One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 6, Episode 7 - The Drop Out - full transcript

Searching for a college major has brought Barbara to a dead end and she decides to take time out from school.

♪ This is it ♪ This is it

♪ This is life, the one you
get so go and have a ball

♪ This is it ♪ This is it

♪ Straight ahead and rest
assured you can't be sure at all

♪ So while you're
here enjoy the view

♪ Keep on doing what you do

♪ So hold on tight
we'll muddle through

♪ One day at a time
♪ One day at a time

♪ So up on your
feet ♪ Up on your feet

♪ Somewhere
there's music playing

♪ Don't you worry none
we'll just take it like it comes

♪ One day at a time
♪ One day at a time

♪ One day at a time
♪ One day at a time

♪ One day at a time
♪ One day at a time

♪ One day at a time

(electric sanding)

- You callin' me?

- No, Schneider.

(electric sanding)

- You upset?

- It's personal,
Schneider, okay?

- Hey, Ms. Romano
I'm an old friend!

I mean, I'm like
one of the family!

There's anything I can
do, you know anything.

- You got $3,812?

(electric sanding)

- Schneider, am I in your light?

- Oh, wow, wow.

- Yeah, I know.

It's the first financial statement
for Romano and Handris.

- You only got one
column there in black ink.

- Yup, and that's
the date column.

- Really gotta hand
it to ya, Ms. Romano.

- What for?

- For gettin' out of
bed in the morning.

After what you've been
through, afraid you'd get fired.

- Yeah, I remember.

- And you're furniture
gets ripped off,

you gotta go in the
hog for all new stuff.

- Okay, okay.

- And you lease a new
office, you decorate,

you furnish it.

- Look, Schneider,
I don't really-

- Then you gotta layout a
bundle for office supplies,

typewriters, equipment.

- Yeah, I know.

- Only to get clobbered
on the home front,

there's Barbara's
tuition, the rent is due.

- Schneider I've already...

- You've had a
really rotten year.

- Thank you for reminding me.

- Only good news you've
had is that your dad's

insurance paid for the funeral.

- What you're saying is
that I should be looking

on the sunny side.

- Absolutely.

I mean, two months
ago you were flat broke.

And today, by your own
hard work, you're deep in debt.

It's the American
dream all over again.

- Hi.

Hey, it's Mom.

I live here.

- Oh, right, hi.

- Hi, Barbara,
what's on your mind?

- Life.

- Life?

What do ya wanna know about it?

- What's in the fridge?

- Well, we have...

- Liverwurst, coleslaw,
half pint of rocky road.

Well, the bulb was
broken in there,

so I stuck my
head in and fixed it.

- Oh, I couldn't eat
anything anyway.

Even junk food wouldn't help.

- Uh oh, this is serious.

- I think I'm going
through a mid-life crises.

- Mid-life crises?

At 19?

- Probably means
I won't live long.

- C'mon kid, what is it?

What's goin' on?

- Oh, i spent my whole
stupid life just drifting along

mindless, having
fun without a care.

What was it all about?

- It's called childhood.

- Yeah, well it's all over now.

I'm a sophomore, I
have to pick a major.

- Oh, well, darling, everybody
has to make those decisions.

- You didn't, you got married.

How am I supposed to
decide what I wanna be,

who I wanna be years from now?

Did Eric Sevareid
say to his daddy,

"When I grow up I
wanna be a pundit?"

- How could he?

Not even from India.

- Look, honey, I
know it's tough.

- How can I decide?

I haven't been anywhere.

I haven't done anything.

Dad thinks I should go
into business administration.

Grandma says I should
study home economics.

And you, you put me in
the worst position of all.

You tell me to make
my own decision.

- Tell ya somethin'
about decisions,

decisions are very,
very, very tough.

When it gets right down to it

a decision is just a question
of makin' up your mind.

- Schneider, make a
decision to be quiet.

- My mind's made up.

- Darling, you were gonna
have a good long talk with

your counselor
today, did you do that?

- Oh, yes, we did.

It was the most intimate
honest discussion

I've ever been in.

- Terrific, did you
discover anything?

- Mhmm, she's been divorced
twice, is hypoglycemic,

and wants to be a TV writer.

- Alright, what about
your aptitude test?

- Oh, I get the results
in a couple days,

but I did lousy.

- You flunked?

Should've studied.

- Schneider, you can't
flunk an aptitude test.

Everybody has some aptitude.

- Oh, yeah?

What about them Iranian Atillas?

- You are a good student.

You have plenty of ability.

There's any number
of things you can do.

- That's the whole problem.

Everything seems interesting.

Marine biology, political
science, journalism, dentistry.

- Dentistry?

- You wanna be a dentist?

