Perhaps I didn’t have enough sleep that day or I was ravenously hungry, but it was that day when the office became a battlefield.
The activities in the office began to pile up that morning. I was focused on multi-tasking, challenging myself to get things done before I went off to lunch. There were emails that needed replying to, phone calls that needed answering, and a bevy of walk-in clients needing attention.
She, for whatever reason, left to do menial errands elsewhere. My superior was still out of the country, off to her yearly holiday abroad, and I was left all alone in the office. The pressure was mounting.
While I was running around our small office, rushing from computer to scanner/printer, answering calls, and running back to clients I was counseling, a tinge of pride kept my chin up. I knew that I held my composure amid everything. But slowly, as the hours passed I grew tired. It dawned on me that the bulk of the morning’s tasks were not all mine. I realized, yet again, I was tying the loose ends of my co-worker’s disarray. I became a ticking bomb while I simmered in another unfair situation.
Still, the tasks had to be accomplished. I had to carry on.
In the center of the whirlwind, she calmly walked in with that wide-eyed, dumb look that always left me looking away in irritation. Amid the calm of my voice as I spoke to the student, I began seeing red. I wanted to rush at her and beat her senseless to the ground. How can she be so still? How can she ignore the fact that the client I was still talking to was the same one she spoke with in the morning? How could she not be aware that the reason for the client’s visit was because the information she ineptly shared on the phone was incomplete? I couldn’t wait to finish the session and leave the office.
As soon as the clients had left, I rushed out of the office without a word.
Outside, I called my sister. I must have looked like a mad man, yelling invectives in the middle of the street, my cigarette burning furiously. She helped me calm down, her gentle hormones from pregnancy traveled through the telephone line. I was glad I had spoken to her. I was glad that I let it all out. I was glad that it was over. So I thought... (to be continued)