"Thanks for calling __________ , my name is Meghan. Can I get the email address to your account, please?" I answered in my usual manner, gilded with politeness. The man at the other end of the line wasn't really buying it. I can't blame him.
He probably wasn't rude. Or not that rude, anyway. I didn't appreciate his tone, but then again, I feel that way about 99.9999% of the people I speak with. Unless they're from England and start a polite conversation about the weather or use the word "cracking" as an adjective. I genuinely love that. In any case, there was nothing about this particular customer service call that would justify me in doing something stupid, like cry.
But there I was, doing it. He asked me yet another question in his polished, sharp, condescending manner. I paused for an awkward amount of time, swallowing as hard as I could. I thought about how I felt really bad for his wife, if she existed. I thought about how it was starting to rain, about all of the pretty pictures I could be taking if I weren't chained to this desk with financial obligations. I thought, I thought, I swallowed, I wiped my eyes, tried to steady my voice.
I transferred the call as quickly as I could to a department I'm not sure could even help him. In fact, I'm positive that they couldn't because we don't have a department that teaches people how not to be total A-holes. Not part of the business model. (Sorry, Mom.)
And it wouldn't have been that big of a deal if I weren't surrounded by people who couldn't help but notice the tears and strange sounds that were now falling out of my face. At this point, I wasn't even crying about the phone call, I was crying about how embarrassed I was that everyone had seen me crying. I went to eat my lunch of canned vegetable soup, which tasted fine. I gave myself kudos for putting together a sort of decent outfit for the day. This thought was followed by a generous portion of soup splattering all over my white shirt. And that irritated me just a tiny bit.
So, there I was, standing over a sink in a break room in an undershirt, scrubbing my over shirt with dish soap, wondering what it is that I'm doing with my life anyway.
A few more hours.