- Well, it's just
an example, Mom.

- Dentistry, huh?

- We've never had a
professional person in this family.

- You'd like me to be a
dentist, wouldn't you, Mom?

- Ah, it's your decision.


- When I was a kid I
wanted to be a dentist.

I was always so handy with
a pair of pliers, you know.

- Thank you, Schneider.

- The problem is there are
so many things I could do.

- Yeah, I had that
problem in the Navy.

I could've been a
signalman, electrician,

machinist mate, I finally
decided I was gonna be

a torpedo repairman.

- Right, why?

- Well, I didn't figure
there'd be too much to do.

How many torpedoes
come back broken?

- I'm just afraid I'll
make the wrong choice.

How will I know?

- You won't.

- Thank you.

- Look, the last
time lightning struck,

St. Paul was on his
way to Damascus.

The rest of us have
to make choices.

Tough, hard choices.

And when we make them
we never know they're right.

- Okay, if that's it, that's it.

- That's it.

- I've gotta make a choice.

So, I will do it by absolutely,

positively Friday
at five o'clock.

- Good for you.

- Maybe six.

Of course, seven's
a possibility,

but then eight isn't
out of the question.

- Anybody home?

- Hello, Schneider.

- Hi, Ms. Romano,
broken toaster.

- That's not ours.

- I know, it's Mrs. Laroo's,

but it's very tough
to work up there.

Nothing but strobe
lights and mirrors.

- Schneider, you wouldn't
be looking for an excuse to

drop in now, would ya?

- No, me?

- Yeah, you know, Friday,
five o'clock, Barbara's deadline?

- Barbara's really
got a tough decision.

I mean, nowadays
women can do practically

anything they want.

- Practically?

- Well, except maybe
Pope or a good band leader.

- Right.

- Oh, hi.

- Hi, Barbara.

- Hi, sweetheart.

Well, anything new?

- New?

Oh, right, new, of course.

Okay, my advisor and I
went over my aptitude test.

- And?

- And we talked about me,
what I like, what I don't like.

- [Both] And?

- And...

- And?

- And I made a decision.

I don't think you're
gonna like it, though.

- You're not gonna be a dentist.

- Look, you made
up you're own mind.

I am delighted whatever it is.

- Don't yell, okay?

- I won't.

- Okay, I'm dropping out.

Mom, don't yell!

Mom, don't yell, please!

- No, I won't yell, I
won't yell, I won't yell.


You cannot drop out of college.

- I'm not gonna drop
out forever, I just, oh,

I need time!

- Time?

That could be forever!

- Well, Mom...

- Your sister Julie quit
school and never went back,

ended up married
in Texas of all places!

- Now...
- Two daughters, two drop outs!

Great, this is just great!

- Now, Mom, I worked
it out with my advisor,

she's a very intelligent person.

- Intelligent?

Give me a break, she
wants to be a TV writer.

- Now, Mom!

- Hold it!

- Once you drop out
you will never go back!

- That's not true!

I worked it out with my advisor,

she said I can go
back anytime I want to.

(loud whistling)

- We have here are two separate

and different opinions
on the same subject.

And what we need
here is arbitration.

So, now I'd like
to hear both sides.

- I'm dropping out of college
until I decide exactly what

I wanna do and
then I will go back!

- She will never go back!

- Let me digest that.

- I'm a little immature, okay.

So I need to get out
into the real world

and decide what I wanna do.

Then I will, I will
go back to college,

but to go on taking
courses with no goal

is just a waste of
time and money.

- Ah, so that's it.


You're dropping out of
college because your mom's

having financial difficulties.

- I thought we
were doing better?

- We are, we are doing fine.

- No, you're not.

- Schneider.

Barbara, we have plenty
of money for college.

- But, Mom, I
need time to think.

I need some experience
all on my own.

Now, you always said
that you never lived enough

before you got married
to know who you were.

- Barbara...

- Now, Mom, you
taught me something.

I've got an appointment tomorrow
with an employment agency.

I'm gonna work.

- Guess she's gonna
need a lunch pail.

- Would I lie to you, Linda?

Look, Linda, this is one job
you can't afford to pass up.

It's a terrific
opportunity, Linda.

It's right for you.

Believe me.


Linda, please
don't scream at me,

we'll get them up to 43.

You get six weeks paid vacation,

expense account, company car.

Alright, so it has
its drawbacks,

you have to go to Europe
two or three time a year.

Paris, Rome,
Linda, think it over.

Do it for me, please.

They need a bright, young,
attractive woman right away.


Okay, Linda, bye.

Love you.

- I'll take it.

- You're a sex therapist?

- Oh, no.

- No, either am
I, unfortunately.

Fred Parmington and you're?

