I have set my alarm a little late, an extra 15 since I am alone
It’s Saturday and there’ll be no one to bounce off in the kitchen, no one to ace out for first spot in front of the mirror for the final abloutions and brushings, just a contented snore as I close the bedroom door.
I manage a decent breakfast – some mornings food appalls me; but not today. I chew on rye toast slathered in peanut butter, wash down supplements and meds with berry juice and savour a fragrant cup of 1/3 dark roast with cream before stealth fully cracking the bedroom door seal and silently grabbing my worn jeans, a nice sweater and “hey never mind it’s not like the customers can see me “ vintage sweatshirt reclaimed from the attic last Fall; a cast off from our former teen.
Downstairs I go tugging clothes on as I descend – no it’s almost and I gotta move reverb through my head. How is it so late?
On with the sweatshirt.
On with the hat.
Scarf, twice wrapped.
Double knot the joggers, adjust the socks,
Coat on -zipper up.
Gloves tucked into cuffs.
Back pack on .
I lock the door behind me, pull my scarf over my nose, adjust my hood over my hat, and struggle through the snow drifted across the back deck. As I hit the driveway I am cinching the back pack straps closer to my body and I begin a quick pace to make up for lingering over the comics and hesitating at the door
I will warm up, I will warm up I chant to myself. Soon I have my stride and my footing and I am listening as the snow screeches under foot – it’s not the crackle or the squeak but the screech that-15 brings.
I am 4 blocks away from home, the sun is up, my cheeks are burning. and good fortune smiles on me a thoughtful colleague pulls up, and I hop in. It is only 15 more minutes of walking but <
I am at work early, well fed after a good nights sleep. This day is going to be a breeze!
The staff is still pretty slim and the centre has no electricity. There is no buzz, yet. One agent is catching a few more minutes of rest, head on her desk Images of Miss McKinnon’s class flash through my head. Why is it this place most reminds me of classrooms I thought I’d long since left behind? Most of the agents are quietly looking over the days news and exchanging gossip. The on-duty managers are managing amongst themselves. I take my favourite seat
It’s not so very much the actual seat as the things that go into making this a strategic location. I sit here often, I know the idiosyncrasies of the computer. The fluorescent light overhead is a little behind and to the right. It is and end seat – there is a bank of filing cabinets to my left and 15 feet before the next bank of stations – as quiet as it can get. The air vent over top to the left a good 10 feet- no drafts or blasts of heat. It’s not a thru path to anywhere.The chair is just right and the keyboard:relatively clean – of course it is!
I clean it every shift and I sit here 4 or 5 days a week. After me some days it remains empty until I return. The head set works perfectly.
I sit down and log on to the system – I can do this without my glasses – good thing since they are still foggy. I carefully stuff my scarf,hat and gloves into my pack. It’s not that I take good care of my things but bitterly cold day not so long ago someone zipped my hat! What did I Say about school? I take out the things I use each day .
With no personal space you bring your supplies to work.I use my personal day book – Letts, wonderful soft blue leather; my dollar store notebook- Happy Bunny says: “I’m not listening to you.” This is my own personal act of rebellion –I’m letting my freak fly, not that anyone notices but I know at least one manager that if 2+2 came together would comment.
I have my pen chrome, heavy – just what I like. It feels good in my hand, something pleasant to focus on in the idle seconds. I have an address book I use. There is so much to remember and so many passwords some I duplicate but between 10 and 20 depending on what I am doing and there are even a few phone numbers recorded there. Several I give out repeatedly every day but haven’t committed to learning. I might, but then they’d change. It’s my own personal memory aid and while not as pretty as my day book it has a velvet cover. . . and there are also a few tattered instruction sheets for settings I have done hundreds of times by now, but I still check most of the time– to reassure myself.
Glasses warmed I log onto the next system and into my digital time card. I have 10 minutes to get everything open and read my email and check to see what the latest changes are and then I will take my first call I’ve left my coat draped over the chair to my right. If someone wants to sit there they can , but since there are lots of seats I hope they will move on. It’s not that I am saving it but, at this time of the morning an additional 40 inches of personal space is my ardent hope; besides I had someone I barely know join me – and know I know he has intestinal issues and doesn’t share his candies – not that I wanted any. I have dental work to coddle but there was the constant distraction, the rifling for the right candy and the unwrapping and looking for someplace to stash the wrapper. OR I shudder to think, it could be Dandruff Guy who plops himself next to me. I want to drop sample bottle from the dollar store of Head & Shoulders on his desk – I want to but I never would .I get that it is unkind but seriously Dude, stop picking your balding pate will yah? Hence the coat defense and if a friend comes past well then they just move my coat, not that there is much time to talk as the day goes on but a kindred spirit is a nice anchor to my day .
I’d like to say from here it was smooth sailing straight to coffee break and onto lunch but I am in tears before coffee. Who cries at work?