One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 8, Episode 16 - The Hero - full transcript

Saving a man's life gets Schneider a cushy executive job with very little to do.

♪ 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

♪ 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

♪ 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

- Really think that if
we move this up here,

the presentation will be better.

- It'll be stronger?

- I think so, I really do.

Do you agree with that?
- I'll go along with that.

- Okay, I'm glad.

The reason,



hello Alex, what is it?

- I know you said
not to bother you

unless it was real
important, and well,

I've been thinking it over.

It is.

You're sitting on my
Spanish conjugations.

They're right
down here, I think.

- Alex, they were
the same color.

- I wouldn't bother
you, Mr. Reed,

except that I got a
humongous test tomorrow.

- Oh no problem, Alex.

- Oh, thank you.

- Sorry to trouble you
on Sunday like this, Ann.

- No really, I think
that it's important...

(knocks)

Look at me, Alex.

Adios.

- Adios is Spanish.
- Spanish for goodbye.

- Goodbye.
- Right.

- Anyway, I wanted
to go over this copy

just one more time
before you released it.

- I'm glad you're here.

We charge double on Sundays.

- Hey you guys, wait'll you see,

oh I'm sorry, I didn't
know you had company.

Barbara, Barbara, come
over here to the window.

Come here, come here.

- [Barbara] I'm coming.

- Look at the size
of this limousine.

The back seat must
be in another timezone.

Hey, what kind of a guy
would buy a thing like that

and put a chauffeur in it

in a monkey suit.
- That.

- I'll tell you the
kind of a guy, yeah.

A guy that's worked his
way right up in the ranks,

you know what I'm saying?

The guy that gives work
to people like chauffeurs.

A real American,
that's what kind of a guy.

- Schneider, we will
take the flag out later.

Right now, we
are trying to work.

- Right.

You wouldn't be
working on Sunday unless

it was really heavy duty stuff.

I recognize that
and I bow to it.

Dwayne Schneider,
building superintendent.

- Schneider, this is Mr. Reed of

Reed Enterprises
Sporting Equipment.

- Oh sporting, oh
yeah, terrific, yeah.

Well, I'll be out of your hair.

I just got a small little
washer job in the back.

Hey, that's a terrific vehicle.

You earned it,
you deserve it, yes.

- Okay you guys, how
about a hot coffee break?

- Oh yeah, we might as well.

What have you been
cooking out there?

It smells delicious.

- Cinnamon rolls, I
wrapped them myself.

- I'll get the
coffee, the napkins.

- Mmmm, did I
hear cinnamon rolls?

- Fresh out of the oven.

Oh good, Barb.

- Mr. Reed, are you all right?

- [Alex] Mr. Reed?

- [Barbara] Mr. Reed, Mom.

- What's the matter?
- He must be choking

or something, Mr. Reed.
- Mr. Reed.

- What do we do?
- I know, hit him on the back.

- Get the first aid book,
get the first aid book.

- Hit him on the back
with the first aid bok?

- No, I don't know what to do.

Schneider, Schneider, would
you come out here please?

I think that Mr. Reed's choking.

I think, I don't
know, he's choking.

- All right, all
right, stand back.

Everybody stand back.
- We're back.

- Mr. Reed, Mr. Reed,
can you speak?

No, he's choking.
- Right.

- Would you stand up Mr. Reed.

Mr. Reed, you're choking, okay?

I'm gonna try to
help you here now.

Anything come out, I can't see.

- I don't know, I don't know.

- I'm gonna try the Heimlich
maneuver on you now,

Mr. Reed, so just... (grunts)

Doesn't always
work the first time.

(grunts)

You better, you better?

- He's okay.
- Okay, okay, sit down there.

- Oh, I'll get some water.

- No no, no water, no
booze, no coffee, no advice.

I'm not sure about sex.

- Schneider, how did
you know what to do?

- Well, I learned it
from Hootie the Owl.

- He's gonna explain that.

Aren't you, Schneider?

- Yeah, educational TV.

This coyote, you
know, swallowed a duck.

Got stuck in his throat.

And along came
Hootie the Owl and

Hootie squeezed the coyote
like I squeezed Mr. Reed.

Duck came out safe and sound.

