When Paul Cunningham reports for work addressing postcards for a mail-order house, he makes it clear to his fellow worker, Sylvia Payton, that his employment is strictly temporary. Paul, a married man, is studying law at night, and with his uncle already in successful practice there is every hope that his future will be a promising one. Sylvia, the "supervisor" of the two-employee office, has a few dreams herself—mostly of the romantic variety so often indulged in by not so young spinsters with widowed mothers to support. Paul and Sylvia hit it off well, and as Paul's "temporary" tenure stretches on from weeks to months to years they become involved in the shared experiences of close daily contact. And, within the short span of the play, they begin to age and grow gray. While they go on chattering of the important things that have happened to them and of the bright future that will be coming up any day, the futility of their existence becomes increasingly evident. And when they finally dodder off with friendly "good night" to their unseen employer we have witnessed a cycle of life complete with the humor, sadness, self-delusion and reconciliation that underlie and infuse the human condition.
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