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Episode 1.02 : The Measure of a Manmeet

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

September 30, 2010

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Comedy

Show Period

2010 - 2011

Production Company

Universal Media Studios

Cast and Crew


Director

Victor Nelli Jr.

Screenwriter

Paul A. Kaplan, Mark Torgove

Main Cast

Synopsis


Enjoying his morning coffee, Todd waits inside the break room for his employees to come trickling in to work. Asha greets him and then is shocked by the loud bellowing from a mounted deer head on the wall; it's the latest from Mid America Novelties. One by one the rest of the team comes in, each falling victim to the practical joke. Even Midhuri screams - though it's barely audible.

Manmeet is on the phone with a customer. But instead of taking an order or solving a problem, he is romancing the woman on the other end. Meanwhile, Todd is videoconferencing with Jerry, his boss. As Jerry smacks his lips over Kansas City BBQ, he tells Todd that he needs to evaluate his team; sales figures are being scrutinized. Rajiv is pleased. He gleefully tells Todd that fear and shame are the best motivators of all.

Todd begins his evaluations. He tells wallflower Midhuri she needs to be more assertive, then asks her to practice on him. She responds by asking Todd to pronounce her name correctly. Todd's embarrassed that he's been mispronouncing her name all along and does his best to get the pronunciation just right. After a few tries he asks for Madhuri's feedback. She ambiguously bobs her head up and down and side to side; apparently he doesn't quite have it but she appreciates the effort. He evaluates Manmeet next and gives him the good news that he's got the highest customer satisfaction rating. Manmeet's got good news for Todd too: he's brought him a burger - a lentil burger. But it's just no substitute for American cooking, and Todd wretches. Todd invites Manmeet out to dinner later in a big hotel so he can enjoy a steak.

Todd evaluates Gupta next, giving him decent marks, but encouraging him to stop talking to customers after he's completed the sale. Gupta is defensive, but then accepts Todd's coaching. Of course, he then goes on at length, asking questions about Todd's upcoming dinner with Manmeet; Todd cuts him off. Asha's next. Todd has nothing but positive feedback for her. He asks if she has any questions and she shakes her head no. Todd's relieved to see a definitive head movement. He asks Asha why so many of his staff bobble their heads. Asha explains it's the "Indian head shake," an ambiguous response that can mean yes or no. Todd tries to do the head shake himself, but Asha just laughs at his effort. She walks around the table to hold his head in her hands and move it authentically. They share a laugh, until they're noticed by a shocked Midhuri.

At day's end, Jerry videoconferences again. He places himself in front of blue screen footage of a roller coaster for comedic effect. Todd introduces Rajiv, who is honored to meet the big boss back in America. Jerry wants to know if Todd's decided whom to fire. Shocked, Todd's not sure what to do. Rajiv is pleased at the opportunity to fire someone. From the break room, a frightened Gupta overhears what's going on; he's afraid he'll be the one getting the axe.

Distraught, Todd discusses his problem with Charlie, his ex-pat cohort in Mumbai. As a hunter, Charlie's got no problem firing people; that's why he never gets too close to them. But Todd's never fired an employee and devises a desperate plan: he'll simply identify the weakest employee, get his or her sales numbers up and then he won't have to fire anyone.

From their management perch at the front of the call center, Rajiv and Todd review the sales figures for each team member. A paranoid Gupta stares at them, trying to read their lips. He's convinced his head is on the block! But the reality is that it is Manmeet who has the lowest sales numbers. After listening in on his calls, Todd now knows why: Manmeet is spending so much time flirting on the phone that he's not making enough sales. We listen in as he lays it on thick with Kelly, Wanda, Linda, Mary, et al.

Quitting time at the call center. Todd tells Gupta to go home – a sign Gupta interprets as being fired. He whimpers off and Manmeet scurries in. Tonight's the night he and Todd had planned dinner. But now Todd isn't comfortable socializing with him: Manmeet's on the firing line. He tells him his sales are dangerously sub par and that his socializing is the cause of it. Manmeet acknowledges that it's a problem, but confesses the women are irresistible. He's talking to people from exotic places like Des Moines and Fresno. They make him feel special: they don't care about his caste or who his parents are. Todd warns him: get your sales up or lose your job.

In a gesture of goodwill, Todd lets Manmeet say goodbye to the women he's been romancing on the phone. Manmeet calls his way across the USA, gently letting his girls down one by one. Listening to the litany of heartbreaks and sensing an opportunity, Todd points out a few appropriate Mid America novelties for Manmeet to try to sell his soon-to-be ex-girlfriends. The strategy works: Manmeet's numbers go through the roof. Jerry lets Todd off the hook; he won't need to fire anyone (much to Raja's disappointment).

But Gupta still thinks he's been fired. He returns to the call center hell-bent on finally telling off Todd and his co-workers. He launches a loud and rambling tirade against how his co-workers smell, act toward him, wear their jewelry. Todd manages to stop him before he insults absolutely everyone. Gupta's chagrined but ecstatic his job is safe. "I guess we all know who you'll be talking about at lunch," Gupta says with a smile.

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