What email address or phone number would you like to use to sign in to Docs.com?
If you already have an account that you use with Office or other Microsoft services, enter it here.
Or sign in with:
Signing in allows you to download and like content, and it provides the authors analytical data about your interactions with their content.
Embed code for: narrative
Select a size
“We will now be taking group four or above for gate thirty-five to San Jose, Costa Rica,” the woman’s dull voice announced. Considering she would be stuck here while my nerves settled to be on my way to one of the best weeks of my life, I understood her unenthusiastic approach.
After finding my seat on the plane and a place for my bag in the overly stuffed space above me, I began to reminisce. On a Monday afternoon like this you would usually be able to find me making sandwiches and dealing with moody, over-particular customers. I didn’t wear that Subway name tag very proudly but it, along with my mother’s grocery store name tag, is what got me here today. The feelings I had this day were nothing like those. Despite the bit of jet lag from switching planes in a state I never left the airport of, it was nothing like the sore muscles and dried up brain after a school day followed by a seven-hour shift, six hours of sleep and all over again the next day.
I rarely saw my mom as our schedules didn’t coincide but her tired eyes lit up with joy for me as I left the car earlier that morning and she said “Have fun and be safe.” The hotels and resorts were beyond beautiful. As most of them were in the middle of the rainforest, literally a step away from nature. Although sometimes a little too close to it all when we found bugs crawling in through under the front door, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That next morning was our first real outing.
The metal floor shook beneath me. The rods reaching beyond my sight of view as did the lush green canopy of trees. I could hear the giggles of the rest of the group behind me, almost muted by the cicadas in the distance. Looking down beyond my water resistant hiking boots I could practically feel the water rushing around me. Looking forward to the end of this almost terrifying bridge, it was my turn to cross. There was so much more ahead.
The remaining six days were filled with fresh and unfamiliar foods. Fruit juice squeezed from trees feet away and a zesty blend of black beans and rice: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Animal life came bursting out of the trees to be pictured in tourist’s photographs. It was all too good to be true. The final day was there before we blinked. The city was bright and beautiful beneath the plane as I stared out the small oval window. I did not weep because I knew I would be back one day. The only question was by what means. The Hispanic woman’s voice reminding us of the flight time brought me to the exact opposite point in life. A year after, fresh out of high school.
“Attention all incoming collections and customer care associates, there will be a mandatory meeting in the Aspen conference room at eleven o’ clock. Please remember to put your phones into meeting mode. Thankyou.” The computer screen two inches from my face was full of information yet none of it triggered a response in my brain. I patiently waited for the women on the other line of my headset to stop complaining in her terrible Jersey Shore like voice. From the corner of my eye I saw my boyfriend approaching my cubicle. I quickly muted the call.
“Hey babe do you want to go to lunch right after that meeting?”
“I wish. I can’t take my lunch until 1. My supervisor is being a hard ass about following the schedule,” I replied quietly as my supervisor’s slightly larger cubicle was right behind me. He was most likely off planning for the meeting with the other supervisors but this had become habit.
“Alright well I guess I will just meet you here to leave later.” His smile had vanished with the small reminder of the job. I nodded as an answer, switching my phone back on. The woman had stopped complaining. I used my regular line about how she should avoid any further late fees or credit reporting by simply pay her past due amount. She finally agreed. Most of these people just want to vent. I completely understood but why me? They didn’t have to get that Victoria’s Secret credit card. They didn’t have to spend more on it than they could afford. I thought every day and stopped myself every day from screaming it at one of the customers the dialer connected me to. I was good with these customers. My young voice and skills at pretending to be cheerful and helpful due to years of customer service paid off. There was a hint of pride inside me every month my supervisor passed out the fake bonus checks that would later show up in our bank accounts. They reminded me of a smaller version of those giant ones they give out for winning the lottery or being the millionth customer. I could imagine myself being photographed for one. The line in the middle reading ‘eight hundred dollars and zero cents’. My colleagues in the background with the look of slight jealousy that they couldn’t get all those pay by phone fees. Coming back to the real world, I wasn’t as happy as money would make some. None of it mattered when I dreaded even the idea of work.
The digital clock in the corner of my screen finally came close enough to eleven that I decided this would be my last call. I headed for the room the meeting would be held. I was surprised to find rows of chairs and a stage cluttered with boards you would present crappy fifth grade science fair projects on. I had never seen this room that way before. The last time I had been here was during my two-week period of training. The last time they let us have any fun, really. I was early, but waiting here and watching everyone file in definitely beat taking another phone call that could last who knows how long.
