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Nothing says battle of wills quite like lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Okay, maybe it's not the typical setting for two opposing forces to meet, but that's where we start. Levene and Williamson sit at a booth, talking. Get used to talking—it's kind of what Mamet is about.
Levene is a salesman, and Williamson is the office manager and in charge of giving out the leads.
Luck hasn't been on Levene's side as of late, and he can't seem to close any deals. But he recounts his past glories to Williamson to demonstrate that he's still a closer.
Talk all you want Levene, Williamson's not buying it. Williamson tells Levene he's out—if he can't make sales and get on the board, he's going to lose his job.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Levene begs Williamson to give him the "good leads," even offering Williamson a 10% cut of his sales if Williamson will help him out.
Williamson wants 20%. Oh—and he wants fifty bucks a lead.
Remember that thing about desperate times that we just talked about? Yep, Levene eventually agrees.
Of course, Williamson isn't one for playing games, and he wants $100 for two premium leads on the spot. Levene doesn't have the money; Williamson backs out of the deal (this won't be the first time Williamson backs out of a deal with Levene).
If you can't get the good stuff, you got to get something right? Levene asks for "B" leads. They might not be any good, but they're better than nothing.
The two head out of the restaurant. Levene has conveniently left his wallet at the hotel.