- Barbara Cooper.

- Barbara Cooper, very good.

Ah, let me see.

Barbara, 19 years old, oh,

do you know how
lucky you are, Barbara?

- No.

- Do you have any idea
what's waiting out there for

a young, energetic,
ambitious girl today?

- No.

- The world.

The world is waiting!

And it's a world of opportunity,

a world that your
mother never dreamt of!

The possibilities are
unlimited, the sky's the limit!

How many words a
minute do you type?

- Oh, well, I'm not
interested in secretarial work.

- Oh, well what are
you interested in?

- Oh, I think I'd like
something creative.

- Creative.

- And exciting.

- Exciting.

And relevant.
- And relevant.

- Would you be interested
in working with people?

- How did you know?

- Well, that's a wild
guess, wild guess.

Well, let me see
your application,

I'll just check it on it.

Well, Barbara,
let me assure you,

you'll be the first one I
contact if we ever need

varsity yell leader.

- Oh, because the application
does say other interests.

- Yes, I see.

Oh, yes, an expert
on Elizabethan poetry.

That's a rough one, Barbara.

In any kind of recession
the first thing they

cut back on Elizabethan poets.

- There must be something.

- Now, just what kind of a
job are you interested in?

- Oh, how bout something
in communications?

- Communications,
communications, let's see.

There's an opening at
the Embassy Theater

for a popcorn girl.

- Oh, well, how bout
something in the fashion world?

- Fashion, fashion,
that's very interesting.

We have a clerk at
Kimmels Dry Cleaners.

- How bout travel?

- Meter maid.

- Mr. Parmington, this isn't
exactly what I had in mind.

- Barbara, I'm sorry,
it's just the same thing

day after day, young people
come in here without any skills

without any background
and they expect

to start from the top.

- All I want is a chance.

- No, that's what
I'm giving to you.

Look, let me give
you the facts of life.

There are eight million
people out of work.

Last week we had an opening,

a receptionist for a
meat packing company,

we had 27 applicants.

You know who got it?

A PHD in zoology.

- Where do my best chances lie?

- Well, let me put it this way,

does your father own
any kind of business?

- Okay, alright,
alright, alright, alright,

how is this for a slogan?

- Let me hear.

- Mystic Mattress,
you can bunk on it.

- It's not bad.

- It's not bad at all.

- It stinks.

- Look, shrimp, when
I want your opinion

I'll give it to you.

Besides, what do you know
about mattresses anyway?

- Dad, I'm an expert,
I sleep on one.

You know what
sells a product today?

- Tell me.

- Cleavage.

- What do you know
about cleavage?

- I read magazines.

- What magazines?

- Yours.

You get some blonde
sexpot, Suzanne Somers,

put her on a mattress.

- Alex.

- In fact, put the three
of them on a mattress.

You know, Three's Company,

but there's always room
on a Mystic Mattress.

- Well, break out the champagne,

it's been exactly two
weeks and I'm oh for seven.

- Oh, darling, I'm sorry
you have to be going

through all of this.

- Hang in there, Barbara.

Remember if at first
you don't succeed...

- Give up.

- I beg your pardon?

- Nothing.

- Oh.

- Well, looks like she's
not gonna find a job.

- Annie, are you still
hoping she's gonna give up

and go back to school?

- Oh, now, whatever
gave you that idea?

- Well, I don't know.

- Alright, so she has
until Monday at 6:00 p.m.

To enroll for next semester.

- Yeah, well, this is one
of those rare moments

that you and I are
on opposite sides.

You don't have to go to
college to be somebody.

I dropped out.

- I rest my case.

- Dad, you're right!

I'm wasting my time
in the seventh grade!

- Forget it!

I'm talking about
somebody else's kid, not you.

Besides, I went back to school,

earned my degree and
look where I am today,

working over a dinky coffee
table with a short red head.

- Oh, I don't know
what the problem is.

All these job interviews.

I'm too young, no
skills, no experience.

- Maybe they
just don't like you.

- You know, Barbara, getting
a job is like anything else,

there is a right way and
there is a wrong way.

- He should know, I met
him in the unemployment line.

- Probably got a lot more
experience than you realize.

- Nick, look...

- It's all in the
way you present it.

Now, you tell me what
kind of jobs you've had.

- Well, I was a life
guard in Ringer Park,

the wading pool for three weeks.

- Okay, you were
a civic official.

- Couple days at Quickie Burger.

- Quickie Burger,
and a nutritionist.

- Part time at
the school library.

- With an extensive
background in literature

education in the arts.


- Oh, Nick, I can't
lie to get a job.

- Ah, good for you.

- Wait a minute,
this is not lying.

It's just making the
truth more palatable.

