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January 16, 2014 / Meredith

I Live To Serve

She was donned in a fake fur jacket and was followed by her “friend.” Fake fur girl wasn’t the problem, the “friend” was.  “Friend” refers to a friend with benefits where I work. These people don’t say “boyfriend.” Eventually this “friend” will become “baby-daddy” and chances are pretty good that’s where the relationship will end.

Fake fur girl goes into her appointment room and the guy comes out to the holding tank, picks up the office courtesy phone and commences to talk to someone while he’s texting other people (or perhaps the same person) on his cell phone. Okay, see, the phone in the holding tank is a courtesy phone. Like if you have to call a friend or a cab for a ride, call an attorney, etc. It’s not for chit-chatting with your other “friend” while your first “friend” is having an appointment. So I stand up and say to the guy through the talking hole of my my bullet-proof glass, “that phone isn’t for gabbing, it’s for official use only. Knock it off.”  He pretty much tells me to mind my own business, so I let him talk a little longer. By then he’s been on the phone for twenty minutes and quite frankly I want him to go from the holding tank into the waiting room because I don’t want him to see that I’m playing a game of Mahjongg on my computer. So I go to him again, “that phone isn’t for personal calls. Stop it right now.” He pretended to not hear me.

I got up from my chair, walked around my cubicle, went out into the holding tank and stood about two feet from him and said, “hang up the phone right now.” Then he goes, “what the fuck?!” I asked, “what part of ‘hang up’ do you not understand?” He put the phone down on the table and stood up, thinking he would intimidate me, but I stood my ground no matter how much he puffed out his chest. The I reached for the phone, put it up to my face and said, “he’ll call you back.”  Then I hung up the phone while looking the guy square in the eye. The guy got even more inflated and went on and on about who the hell was I and that was an important call, blah blah blah. I told him that was a piece of government office equipment for the convenience of our clients, not for him to make personal calls.

He raised his voice and used some very colorful language, but I stood firm. My face got hotter and hotter as he tried to make me back down. I had flashbacks of the time I let someone just like him intimidate me and how letting him get away with it fucked me up for at least a decade and cost me a bunch of money in therapist bills. I took a couple of steps back and invited him to go sit in the waiting room for his “friend.” He didn’t budge. So I grabbed his ear and pinched as hard as I could, lead him into the waiting room and pushed him into a chair. Then I told him the next time he visits a government office he should have some respect.

If only I could have the gumption to do that to every disrespectful, entitled person that comes through our doors. I’ll admit that the above scenario isn’t entirely true. The guy really did talk on the phone, and continued to talk on the phone for over an hour without my stopping him. Because guess what? I’m a social service employee. I not only have to respect the clients that come through my door, but I also have the misfortune of seeing the recipients of my tax dollars.

It pisses me off.

The End

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