Home > Happy Holidays Fun > Holiday Humour in the Office – The Case of the Missing Desk

Holiday Humour in the Office – The Case of the Missing Desk

Bathchair Theatre presents:

 The Case of the Missing Desk

 (a radio script)




Inspector Carpark, hardbitten, seen it all detective

DS Mills, Carpark’s sidekick

Alice Late, Marketing Director

Bob Down, HR Manager

Anon, Facilities Manager


Inspector Carpark (IC) (in narrative style):           it was just after eight when the call came in to the desk sergeant. I was down at the station myself so I missed it; I was at the railway station. They rang my mobile and asked me to take the case. I told them to give it to Mills; he’s my bagman. They gave me the address and I headed into the city centre. I went into the newsagent. There I borrowed a street map and looked up the address. It was out on the east side. Mills was waiting for me at the scene. I asked him what we had. He said about twenty minutes allowing for commercial breaks. I told him we’d need to act fast.

Sound of footsteps, a door opening, then moor footsteps.

IC (narrating):    A man approached us. He spoke.

Bob:       Bob Down

IC (narrating):    We ducked. He looked puzzled.

Bob:       I’m Bob Down, the HR Manager.

IC:           Just keep to the facts please sir. Now, I understand that you’ve lost a desk.

Bob:       Yes, it’s gone missing from our marketing team’s area. I’ll take you to it.

IC:           You’ll take us to it?

Bob:       Yes.

IC:           Well sir, if you can take us to it it can’t be missing can it?

Bob (Sounding confused):           I’m taking you to the marketing team; that’s where the desk has gone missing from.

IC:           Look sir, we don’t have much time so try not to waste it.

IC (narrating):    The man called Bob took us to the elevator and we rode up to the twentieth floor where we walked out into an open plan area with views over the city. A woman came towards us. She was dressed as though she shopped at Oxfam, but as she got closer it was obvious that she had spent a lot of dough on her outfit. She held out her hand.

Alice:    Alice Late

IC:           We’ll talk to Al when he gets in then. You’ll have to do for now. What’s the story; just stick to the facts.

Alice:     What?

Mills:    Just tell us about the desk mam.

Alice:    Well, we came in this morning and one of our desks was missing.

Mills:    Can you show us where it was mam?

Alice:    Yes.

IC (narrating):    She walked us over to a set of five desks and pointed.

Alice:    There should be a desk there and there isn’t. It’s gone.

Mills:    Can you describe the desk mam?

Alice:    It’s the same as the others here; it’s what you might call a hot desk.

Mills:    We always call a stolen desk a hot desk. If it’s the same as all the others how do you know which one is missing?

Alice:    Does it matter? One desk is missing.

Mills:    If we find a desk, how will you know if it is yours if you can’t identify it?

IC (narrating):    I looked around. Probably only half of the desks were in use. This broad had some explaining to do.

IC:           You told us Al was late. All these other folks; are they late too?

Alice:    Not everyone comes in every day. We’re a creative team and can often work best away from the office.

Bob:       Yes! We encourage flexible working as part of our culture. Very few people actually have to come into the office every day.

Mills:    So when did anyone last see this alleged missing desk?

Alice:    I can’t say.

IC:           You can tell him; he’s a policeman.

Alice:    No, I mean that I don’t know for sure when it was last here, but we think that it must have been here when we left on Friday.

Mills:    Can anyone say for sure that the desk was here on Friday?

Alice:    Well, not for sure, no.

Mills:    When was the desk last used?

Alice:    (Pause. Sound of rustling paper) I can’t say.

Mills:    Mam, we’re the police. You have to tell us.

Alice (Slightly off mike):                              Sorry, someone’s torn the bottom off this page of my script. I don’t have my line. (Pause) Thanks.

Alice (Back on mike):     We don’t know. As I told you it was a hot desk, so anyone could have used it at any time. We don’t keep records. We noticed it was gone yesterday when we came in to drop off some things from an exhibition. I mean it’s obvious that there should be another desk in that space isn’t it?

IC (narrating):    I’d seen and heard all that I needed here. It looked like an open and shut case, but I just needed to confirm what my eyes were telling me.

IC:           We need to talk to your Facilities Manager

Alice:    Our what?

Bob:       Oh Yes. Um, just let me think. I believe the FM team live in the basement somewhere. I’ll take you down.

IC (narrating):    Bob took us down in the elevator. In reception and up on the twentieth he’d looked assured and at home. Down here in the bowels of the building he looked furtive and ill at ease. He found a door marked Private and knocked. The door opened a crack and he spoke into the gap.

Bob:       I have some policemen to see the Facilities Manager, er…

IC (narrating):    Bob ushered us through the door, made his excuses and left. Inside we faced a man who radiated animal cunning; this was a shrewd operator. I told him we wanted to speak with the FM and he pointed across to the corner where a woman was comparing columns of figures across two sheets of paper. I flashed her my badge. She pointed to a pair of chairs beside her desk. Mills and I sat down.

IC:           I think that you know why we’re here sister.

FM:        Do I?

IC:           You’ve been at this scam for a while and you’ve been getting away with it, but over the weekend things went wrong. You’ve still got away with it to a degree because Ms Marketing upstairs thinks she’s lost just the one desk, but you and I know better don’t we?

FM:        I have no idea what you’re talking about.

IC:           I know different. You’ve been sneaking a couple of desks out of that space every couple of weeks or so. They’ve got too many and are too wrapped up in their own world to notice. You come in on a Sunday and slip another couple out, but yesterday the marketing mob came back unexpectedly just after you took the first desk.

FM:        You can’t prove anything.

IC:           I don’t have to. There is no theft because the desk is still here somewhere being used by the company.

FM:        So what happens next?

IC:           You’ve read the script. This is the end of the line.

IC (narrating):    With that we got up and left. Another day, another case wrapped up. Just another dumb user group hanging on to too much space and too much resource that they didn’t need except for their own prestige. If there was any crime here then that was it.

(Fade in closing music)











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