Joe Buschmann

let topics = [csharp; specflow; fun]

Frank Drebin IT Manager: Shake It Off

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Frank Drebin of Naked Gun fame had decided to pursue a career in Information Technology instead of law enforcement? Well, your wait is over. This is the first installment of the adventures of Frank Drebin, IT Manager. Enjoy!

Act I

Fade in.

Frank Drebin is walking through an office crowded with cubicles. He is wearing headphones and seems oblivious to his surroundings.

ED
Good morning Frank. (Taps him on the shoulder.) Good morning!

FRANK
(Takes off headphones which are blasting music.) Hi Ed.

ED
What are you listening to?

FRANK
Taylor Swift.

ED
Really?

FRANK
She's the mouthpiece to my life. The soundtrack of my happiness and sorrow.

ED
Having a bad day?

FRANK
Jane left me. IT is a cruel mistress. It makes fools of us all.

Frank and Ed walk past two programmers arguing in a cubicle.

SPACES GUY
Spaces!

TABS GUY
Tabs!

SPACES GUY
Spaces!

TABS GUY
Tabs!

They continue down a hall.

ED
God Frank, sorry to hear that.

FRANK
I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. Like doubting the '85 Bears. But letting Jane walk out of my life was the worst mistake of all. Every day something reminds me of her, and the memories come flooding back. (Thoroughbred horse walks by and shakes its mane.) Her flowing silky hair. (A songbird lands on Frank's shoulder and sings.) The sweet sound of her voice.

ED
That's tough.

FRANK
We shared everything Ed. Hopes, dreams, a toothbrush. I remember the first time I asked her out on a date. It was a simpler time. A happier time.

Fade to a flashback of Frank and Jane ten years younger.

FRANK
Are you available Friday night? There's a new Italian place in the Village.

JANE
I don't know, Friday's a bad night for me.

FRANK
Oh, I'm sorry...I made a mistake. I thought you were interested. See you around. (Turns to leave.)

JANE
Frank, wait! I am interested! Very much. It's just that there's a Dr Quinn Medicine Woman marathon on TBS. I can't miss it.

FRANK
Really?

JANE
Yep.

FRANK
I'll have to Tivo that.

JANE
How about Saturday night?

FRANK
Saturday's bad for me. I need to water my garden.

JANE
But the forecast calls for rain.

FRANK
I can't risk it. How about Sunday night?

JANE
I'd love to.

FRANK
Great! I'll bring my ukulele.

JANE
What do you mean your ukulele?

FRANK
I was thinking after dinner I could serenade you with Hawaiian folk music.

JANE
(Turns away.) I'm sorry, Frank. I'm not that kind of woman. I don't let men serenade me on the first date.

Awkward silence.

FRANK
I see. I didn't mean to be too forward. (Touches her arm.) Jane?

JANE
Well...you have to promise to leave your ukulele at home...

FRANK
I promise.

JANE
...and settle for mind-blowing sex instead.

Fade back to the present.

ED
Hang in there Frank. There are lots of women out there.

FRANK
But none like Jane.

ED
I know how you feel.

FRANK
Do you really Ed?

ED
Yeah, I lost my beloved Mildred to cancer a year ago last week.

FRANK
Oh right. Forgot about that.

ED
Where you headed?

FRANK
The server room. Looking into a production issue.

ED
Mind if I tag along?

FRANK
Not at all.

Scene II

ED
I hear the new systems admin is a piece of work.

FRANK
What's his name?

ED
Ganesh.

Enters Ganesh's office next to the server room.

FRANK
Good morning Ganesh.

GANESH
Good morning.

FRANK
I'm Frank. This is Ed.

GANESH
Nice to meet you.

FRANK
We need to get into the server room to debug a production issue.

GANESH
Do you have the passcode to get in?

FRANK
No. My department isn't normally given access. Under the circumstances though, an exception can be made.

GANESH
Sorry, you're not authorized.