(quacks)

- Well, thank you, Schneider.

You okay, Mr. Reed?

- I think so, yeah.

- Hey, you saved his life.

- Well possibly, probably, yeah.

- You did, you did.

You didn't see him because
you were behind him,

but he was gagging and gulping

and trying to spit,
and went from purple

to gray to green and
was trying to suck the air

right past Barbara's
cinnamon rolls.

(gasps)

- Oh thank you, Alex,
for that demonstration.

Mr. Reed, how about
calling it a day, huh?

- Agreed.
- Okay.

- Please, tell me
your name again.

- Schneider.

- Dwayne Schneider.

- Can you stop by
my office tomorrow

afternoon, Mr. Schneider?

- Thanks anyway, Mr. Reed, but I

didn't do nothing
for you that no owl

wouldn't have
done for any coyote.

I'm just glad you didn't
swallow a duck, you know?

(quacks)

- Shall we say
tomorrow at two then?

You have my notes here,
Ann, you can carry on please.

- Sure can, I'll get your coat.

- Want a bite?

- No thanks.

Goodbye everybody,
and thank you.

- Goodbye, Mr. Reed.

Maybe next time,
I'll serve Jell-O.

(laughs)

- Bye bye.
- Bye bye.

- Wow Schneider, you're a hero.

- Yeah, he probably
wants to give me a reward

of some kind, but I'm
telling you right now,

I ain't gonna take it.

- Well, good for you.

- Schneider, you're crazy.

- Kid, man with any, any
character in his backbone

does not taint his
hands with money

merely for saving
somebody's life.

- Merely?

Schneider, what do
you mean merely?

Schneider, you
did save his life.

- Well, maybe some
small token, you know,

the guy's in sporting goods.

Maybe a couple of
fishing poles, some hooks,

some lines, sinkers, who knows?

- Hooks, lines, sinkers?

You kidding?

Try a racing boat, a dock,
maybe a house on the lake.

(laughs)

- A house on the lake?

Listen to this.

(laughs)

Well, the guy is loaded.

I have a two o'clock
appointment with Mr. Reed.

Dwayne F. Schneider is my name.

- Have a seat
please, Mr. Schneider.

Mr. Reed will be
with you in a moment.

- Saved his life.

(laughs)

Would you look at this?

The title of this article.

For Tertiary Disclaimers
Radicalize Tertiary

Endowments Fiscally.

Sounds like something
you get between your toes

in the tropics.

- Mr. Reed wrote that article.

- Well, he certainly
has all his facts together.

- Oh, sorry to keep you
waiting, Mr. Schneider.

Miss Monroe, would you get me

the dossier, please?
- Certainly.

- Mr. Schneider.
- Hi.

- You may have
saved my life yesterday.

My first thought was
to offer you money

for what you did.

But I rejected that.

- Good for you.

- Money doesn't show gratitude.

Money merely pays for a service.

- Exactly, as I was saying
to Ms. Romano last night,

just because you
save somebody's life

doesn't mean you
should expect a house

full of gratitude on
a lake, you know?

- Here you are, Mr. Reed.

- Thank you.

Now Mr. Schneider, I'm
very grateful for what you did

and I took the
trouble to have a little

check on your background made.

- You what?
- Mmmhmm.

This dossier tells
me you've been in the

maintenance field for some time.

Hitching the navy
as a torpedo man,

good reports on
you, character traits

are likable, dependable.

Drunk and disorderly in Hawaii.

Two weeks in the brig.

- I wasn't disorderly.

- You weren't?

- No no no, you see,
we went to this luau

and the pig was late.

So, we you know,
we had this friend and

he was kind of fat.

So we stuffed an
apple to his mouth

and strapped him to
a spit, but we didn't,

we didn't turn him around.

Maybe once or twice
we had a little guy

with a lighter down there.

(laughs)

- Well anyway,
this dossier tells me

what I want to know.

You're a good
maintenance engineer.

- Damn right.

- Exactly.

Let's step into the
office for a minute.

- Oh, it says private.

(laughs)

Holy mackerel.

This is some terrific
office that you have.

- This isn't my office.

- Oh, I'm sorry.

- It's yours.

- It's mine?

