The Wonder Years (2021) s01e04 Episode Script

The Workplace

1 ADULT DEAN: Before texts and e-mails, writing letters was the primary way for a 12-year-old to stay in contact with someone that and a rotary phone with a cord that hopefully stretched into your bedroom.
But I couldn't call my older brother Bruce, who was in Vietnam.
I was good at writing, though, and letters were our special thing.
He'd tell me about the people he'd met and the foods he was trying, and I'd tell him all about the exciting things in my life.
DEAN: "And then I spit, and it went further than Cory's spit, so I won the bet!" Okay, so, my life wasn't as exciting as his, but that was always the case, because Bruce was great at everything school, sports, spitting.
My biggest wish was to one day be great at something.
LILLIAN: Dean! Hurry up! Uh, be down in a second.
Don't make me tell you twice.
Lord, you know I am not ready to be a grandmother.
About time, young man.
Letter? No, see, that's not gonna fit.
- Mom - Dean! But I told him I'd send him something to play catch with his buddies! Well, he's at war, not summer camp.
Then why'd you pack him all those balloons? Obviously, I'd never seen condoms or balloons, apparently.
Good morning, Mom.
Wow, I love what you've done with your hair.
- What do you want? - Did you hem my plaid skirt? No, I did not.
Would you like to know why? [Sighs.]
Not really.
I had to bake the cookies for Bruce's care package 'cause you didn't do it like I asked you to.
I'm still gonna make them.
You were supposed to make them two days ago.
They're already done.
I'm headed to the post office now.
Per usual, I get nothing, and Bruce, the perfect first-born, gets everything.
Maybe if I was fighting for the imperialistic, capitalist machine, a sister could get a skirt hemmed.
LILLIAN: Oh, sweetheart.
It's "If I were fighting.
" - "If I were.
" - [Clicks tongue.]
And you know where my sewing kit is.
- Hem it yourself.
- But my hems are always crooked.
That's why you need to practice.
- [Scoffs.]
- BILL: Good morning.
Who ate the pork rinds? Not cool, man.
Not cool.
Those were for Bruce.
When I was in Korea, nobody sent me care packages from home.
Well, he's in infantry.
You were a cook.
Unfortunately, Daddy still had more kills.
Chore chart is empty.
Why'd I go through the trouble of making the thing if I was gonna have to end up doing it all myself anyway? [Grunts.]
You know, your mother's right.
We all have to do our part.
Glad my name isn't on this.
[Normal voice.]
Dean, hurry up and get to the bus.
I'm not going to school today.
Today's "Take Your Son To Work Day," remember? Of course I remember.
Of course he didn't.
Even though I'm not teaching at the university and I have to take you to my recording session like I planned all along.
Well, now that I think about it, today would be a good day for Dean to go to work with me.
We have a lot of fun stuff planned.
I didn't know where my mom worked, but I could tell by her sweater her job was boring.
Mom, can I please go with Dad? Mm.
Yes! Did I act too happy? You'll learn.
Oh, oh, oh And I know Ohh Through the highs and the lows I'm-a find my way home - Bill, you're late.
- BILL: Hey.
Was it because you and the wife had a little Hey, everybody, my 12-year-old son, Dean who is 12 is with me for a class assignment.
He's 12.
Dean, you remember Washboard.
- W - Good to see you, boy! And that's Clarence, and this is Bum I mean, Brian Lee.
"Bum's" fine.
Hey, man.
- Slap me some.
- Ow! Dean, welcome to where the magic happens.
But this is still work, so let's go over the ground rules.
Rule Number One stay out of the way.
Rule Number Two don't touch anything unless I tell you.
Hoo! Whoa.
Anybody else see a 12year-old boy over there? Everyone cool to start? Slow down, Stingray.
It's bad enough you got us here at 9:00 a.
That last album only sold 70 copies.
We don't have p.
-studio money.
Can I join in? I got just the thing.
[Band playing "With A Little Help From My Friends".]
As I watched them play, I finally understood why they called it "funk music.
" Because when a band sounds as good as my dad's, you make a face like you smelled something bad.
[Plays off-key notes.]
Stop, stop.
Okay, everybody stop.
Dean, you supposed to do that after everyone's done playing, remember? The music stops, you count to six, and then boom, blow.
I just got a little nervous.
- [Sighs.]
- Sorry, Dad.
It's okay.
Your part is very important, so it needs to be right.
But you're doing great.
You'll get the hang of it.
Okay, guys, from the top.
Here we go again.
Take 9.
[Recorder clicks.]
What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song ADULT DEAN: Watching my dad made me want a band of my own.
I will try not to sing out of key Thank you, thank you! On drums, Cory! On theremin, Brad! On guitar, Keisa! On the sax, me! And we are "The Deans"! [Saxophone solo.]
AUDIENCE: Dean! Dean! - [Playing off-key tune.]
- BILL: Dean! Dean! Dean! Let's take five.
Dean, go over there and sit on the couch for a second.