“Welcome everyone, today we will be announcing some awards along with some future changes to our company and clientele,” A friendly looking man, whom I didn’t recognize, announced on the microphone from corner stage, “If everyone would take a seat we will begin shortly.” I half dozed off and day dreamed as they told us of upcoming new locations, the progress of the expansion into the building next door and new clients we would be introducing. They also gave out some phony awards for certain people going above and beyond. Making them more money was a better way to say it. They all seemed as proud as anyone one would be to be handed an award in front of a hundred or so others. Some of the higher ups accepting awards made small speeches. Using words that all seemed positive, distracting us from the reality of what we would be returning to after this all adjourned. The day continued as normal. A thirty-minute lunch and fifteen-minute break. The only perk of getting here at six am was leaving while the sun was still out and the day still young, but as usual all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap.
Later that evening Kevin and I exchanged our horror stories of specific customers. Laughing at it all. A usual conversation every day for us. After a short silence Kevin half turned to me as we lay in bed watching a silly grown up cartoon comedy, trying to forget about the day behind and ahead of us.
“So what are we going to do?”
“About what?” I replied confused. We had stopped talking long enough to have forgotten where the conversation left off.
“Well you know, work. We both hate it. We’ve been talking about quitting for long enough now that we could have already given our two week notice and be done.”
“I’m okay with just doing it if you are. I refuse to do it in person though. I’m sure my supervisor will make me feel terrible if I do. As if I make such a difference.” Before he could answer I got up and grabbed a piece of paper.
“What’s that for?” he asked. I didn’t reply. I was too caught up in writing the resignation letter. It had to be convincing and understandable. Professional but total bologna. I read it aloud when I was done. A smile slowly crept onto his face as I neared to the part where I made it very clear that this was me quitting.
Somewhere between both of our odd sense of humor we decided to not only seal each of our slightly different and personalized resignation letters with a wax stamp, the first letter of our last name, but to put it on parchment paper, typed on his vintage type writer. After writing each of our supervisor’s names carefully in the best cursive I could we headed off for work the last time. We made it before the building closed but late enough that only the security guys at the front and a few stragglers trying to make extra money were there. We strolled in as if we had a good reason to be there. The security officers didn’t bat an eye as we scanned our badges and headed for our cubicle areas. There was no hesitation as I found a very obvious place to set the envelope on his desk. We walked out hand in hand, a show of affection we wouldn’t have dared to show inside the building before. It felt like a weight off my shoulders. More than just that, it felt like a new beginning. I knew I didn’t want to go back to another dead end job. I knew that I would be signing up for classes the next semester. An idea of what I wanted since years before when my future became that much more clear.
“Calling all available we have a code brown at emergency entrance two.” The nurses and doctors cluttering the hallways jogged past me towards the entrance my own sister came into a few hours earlier. While holding both sides of their stethoscopes they tried to hide the excitement on their faces but I saw right past it, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.
Upon returning from a dinner break in the cafeteria I found my sisters room slightly different. There was now a small cart with an enclosed bed on top. A single blanket lined with ducks. Her and my brother in law gave us the news that they would need to start pushing. Not moments later a young and bright nurse knocked before entering to let us know the doctor had arrived. I took this as a sign to give them some space. As I roamed the labor and delivery hallways, it all felt almost familiar. The nurses in those square areas outside the patient rooms all seemed busy but pleased. Looking beyond the secure doors labeled NICU I caught a glimpse of a nurse holding one of the smallest babies my young eyes had ever seen. Her eyes wide and heart full as if this child were her own. At that moment some part of me knew. I knew that this place felt like home. It was only more apparent when after an hours’ time I was able to return to my sister’s room. This time she shared it with a tiny human full of love and innocence. It felt surreal to look into the eyes of my new niece. She was her own person but I saw familiar faces in every characteristic of her from her eyes to the shape of her lips we all decided was a smile.
“Wow she’s so pretty,” my awe was obvious in my lack of words.
“I know,” my sister replied shortly, out of energy.
“I feel like I know her already. I feel like I have seen her face before,” I said.
“Kind of like how we always knew it was a her,” she replied with a laugh referring to the first couple of months we played all the different what if games about the child beginning to grow inside her. Before this experience I never knew the joy of babies or the excitement of a hospital. After this experience I knew it was perfect for me.
Through my nieces birth I knew where I belonged. Through the adventure of a lifetime I knew what hard work could get me, and through a half year at a call center, miserable, I knew where I never wanted to be. Some don’t realize it until they are past the regular college years. Some are born with the talent and motivation. I was motivated to become a nurse and work with infants and children through many experiences. I’m not sure if I would be where I am today if not for them, but nothing has ever felt more right. ng the resignation letter. It had to be convincing and understandable. Professional but total bologna. I read it aloud when I was done. A smile slowly crept onto his face as I neared to the part where I made it very clear that this was me quitting.
Somewhere between both of our odd sense of humor we decided to not only seal each of our slightly different and personalized resignation letters with a wax stamp, the first letter of our last name, but to put it on parchment paper, typed on his vintage type writer. After writing eac