George Peck, the good ol' boy Regional Manager of Public Pride Insurance has been in the business so long, his panic attacks have him convinced that the walls are breathing for him. As he tries to promote Brett Shell, the company's token minority, Brett takes on an ever- increasingly adversarial role, trying to ferret out the truth of their mutually shared past.
Meanwhile, Sharon, the office sexitary, tired of her affair with George, runs off with Keith, the new-hire con artist insurance agent who barters insurance like a door-to-door bible salesman. Mary, who is street-smart but corporately na´ve, is hired as Sharon's replacement with the promise of unlimited income and as a way out of a dead-end waitress job.
Nobody wants what they have and they all have little awareness of who they are. Brett and Mary lay claim to the same corporate forces that previously nourished the good ol' boy network, and George is cast aside. The self that could have developed has become the pea hidden beneath the walnut shell, forever vanishing because the mark continually looks under the wrong shell.