Ugh, sh I'm sorry, guys.
Maybe he just needs to watch and learn.
Yeah, just give him a little time.
Yeah, just let the cat take it slow.
Dad? "Pop That Cherry".
Is that another way to eat it? If you do it right.
Oh, Dean, we're gonna have so much fun today.
So, first, you're gonna come to my office, and then we're gonna go to the cafeteria.
And then, I'm gonna take each one of these letters These are accounts receivable.
And these are accounts payable.
ADULT DEAN: So far, this is definitely a downgrade.
- Coach Long.
- Oh, hey, Cliff.
Hey, Lillian, don't work him too hard, now.
I'm expecting you at practice, and those fly balls are not gonna catch themselves.
- Is Cory with you today? - Uh, no.
See, um, my brother-in-law, he's a former Tuskegee Airman.
Cory wanted to spend some time with him.
I mean, matter of fact, he's probably looking at a P51 Redtail Mustang fighter plane as we speak, baby.
Glad we're both having fun.
Hey, um I hope you brought this boy an extra jacket, - 'cause you know they keep it cold in here.
- [Laughs.]
I wouldn't understand that joke until my freshman year in college when I had my first white roommate.
Thanks, Connor Murphy.
Can I help you with something? Uh, yeah, you got some cocoa butter? - Oh, of course.
- Mm-hmm.
Yes, yes.
I can't be walking around ashy since I got my new account.
- Oh, right! - [Laughs.]
About time they let one of us shine around here.
- You know that's right.
- Mm-hmm.
- Thank you.
- [Laughs.]
Now, where was I? Oh, accounts payable.
The outlaws of the Wild, Wild West of accounting, so to speak.
Now, see, that's odd.
Looks like the Hansen account is over budget.
Come on, Dean.
We're going on a little walk.
Hey, Max.
The Hansen account is over budget.
That's impossible.
I reported every receipt myself.
No, it's not impossible, 'cause I seen it with my own eyes.
You're over budget.
All the cash receipt totals are accurate, but you didn't account for the petty cash.
I assure you, James and I looked at the petty c - Oopsie.
- Yeah, "oopsie" is right.
Davidson is gonna be ticked about this.
Hey, James, can you come here for a second? Oh.
If Mr.
Davidson finds out that you're over budget again, it's gonna be a problem, so here's what we're gonna do.
You're gonna recalibrate last month's accounts receivable and allocate it to the cash flow statement.
- Lillian, if I do that, I'll - It'll be fine.
Hey, James, um, if I was you, I would, uh, listen to what the lady has to say.
Because what we're gonna G-George.
George is gonna get us last year's ledgers, and we're gonna compare the numbers.
Seeing my mom in action was like watching a Crimson Tide QB call a play right before halftime.
Accounts receivable, go left! Cash flow, go right! Ledger, up the middle! On three! Break! Blue! 89! Hike! [Cheers and applause.]
Touchdown! [Cheering.]
Mama, do they all work for you? No, we're all account execs.
[Telephone ringing.]
But I've been here the longest.
So cool.
Give me some.
Well, you know, your mama's done a cool thing or two over the years.
Thank you, honey.
Go in there.
I'll be right back.
I never knew the role Mama played at work.
I knew she had a job, but I just pictured her grocery shopping and running errands all day.
She ran that place.
People listened to her.
People had to listen to her.
Her job was just as cool as Dad's maybe cooler.
And I don't even think you had to be a woman to do it.
This is Lillian Williams from the State Treasury Department.
Yes, I need to Before now, I'd only heard Mama use her white voice on the phone with the bank.
Now I knew where she'd honed it.
Hey, Lillian.
Finally, someone's gonna give her her propers.
Hey, Max.
Did you make those cupcakes for Ted's birthday? Are you kidding me? Were they gonna pay her extra for that? Pass me that bag over there, please.
She made a care package for Bruce and cupcakes for the office, all in pantyhose and heels? My dad had two jobs, but Mama had, like, 30.
Lil, what would we do without you? Let's be honest none of the secretaries can make food taste "down home" like you do.
Uh, thank you.
You guys heard that too, right? There were cupcakes.
So, they asked you to make birthday cupcakes 'cause yours taste the best? Uh, among other things.
Do you guys all take turns? No.
Just It's always been this way, honey.
It's complicated.
Those cupcakes are for everybody? Including me? Yeah, and you can have one if you just take them into the break room carefully while I finish up in here.
Uh, Rebecca, were you able to get Xerox on the call? Since the winner gets to host the next canasta game, we'll be at my house this weekend.
And who might you be? Uh, I'm Dean Williams.
Oh, Mrs.
Williams' son.
Dean Williams.
JENNIFER: And what do you got there? Why don't you put them over here on the table? - Excuse me.
- Oh! Such nice manners! [Sighs.]
Not to brag, but this was normal.
White women loved me.
Oh! You speak so well! You're so well-mannered.
You're so not going to rape my daughter.
Hi, Mrs.
