Credit and collection industry professionals in the New York City area may want to make a field trip and take in Do You Feel Anger?, a new play set in a debt collection agency.
The plot of the “absurdist workplace comedy” centers around the agency hiring an empathy coach to teach the employees how to be nicer to each other and how to be nicer to the people from whom they are collecting. The play stars Justin Long, known for roles in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and Live Free or Die Hard, and Tiffany Villarin, who has appeared in episodes of Gotham and The Blacklist.
The play is getting mixed reviews, but not as a result of its setting in a collection agency. The one female employee at the agency — there is another, but she went to the bathroom and hasn’t been seen for days, the only remnant of her existence is a cardigan draped over the chair at her desk — reacting to the hiring of an empathy coach, says, “You’re here to try and help us scream less at people on the phone?” Describing the vibe at the office, the female employee says, “It’s a very small, insular community here, and everyone is so outgoing and mean and it’s just a really fantastic, really scary work environment. Someone keeps mugging me when I’m walking around the office!”