FRANK
Look, I know you're new here, and you don't want to get in trouble. It's really not a big deal.

GANESH
Well, if it wasn't a big deal, then you would have the passcode, wouldn't you?

Frank grabs Ganesh's shirt, but Ed stops him.

ED
I got this Frank. (To Ganesh) I think we can come to an understanding about this. There must be something you want.

GANESH
Don't know what you're talking about. (Turns to type on his laptop.)

Ed opens up his jacket to reveal a range of tech goodies hanging from hooks. He pulls off a card and throws it on Ganesh's desk.

ED
How about a $500 gift card to the Microsoft store?

GANESH
(Without looking up.) Please. Microsoft hands those out like candy.

ED
(Glances at Frank who nods.) Okay. I get it. You're not gonna fall for any cheap trinket. (Pulls another card out of his jacket.) How about a personal Resharper 9 license...ultimate edition.

GANESH
(Stops typing.) I'm listening.

ED
We want the passcode Ganesh. And any time it changes, you let us know.

GANESH
That's a tall order. (Starts typing again.)

ED
I know you code on the side which is in violation of your employment agreement. (Ganesh hesitates.) And I bet you use an unlicensed copy of ReSharper too. This would put you on the up and up license-wise. And we keep our mouths shut about your business.

GANESH
Who told you about my side business?

ED
We hear things. So what will it be?

GANESH
(Turns toward them.) Okay, it's a deal. (Reaches out to take the cards, but Frank grabs his wrist.)

FRANK
What's the passcode?

GANESH
1989

Frank and Ganesh glare at each other then Frank lets go.

ED
Nice doing business with you.

Almost There

In the server room.

FRANK
How did you know Ganesh was slinging code on the side?

ED
It was a guess. Pretty much all the engineers do it though. The money's too good.

Frank sees Brent, an operations engineer. He is wearing a t-shirt that reads: "Send all beer to /home/brent. Send all complaints to /dev/null."

FRANK
Brent, it's never good news when you're in here this early.

BRENT
Just trying to figure out this production issue.

FRANK
What do you have?

BRENT
Gonorrhea. But I'm taking something for it - should clear up by the end of the week.

FRANK
No, I mean the production issue. Have you found the problem?

BRENT
Not yet. Still digging in.

FRANK
Let me know when you find something.

BRENT
Will do.

The Final Chapter

Frank and Ed leave the server room and continue down a hall.

ED
Hey, what happened to Nordberg? I haven't seen him around lately.

FRANK
Out sick. He was working some long days and nights. The lack of sleep and all the Mountain Dew did a number on his immune system. What should have been a simple cold turned into a week long affair.

ED
I'll give him a call later. See how he's doing.

FRANK
He'll appreciate that.

ED
See you around.

Frank walks into his office past a figure in the shadows. He flips on the light.

GINA
Good morning Frank.

FRANK
Oh God! Gina! You startled me. (Breathes deeply.) I'd ask you to come in...but here you are.

GINA
That's right. Here I am. I'll get right to it. Did you approve the recent changes to the build templates?

FRANK
Yes, those needed to go in ASAP.

GINA
Well, they didn't get approval from the Change Review and Advisory Panel.

FRANK
I know. Given the nature of the updates, I just pushed them through.

GINA
Nothing gets into production without approval from CRAP. All department heads agreed to that. Including you.

FRANK
I don't have time for any CRAP meetings. This needed to go in fast. I hope you can understand.

GINA
There are no exceptions. Even for you.

FRANK
Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

GINA
I see how it is.

Gina closes the office door and walks over to Frank. She brushes some lint off his collar then punches him in the gut. He crumples to the ground. Gina squats down next to him.

GINA
(In a low voice.) Follow the process Frank. (Stands up and turns to walk away.) Oh, and sorry about that. I hope you can forgive me.

Gina opens the door and walks out. Franks stumbles into his desk chair and leans back with his eyes closed.

FRANK
(Pops his headphones in and sings along.) Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / I shake it off, I shake it off.