- Yours, just like that?

- Just like that.

Big office, big desk,
refrigerator, a bar.

They give me a
rent free apartment

right next door to
the office building

so I'm there on 24 hour call.

- You mean, you wouldn't
be living here anymore?

- Well no, I mean, I'll
keep my apartment, yeah.

You know, I'd use
it on the weekends.

You should see my secretary.

Name is Giselle, what class.

I mean, we're talking about
a woman with Gucci bones.

Be like dictating a letter
to the Venus de Milo.

- Venus de Milo isn't gonna
get you a lot of typing done.

Might be good for shorthand.

- I'll tell you,
Schneider, I have never

seen you so excited.

- Oh, it's like a
dream come true.

I mean, this is the
brass ring, Ms. Romano.

The brass ring, right?

And it only knocks once.

(laughs)

- Let me just get this
absolutely straight.

This is it, right?

You've taken the job.

You are really leaving here?

- Yeah, we're talking
about big bucks.

I mean, a guy has
got to put a little

something away for
himself, you know?

I'm not getting any younger.

I know that's hard to
believe, but it's true.

- Schneider, money
isn't everything.

- I know that, Alex.

But see, it's also
the challenge.

I mean, this is
the big time, right?

They're calling me
up to the majors.

Either you move
ahead or you fall behind.

Man's destiny is to
reach out for the stars.

- In other words, you
sold us out for money.

- Alex, don't say that.

This is my career.

- You've got no choice.

- I had no choice.

- And this could
just be the beginning.

- It could just
be the beginning.

I mean, what have I got now?

I've got one building
with 34 floors.

What's next, 34
buildings with 34 floors

in 34 states, maybe
in 34 countries,

maybe in 68 countries.

I mean, we're talking about
Schneider Fix It International.

I had to, you know, I
really had to do it, Alex.

- He knows that, Schneider.

- Yeah hey listen, come on.

We'll be in constant
touch at all times.

I'm still your man,
I'm your man.

I mean, if your garbage
disposal jams up,

you call me, I fix it.

If you get mildew in
your closet, you know,

from Mr. Peabody's
showers upstairs,

you call me, I fix it.

If you keep crackers
under your pillow

and you get cockroaches again,

you don't call me, you fix it.

(laughs)

- Yeah.

- Yeah, we'll, we'll see.

It'll be the same
as always, right?

We really had some terrific
memories here, haven't we?

Miss Monroe, would
you come in here

for a minute, please, over?

- Good morning, Mr. Schneider.

- Good morning, Miss Monroe.

Why don't you have a seat?

Now then, Miss Monroe, this
is our very first day together

and I would like
to get things off

on the right foot, as we say.

There are quite a few
things that have to be done

and I was up half
the night trying to

put them in the right
order of precedence.

So, number one.

- I will not have
lunch with you.

I am your secretary.

I will type, take
dictation, remind you

of your appointments,
nothing more.

- Number two.

Would you send
for my crew, please?

- They're on their way.

- Good, good, as long
as they're on their way.

Then I would like
to see a copy of the

blueprints of the building.

Ah yes, is that where
you keep them?

Good, good.

Okay, that's first sign
of a good secretary.

Always anticipating her
boss, very good, excellent.

Now then, back to number one.

What's the matter with a
little orientation lunch, right?

So I can familiarize myself
with company procedure.

Just because you're
an attractive woman,

that has nothing to do with it.

If you want, I'll look at your
feet during the whole lunch.

- Will there be anything
else, Mr. Schneider?

(knocking)

Excuse me.

Oh, Mr. Soams.

Mr. Schneider will see you now.

Mr. Schneider, Larry
Soams and his crew.

- Yeah, okay.

Come on now men, relax.

We're not on the
deck of a destroyer.

(laughs)

I tell you what we're gonna do.

We're gonna get off on
a first name basis, right?

Okay, so it's Larry, Jim, Jane.

You Jane, me Dwayne.

(laughs)

Oriello and Rob, okay.

- That's Oriello.

- Oriello and Rob, all right.

Now folks, I'm Dwayne,
not Mr. Schneider.

No, I'm Dwayne.

