Bill Briggs: On our level you don't get fired, you know that. After thirty years of productive work, they can't say to a man like me, "Alright, now get out!" They just can't do that. So what do they do? They create a situation. A situation you can't work in and finally that you can't live in with this tension, abuse. Small humiliations. It all starts out on a scale so subtle, so microscopic that at first you can't really believe it's happening at all. But gradually the thing begins to take shape. The pieces fit together - all the little bits. And it becomes unmistakable. They chip away at your pride, your security until you begin to have doubts, and then fears.
Mr. Ramsey: Name your terms. All terms are negotiable.
Fred Staples: I don't think so. Not mine.
Mr. Ramsey: All right. I'd just as soon not waste any time doing trading. As of now, your salary is doubled. Your stock option is doubled right down the line. Your expense account is whatever you make it. Add to that a new title, vice president.
Fred Staples: I want a lot more than that. You're not going to take me on as just another vice president you can push around. You take me as someone who hates you down to the bare nerve. Nothing in the world will ever change that. I'll argue with you, contradict you and fight you every way I know how. I'll do everything in my power to push you out and take your place myself.
Mr. Ramsey: Go ahead and try. Mr. Staples, you have yourself a deal.
Fred Staples: Have it drawn up.
Mr. Ramsey: No reservations now?
Fred Staples: Yes, one. Bill had one pitiful little dream that someday he'd walk in here and break your jaw. I reserve the right to have that wish myself.
Mr. Ramsey: I'll have it drawn into the contract... with a rider giving me the same privilege.
Bill Briggs: [to Fred] I'm wondering if you're as good a human being as you are an industrial relations man.
Fred Staples: I just hope Mr. Ramsey remembers hiring me.
Bill Briggs: [ominously] Mr. Ramsey rarely forgets anything.
Nancy Staples: [dropping Fred off at work] Now I know what a mother feels when her child goes to school for the first time.