On Friday afternoon, I was passing the time with my customary eavesdropping campaign. Nothing exciting was going on, just run of the mill conversations, a request for an extension of time over here, a failure to respond to a letter over there. I was nearly falling asleep at my desk, when I suddenly heard yelling coming from one of my attorney’s offices.
“YOU wanna have an adversarial conversation with ME! That’s what you wanna do? Okay, let’s do it then.”
I perked right up. This is getting good, I thought as I set down my pen and flipped into full eavesdropping mode.
Oh, fuck! I immediately picked my pen back up and pretended to be so engrossed in my work that I didn’t hear a thing. My mind was racing. Did I misconstrue the last message I took? Send docs to the wrong office? The other secretary in my office, a.k.a. "my friend"—who I’m not speaking to, which is an entirely-nother post altogether—comes sprinting over to my desk to inform me that Edison is looking for me. I act surprised and as calmly and slowly as possible stroll over to his office and peak my head in the door.
“HAVE A SEAT!”
I’m literally shitting my pants as I rigidly waddle to the chair.
“Here she is! Let me put you on speaker phone, so we can get this settled right now!”
Who the hell is on the phone and what did I do? I’m done. Fired. Finished. I could feel the flesh on my body turning a flattering shade of blood red.
“Leila, tell Mr. Spocchio exactly what you did to try and get his documents delivered to him.”
Mr. Spocchio? Who? I know that name. Documents? Holy crap, Edison, I process tons of documents a day. Think, Leila! Then it hit me, I knew what he was talking about. It was one of our workers’ comp claimants accusing us of purposely withholding documentation. Voice wavering, palms sweating and flesh burning, I attempted to explain…
“Um, I, um, prepared the documents as I typically would, um, (You prepared the documents? Of course you prepared the documents! Great thinking, Leila.), um, for hand-delivery, then contacted our delivery service and was informed that they couldn’t deliver to a P.O. Box.”
I’m an idiot!
“Really, what P.O. Box did you try to have them delivered to?”
Then Edison, (probably feeling guilty for the shade of red I was now sporting), stepped in.
“That’ll be enough, Leila, thank you.”
I nearly fell out of the door, only to find four co-workers gathered around enjoying the show. Great, now they think I’m an idiot too, but at least I’m not fired!
I shakily wobbled to the bathroom to regain composure.
* * *
The good news is, I didn’t beat myself up for the rest of the day over my crappy debut into the world of adversarial conversations. While it took some time for the shade of red to dissipate, I was surprisingly easy on myself. I’m even debating whether or not I should chastise Edison for bringing me into that situation.
Score one for the good guys!