Now I must tell you
that I have been through

the blueprints of the building
with a fine toothed comb

and I'm here to
tell you that this is

a very complicated
piece of machinery

and we are going to have
to depend on one another

if we want to keep it running.

As a matter of fact,
there's a job right off the bat.

When I came in this
morning, I noticed that

elevator number four smells.

- Smells?

- Ozone.

- Huh.

- Real heavy ozone.

I think there's a
power drain every time

the solenoid pops in.

So, it could be that
something is about to short up.

All right then, let me
just get my tool belt here

and we will go down
to elevator number four

and check it out.

Come on, gang.

Miss Monroe, I will
be down in elevator

number four with my crew.

- Mr. Schneider, do you
intend to do manual labor?

- No, Miss Monroe,
I'm going to let Manuelle

do his own labor.

(laughs)

- Mr. Schneider, you
are an executive now.

They do not do labor.

It's against company
policies, no exceptions.

- Yeah, you can't do
any work, Mr. Schneider.

Lock off power to number
four and set up safety signs.

Okay, Mr. Schneider?

- Yeah all right, Larry.

- Go ahead, guys.

- Don't worry
Dwayne, we'll handle it.

- Okay.

I want to tell you,
this is a first for me.

25 years in the
maintenance business

including an 11
hitch in the navy.

I never asked my men
to do anything that I

wouldn't do myself.

Except maybe at one
time with the torpedo.

Sorry, Herb.

- Anything else, Mr. Schneider?

- Yeah Larry, why
don't you come on in

my office here,
okay, for a minute?

Come on, here we go.

Look, supposing I send
out for a couple of beers,

a couple of hero sandwiches.

You can give me the
rundown on the building.

We'll get to know
one another and I'll...

- Oh gee, I'd like
to Mr. Schneider,

but I am the shop's
steward and it wouldn't

look too good for me
to spend a lot of time

in here with the brass.

You understand.

- What if I left the door open?

- I'm sorry, I got to get
out here with my crew.

- I'll get the door,
it's no problem.

It's right here.
- Take it easy.

Don't overwhelm him,
it's his first visit, okay?

- Hey.
- Hey, my man.

How are you?

- How's it going?

- Pretty flowers for madame.

- Aw, thank you Schneider.
- How are you?

And flowers for madame.
- Thank you.

- Hey, am I gonna be a glutton?

- Not yet.

(laughs)

- And something for the
boy who walks like a man.

- Aw, thanks Schneider.

- Well this is
pretty terrific here.

I've been away a month and
you haven't changed anything.

- These flowers are
gorgeous, Schneider.

Thank you, I'm gonna
put them in some water.

Sit down, tell us everything.

- Oh, terrific.

Toy train.

(laughs)

That is not a toy train.

That's a scale model and
there's a big difference.

A grown man can play
with a scale model all his life.

They catch him
playing with a toy train,

they haul him away.

- Boy, I miss you.

No one else around
here says stuff like that.

- What can I get you to drink?

- Oh, a little
bourbon and Perrier

with a twist of onion.

- Schneider, tell
us all about the job.

Your secretary, Rebecca, right?

- No, it's Giselle.

Yeah, I got her
eating out of my hand.

(laughs)

So, how's everything here?

- Same old stuff.

How many people are you boss of?

- I have five.

- Five.
- Yeah.

Your new super working out?

- He's okay.

- No problems?

- No problems.

Dinner will be
ready in a minute.

- Okay, thank you.

Well, I'm glad you got
a good man, you know?

I thought for awhile
there that the owner

was gonna put his airhead
nephew in here to work.

I said no, no, no, no.

You can't do that to my people.

So the new guy's
working out, huh?

- Yeah, do you have to
wear a tie all the time?

- Yeah but when
you're executive,

it doesn't make any difference
because you never sweat.

(laughs)

I tell you, Ms.
Romano, it's a whole

different world downtown.

I mean, my whole building is
nothing but class, you know?

We got paintings on
the wall by that guy

that bit off his own ear.

All the piped in music is
by Beethoven, Brahms,

Shelley, Keats.

So, the new guy fixed the
screen in your room, did he?

- Yep.

How does it feel
working surrounded by

all that culture, huh Schneider?

- Working, Ms. Romano?