- Dad, the truth is
Barbara's got a real problem.

She's not qualified
for anything.

- Alex, if you'd
like to drop out

we're on the fourth floor.

- Yeah, Nick, I think maybe
you should take Alex home,

work on his resume.

- Okay, I get the message.

Come on, Alex, we've done
all we can for the two ladies.

- [Ann] Bye!

- Look, Barbara, the
important thing to remember is

you gotta have
confidence in yourself.

I think you're a terrific kid

and you got a lot going for you.

- What she got going for her?

- Can you get out of here?

- Okay, come on,
put on your coat.

We're gonna go downtown
and pick up a fishing rod

for your father's birthday.

- No, Mom, come on, I've
done enough fishing for one day.

I don't want to.

- Come on, put your coat on,

you've done nothing
for two weeks,

but brood about getting a job.

You gotta forget about it

and put your mind
onto something else.

- I don't wanna do this.

- Darling, I don't care
what you wanna do,

we're gonna go down to
the sporting goods store,

have dinner,
celebrate, have dinner.

- Nine, 10, 11,
12, 13, 14, 15, 16...

- C'mon, Mom, let's go,

we've been standing
here for 10 minutes.

- No.

Excuse me, sir.

- Just a minute!

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18...

- Uh, we've been
waiting for half an hour.

- She just said 10 minutes.

20, 21, 22, 23...
- What's the difference?

- About 20 minutes.

23, 24, 25, 26, 27...

- I am not gonna
stand here forever.

- One, two, three,
four, five, six, seven.

- Come on, Mom,
this is just not my day.

- Look, I am a customer,
I would like some service.

- Okay, okay.

- Good.

- What can I do for you?

- Well, what I would
like... (phone ringing)

- Hank's Sporting Goods.

Oh, yeah, hi, Daw.

No, no I'm not busy at all.

- Excuse me, what I what I...

- Uh, some tennis balls,
maybe a pocket knife there.

Over at your place tonight?

Yeah, great!

- No, what I want
is a fishing rod.

- A fishing rod?

At 5:45, we close
at six o'clock, lady.

Oh, okay, you bring the
vodka, I'll bring the Gatorade.

- See, we know what we want,

we want the Rembrandt
Sportsman 310.

- You would just love the
Ace Double Action Junior.

Oh, boy, that sound cozy,

I'll try to get out a
little early, okay?

- We wanted the
Rembrandt Sportsman.

- I would have to find
that in the backroom.

Say, have you considered the
Tom Sawyer bamboo classic?

Oh, yeah, me too,
you little pussycat!

- The Rembrandt Sportsman 310.

- Dumb broad.

(bell dinging furiously)

- Alright, alright, alright!

Can I help you?

- Are you the manager?

- I'm afraid so.

There's something wrong, right?

- You bet there's
something wrong.

That clerk is lazy,
obnoxious, insulting...

- Yeah, he's not a nice person.

- Do you know what he called me?

- Oh, no not again.

- He called me a dumb broad.

- Well, that's not so bad.

You should here what
he calls Mrs. Briglow.

- You should fire that man.

- I know, I know, I should
have revolving door out there

just for the clerks.

- So, are you gonna fire him?

- Yeah, I should've
done it long ago.

- Then you'll be
needing someone else.

- Uh, maybe he's not that bad.

- Oh, yes, he is.

You were right.

- I've been looking for a job.

- Well, anybody
can have an off day.

- My mind is made up.

- Come on, sweetheart, let's go.

- You're gonna be
needing a new salesperson.

- Wells, yes, but where
am I gonna find a young,

courteous, conscientious
person who wants to work?

- Store closes in 12 minutes.

- I can do it, just hire me,
I'll show you what I can do!

- I'm really hungry.

- You wanna work here?

- Uh uh!

- [Manager] Full time?

- Full time.

- What's your background Miss?

- Cooper, Barbara Cooper.

I really don't have
a background.

You see, this would
be my first real job.

- Yeah, see she has no
experience whatsoever.

- Well, hopefully she
won't have any bad habits.

- Honey, can we talk
about this please?

- Could you be here at nine
o'clock Monday morning?

- Sure.

- Job doesn't pay
very much at first.

And of course I'll have to
start you off as a stock boy.

- I'm your boy.

I'll see you Monday?

- See ya Monday!

- Okay!

- Stock boy?

- Oh, Mom, I love you.

Just think if it hadn't been
for you dragging me down

here getting that rod I'd
never have a new career!

- Stock boy?

For this you gave up dentistry?

- Come on, this is
terrific, I just know it's right.

- Is it?

- Yes, for now.

Come on, I'm starving.

Let's go out and have
dinner and celebrate.

Have dinner.

(upbeat music)