Oh, [laughs.]
girl, I told you to drop the "Mrs.
Williams" when it's just us.
[Forced laughter.]
Right, Lil.
I'm just messing with you.
Johnson treating you all right? Do I need to get on him for you? Uh, he's the same.
This morning, it was, "When are you going to wear that red skirt again? The one that makes your legs look so shapely.
" Mm.
Well, girl, you should do like I do and tell him, "I'll pick up one for your wife.
I'm sure they come in the color 'Alimony.
'" [Laughter.]
Oh, I have to go.
Branson yelled at me last time his lunch was late.
Who, Ted? He has some nerve yelling.
If Mr.
Davidson so much as raises his voice to Ted, he starts honking like he's having a dying-duck fit.
Uh, I-I need to make sure Mr.
Johnson has those mimeographs on his desk before he gets back from the cafeteria, so She also made lunch? When did she have time to make us lunch? I'm starting to think my mom wakes up before 8:00 a.
You're not gonna go to the cafeteria with the other account execs? Oh, uh, they don't want to eat with me.
What about the secretaries? They have other things to worry about.
Lunchtime was the part of the day I enjoyed most when I got to catch up with my friends.
But lunchtime for my mom meant spending time alone.
But maybe I could help her out.
Coach Long! Come eat lunch with us! Uh, h-hey, uh, I-I would, but, um, I d I didn't bring anything with me.
My mom made enough food to share.
Well, you know, that s that sounds great, but, um You know, on second thought, maybe it'll be fun for me to sit and have lunch alone with my mom.
I wanna learn more about what she does around here.
Well, just for that, I'm gonna give you that cupcake I was saving for Cliff.
Even Coach Long left my mom hanging.
I guess for a Black woman in the position my mom was in in the 1960s, "working mom" meant you didn't have a place at anybody's lunch table.
But it didn't slow her down, and that made her even more of a hero to me.
So, what makes cupcakes taste so "down home"? Slavery.
And bacon grease in the pan.
But mainly slavery.
Instead of being bored enough to jump out the window and shoot myself on the way down, I actually wanted to learn more about Mama and her job.
So Did you always want to work here? You know I didn't know what I wanted to do, but none of the women in my family had careers.
I knew I wanted more than what Waugh, Alabama, had to give me, so I went to college and then I got my master's.
And then, after months of searching for work without so much as an interview, I saw a posting about a job at the Department of Treasury.
Never thought I'd get it, but like I tell you and your brother and your sister "Give out before you give up.
" That's right.
I tried.
And I got the job.
Sometimes, you don't appreciate the rare beauty of a unicorn until you see it in the wild.
So, you had to get a master's to work here? Baby, I'm the only one here who has a master's.
DAVIDSON: Lillian! Our biggest account in the department it's way over budget.
This is unacceptable.
Yes, Mr.
Now we have to adjust the entire account.
So, are you thinking we should recalibrate last month's accounts payable to allocate the funds to Uh, the cash flow statement.
- Yes.
- Good idea.
- Thanks.
- Yeah, so, then, that means that George would need to bring last year's ledger To compare those numbers to this year.
That's exactly what I was thinking.
That just saved us a lot of time.
Ow, I walked a million miles since Sunday Still, I got no place to go But I hope to set myself down someday - [Whistle blows.]
- And find a place Touchdown! [Cheering.]
ALL: [Chanting.]
Davidson! Davidson! Davidson! [Indistinct shouting.]
But didn't he just steal your idea, Mama? Damn right, he did.
But you don't work here this long without learning a few tricks.
Oh, uh, by the way, I'm assigning you as lead on our newest account.
I realized right then that my mom wasn't gonna let anyone take advantage of her.
She knew how to play the game.
Just let Long know that you're gonna be taking it over from him.
He'll take the news better if it's coming from you.
All right, bye, Lilly.
I'm-a see you at practice, Dean.
Uh Uh, Cliff? Can I talk to you for a second? I started the day not knowing what my mom did for a living.
Turns out, it wasn't just one thing.
She had to do it all, and she was great at it.
But her wins came at a cost.
Mama, I've never seen that purse before! That's foxy! Eh, you know where my other skirt is? Not the plaid one.
The green one with the buttons on the front.
It's still in the hamper.
You know where the laundry room is, right? Baby, what time do you think dinner will be ready? Can you make stew? You make the best stew.
We just got home! Will you people give us a second? Please.
And when I get back in here, these chores better be done.
Man, the woman just walked through the door.
This will fit, right, Mama? Oh.
Yeah, that's fine.
It says here you're gonna get a master's degree like me.
"Give out before you give up.
" My mom's words stuck with me.
I taught the same thing to my kids.
That look on Mama's face was like the look Daddy had when he'd heard I picked sax as my instrument for band.
Oh, and, sorry.
I was playing with one of those balloons you put in there for Bruce.
Balloons? In the little packets? Yeah, it was hard to blow up at first, but then I finally got it.
Then it popped.
A-All right, go eat your breakfast.

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