I'm an executive, I
don't do any work.

(laughs)

- I see.

- Yeah, Giselle just
types up the work orders

and my crew goes
ahead and does them.

New guy fixed the
molding in your room?

- [Barbara] Oh, yeah.

- [Ann] Okay, I think
that's it, we're ready.

- [Alex] Great.

- Come on, sit down.

Dinner's on.

Here you go, Schneider.

- Thank you.

So the new guy's
working out okay, huh?

- Schneider, the
new man is fine,

but he can't hold
a candle to you.

Not in a million years.

- You don't have to say that.

- Yeah I did.

If I didn't, you
would have burst.

- Well I guess, yeah.

I'm glad that you all
miss me, you know?

But work is work, I
mean, you don't have to

love what you're doing
so long as you know

that it's right for you.

- Do I detect a note of regret?

- Well, maybe a little regret.

I mean, I loved it
here, you know?

Whenever I got lonely, I
could come up and see you,

we'd chat, you'd have
some coffee, a piece of cake.

If you weren't in, I
could always go up

and see Miss LaRoue, she
always had something for me.

- You know, Schneider, you
could get your old job back.

Nobody likes the
new man all that much.

- Why would I want
my old job back?

I mean, we're talking
about being successful.

- I'm talking about being happy.

- What does happiness
got to do with success?

- Sometimes nothing.

- So Schneider, I guess
the new job's pretty soft, huh?

- I never have to jump
another circuit breaker.

I never have to thread a pipe.

Don't bust my knuckles up
again on the pumps and stuff.

I really should give my
tools to some young guy

that's on the way up, you know?

They are priceless, my tools.

- Schneider.

Do you want to really talk?

- Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, I'll have my secretary
give you a call next week

and we'll take a
lunch, you know?

So, the new guy's
really working out, huh?

Hello, Miss Monroe.

Want to get in on this?

You hit the bulls
eye, take me to lunch.

I hit the bulls eye,
I take you to lunch.

We both miss the bulls eye,
we make love on the couch.

- You have an
executive meeting in

three minutes, Mr. Schneider.

- Yeah, that's my family.

Barbara there just got married.

Alex is 14, he's
a very bright kid.

Takes off after me.

- Your wife's very
attractive, Mr. Schneider.

- Yeah well, we're divorced now.

We had one of those
amicable divorces.

You know, everybody's very
friendly afterwards, you know?

I still keep a room
in the basement.

What do you say,
how about lunch?

- You have a meeting in
three minutes, Mr. Schneider.

- Miss Monroe,
hold it, will you?

- Mr. Schneider...

- Miss Monroe, I asked you
to hold it a second, all right?

Now let's get
something straight here.

I don't want to
take you to lunch.

I just want somebody to talk to.

It's a little lonely
around here.

I haven't seen Reed since
the first day he gave me the job.

My own crew, they
got to have a special

engraved appointment
to come and see me.

Another thing.

Cancel me out of that
executive meeting, will you?

Whole thing puts me to
sleep in about three minutes.

A bunch of dull,
boring jerks up there.

- Mr. Schneider, you missed
the meeting on Wednesday

and you walked out yesterday.

- I don't like those guys.

I don't like them.

They do all their work
with paper and reports.

I do my work with
tools and apparatus.

Not one of those guys
knows the difference

between a turn
buckle and a C-clamp.

Dull, boring, I mean,
who needs them?

- You need them if you
want to keep your job.

- I need them if I want
to keep my job, huh?

Let me tell you
something, Miss Monroe.

I'm used to being
my own boss, right?

And I just said to myself
in there, Schneider,

go fix elevator number
four so that it stays fixed,

if it's the last thing
you do in this building.

Miss Monroe, it's the
last thing I'm gonna do

in this building.

- Are you resigning,
Mr. Schneider?

- No, I'm not
resigning, I don't resign.

I quit.

Those jerks, they resign.

- You're wrong.

Those men never resign.

Mr. Schneider, there
are very few men

who have the strength to
stick to their convictions.

I really admire that.

- Does that mean that

you might have lunch with me?

- No.

- You know.

You know I'm gonna call you.

- Yes, I know
you're gonna call me.

(upbeat music)

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