John Williamson, a man in his early forties, the office manager for a disreputable real estate company. He receives the blame for all the other characters’ problems and failures because he rates their sales and awards and then leads potential buyers to the more successful, thus creating a situation of better salespeople always getting the better leads. He appears incompetent and more concerned with office procedure than with sales. Roma claims that Williamson got the position because he is the boss’s nephew. Although he demonstrates an inability to string a customer along, Williamson is not above accepting bribes from his employees or acting ruthlessly. At the end, he catches Levene in his own boast and solves the robbery.
Shelley Levene, a desperate, failing salesman in his fifties. Levene becomes pathetic and foolish in his attempts to regain his salesmanship. Constantly referring to his past successes, he blames his present state on bad luck and Williamson’s bad leads. His one moment of triumph becomes a cruel joke when Williamson delights in telling him that his large sale was to a notoriously insane couple whose checks are no good and about whom Williamson warned everyone through memos. Worse, Levene also falls victim to Dave Moss’s scheme and robs the office. At the end, Levene is the play’s only pathetic figure whose luck has failed him.
(The entire section is 576 words.)