Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Just Plain Jane

(Note: This is a short sketch I wrote some years ago when I was in Human Resources 
which attempts to satirize the obsession that some HR professionals (and, of course, other professionals as well) have with titles and certifications. I never got to perform it, but I like it, so I'll share it with you here.  And on this day after a holiday, it's probably better than another annoying post about Trump!

I was trying to figure out what Just Plain Jane looks like and the picture above was the closest I could come up with.  She may be dressed just a bit better than above for the gathering in the sketch below but, all in all, that's Jane --- Just Plain Jane.)


Just Plain Jane


Peter Simons SHRM-CP (from SHRM--- a newly certified HR professional

Just Plain Jane --- Peter’s wife

Dexter Scoyber SHRM-SCP, PhD, CPLP --- Peter’s mentor

Ilona Scoyber SHRM-SCP, CBP, JD --- Dexter’s wife

Max Sorkin SHRM-SCP, CEEBS, & CCP from Worldatwork, formerly known as the American Compensation Association  --- Dexter’s friend

Carol Landis GRP, CPLP, GPLP --- Max’s woman friend


Peter and Jane approach the front door of a house in the suburbs. 

Jane: Peter, this is going to be so fun! I’ve been looking forward to finally meeting your new colleagues from SHRM!

Peter: Yes, but Jane, there’s something about them I, uh, think I should prepare you for.

Jane: What?

They arrive at the house and Jane begins knocking on the door. 

Peter: You know how I have a title of SHRM-CP now that I’ve passed the SHRM certification examination? Well, these people have been around SHRM  and other HR associations a long time and certifications are very important to them, and ...

Before Peter finishes speaking, door opens.

Dex: Hello, there, hello there. Why if it isn’t Peter Simons SHRM-CP!  Great to see you, glad you could come!

Ilona: Hi, you two, and welcome!

Dex:   And this is the lovely wife we’ve been hearing so much about?  Hi there!  I’m Dexter Scoyber SHRM-SCP, PhD, CPLP.

Ilona:  And I’m his better half --- Ilona Scoyber SHRM-SCP, CPB, JD!

Jane: It’s awesome to meet both of you. 

Max:  (entering) Well hello, Peter  SHRM-CP.  (To Jane) Hello, young lady, I'm Max Sorkin, SHRM-SCP, CEEBS, and CCP from Worldatwork, formerly known as the American Compensation Association.

Carol:  And I’m with Max.  Hello, I'm Carol Landis, GRP, CPLP, GPLP.

Laughter, happiness, shaking hands all around.  

Peter:  Everyone, I’d like to introduce my wife Jane.

Dex:  Welcome, Jane!   Jane … Jane.   Jane what?

Jane: Jane --- just Jane.  I’m just plain Jane.

Max: Just Plain Jane!  Why, what a lovely name!

Carol:  That's sure different!

Ilona: I never knew anyone named Just Plain Jane!  Well, come on in folks, have some dip!

Peter: Oh, you have dip?

Jane:  Always ready for a snack!  That's my Peter. 

Jane:  (to Dex) Thank you so much for being so supportive of Peter while he was studying for the SHRM test.

Dex:  Well, everyone needs a mentor, Just Plain Jane Mine was always my father.  Yes, I’ll never forget dear old Dad … Dad M.D., PhD, and Board Certified in Proctology.

Jane:  May I call you Dex?

Dex:  No, Just Plain Jane. Call me Dex SHRM-SCP, PhD, CPLP. 

Jane:   I'll make a note of it!

Meanwhile Max and Carol take Peter in hand and bring him into the living room. 

Peter:   This dip is amazing!

Carol:  Yes, it’s Ilona SHRM-SCP, CBP, JD’s special recipe.  I asked her for it once, but no dice.
Max: Well,  Ilona SHRM-SCP, CBP, JD can be that way sometimes.  

Ilona: Peter SHRM-CP, Just Plain Jane, do you want some coffee?

Jane: LOVE IT!

Ilona: Coming UP!

Max:  I’ll help you!

Max and Ilona head to the kitchen.  Ilona begins making the coffee and appears to be fumbling with it, spilling coffee and water.   Max stands on the other side of the kitchen nervously looking back into the living room. Max takes one last look into the living room, and then……….

