The place is the regional circulation department of a New York publisher of directories, where a group of bored clerks are typing away listlessly under the watchful eye of Norman, their annoyingly gung ho and snidely petty boss. Sandra and Colleen are preoccupied with their romantic problems; Marta, recently promoted to Regional Circulation Assistant, is (at Norman's bidding) taking the "Chink" and the "dwarf" in the printing department to task about some misprinted brochures; while John, an actor and office temp, is impatiently awaiting the call from his agent which could be his ticket to a better life. Managing to type and talk at the same time, most of their attention is focused on personal matters, which intrude via repeated phone calls, much to Norman's annoyance. Sandra, it appears, is about to be dumped by her fiancé, Lenny; Colleen, arguing about her boyfriend, Marco, is banished from home by her unsympathetic mother; and John ends up shouting at his agent in frustration. But after the storm comes the calm, as Sandra begins to wonder whether Lenny's younger brother might not be the better match for her anyway; Colleen makes up with her mother; John's agent calls back with the news he has been hoping for; Norman decides that the brochures are okay after all; and Sandra, feeling a bit flighty, answers the phone by saying "Reasonable Circulation"—which, under the circumstances, seems to be a rather apt description.
Selected for the noted "Best Short Plays" series, this clever and very funny short play follows the fortunes of a group of office workers as they deal with the problems, both professional and personal, which arise during a typical workday. The main qualities which they have in common are utter boredom with their jobs (and contempt for their boss) and a desire to "beat the system" whenever possible—which leads to an exceptionally perceptive and amusing examination of the inevitable disparity between what they want and what they actually have.