them out.

I mean, come on.

It's policy.

Policy? This isn't NATO,

for Christ's sakes.

You need to learn

to be more assertive.

- Really?

- Yeah, and less sarcastic.

You are the sarcastic one.

Oh, really?



[clears throat]

Excuse me.

She demanded it

in the zoo?

- [both laughing]

- Guys, I'm sorry.

I have to ask you to leave.

We have to prepare

the place for dinner.

So tell me, do you find

your job abhorrent?

Just curious.

No, I find it challenging.


What do you do?

I waitress.


Do you want to be a waitress?

- [laughter]

- I am what I do.

No, no, no, no.

You do what you are.

[both laughing]

[laughter continues]

Okay, we're leaving.

Thank you.

- Suze, how old are you?

- Twenty-four.

Oh, God, you have

so much time.

How old are you?


That's only

four years older.

First World War

lasted four years.

A lot happened.


Did I tell you that

Harry said in London

no one is more than 20 feet

away from a rat at any time?

Remind me how Dave

does the chicken.


Well, let's... So...

"Marinade the chicken

in lemon juice,

balsamic vinegar

and olive oil

so it's really juicy,

even if the chicken's old.


All under control, Alice?

Mm-hmm, like

a well-oiled machine.

Rita, you're happy

to do salads?

- I'm not going--

- Fantastic.

Do you know

it is so great

to have all women

in control in here tonight?

Right on, sister.

[man on sound system]

# Love is #

- # The sweetest thing #

- [humming]

# What else on earth

could ever bring... #

What are we listening to?

# A happy air

Rate this script:3.0 / 2 votes

Jennifer Higgie

Jennifer Higgie is an Australian novelist, screenwriter, art critic and editor of the London-based contemporary arts magazine, Frieze. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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