Max and Ilona run to each others arms!

IlonaDarling SHRM-CP, CEEBS, CCP from Worldatwork, formerly known as the American Compensation Association!

Max:  Sweetheart, SHRM-SCP, CPB, JD!

Max: Everything about you is so beautiful, even your name.  I could say it again and again... Ilona SHRM-SCP, CBP, JD - Ilona SHRM-SCP, CBP, JD - Ilona

Ilona:  (breaking in passionately) Just hold me, Max SHRM-SCP, CEEBS, CCP from Worldatwork, formerly known as the American Compensation Association! But we must be careful. So far, he doesn’t suspect a thing.

Max:  Who doesn’t suspect a thing?

Ilona:   What???

Max:  Who doesn’t susp…?  Oh, of course.

Ilona: Yes, the stuffed shirt!  So obsessed with his pretentious titles and degrees and so unlike you, Max, SHRM-SCP, CE…, oh just hold me, you HR certified hottie!!! 

Meanwhile back in the room, Jane, Peter, Dex, and Carol are talking.

Peter:  Excuse me for a moment.  Nature calls.

Jane:  It always does!  That's my Peter.

Peter leaves and ambles into the kitchen.  He sees Max and Ilona clutching each other and is horror – struck.  

PeterOH MY!  OH MY!  OH MY, MY, MY, MY!!!

Max: Oh, Peter SHRM-CP, this isn’t what it looks like, uh uh, we were discussing recertification credits, and ….

Ilona:  Yes, yes, and did you know, uhhhhh ….. HR professionals can now earn credits by learning CPR! Go ahead, Max SHRM-SCP... umm .... whatever the hell your name is! Just blow in my windpipe!

Peter:  Oh, oh, excuse me, excuse me, I was just looking for the john… uhh, that is the John SHRM-CP, SPQ3K, WHATEVER!.... Oh MY MY MY MY!! Excuse me!!!

Peter rushes back to the living room where Jane, Dex, and Carol are still talking.  

Peter: Folks, I’m sorry we have to go! I just remembered an important webinar on “Does Skipper Owe Gilligan Overtime?” It was only supposed to be a three hour tour, but ... let's go, Jane!

Jane: Oh, I am sorry.  I hope to see all of you again soon!

Carol: New SHRM-CPs can be so edgy, Just Plain Jane.  We understand.

Jane:  Well, folks ... that's my Peter!

Dex:  Good bye, Peter SHRM-CP. You too, Just Plain Jane!

Jane waves to all. Peter hustles her out in seconds.  

JaneWhat was the matter, Peter?  Tell Just Plain Jane.

Peter:  Those people are certified all right --- certified nuts!

The End


Well,  I finally got to perform the sketch, at least in a way. 
So long, fellow HR professionals! And so long, Jane.


Russell Gayer said...

Hilarious, Peter, uh . . . I mean Perry. I've known some of these people. All I think except for Plain Jane, and for some reason I find her very appealing. Maybe it's because she kept saying, "That's my Peter" like she had an obsession with his joy stick.

Perry Block said...

Yes, I wrote this sketch about ten years. Back then I put together a group of HR professionals and for a few years we put on a sort of SNL for HR Show, of which I wrote about 95%. We never got to do this sketch but as I was writing it I found I was fucking falling in love with Jane! The picture I used for her is actually a bit cuter than I envisioned her but it was the closest picture to the way I saw her that I could find. Damn it, she's way too young for me! But you better keep your hands off her. I created her first!

Perry Block said...

And in this instance, Peter is just a name, no double entendre intended. Clean up your fucking mind!

Ilil Arbel said...

The sad part of this very funny script is that it is factual. I have never worked in HR, so I am objective, but I do know many of them. Yes, it is very true to life.

Perry Block said...

It is true that people in all professions sometimes get carried away with their titles and certifications. That said, earning these certifications requires effort that should be acknowledged but not in the manner of our self-absorbed folks here. Thanks for writing, Ilil.

Gardenlover said...

I couldn't agree more, Peter Block DH FF RQ X&Z.

Perry Block said...

But don't forget Perry Block JD, SPHR, DOUCHE... wait a minute!