The Screamer

"This is appalling!!!!" the woman screamed at the end of the line. I had to pull the headset away from my ear. I haven't gotten such a call in years. I used to deal with very demanding corporate folks with Type A personalities when I worked my first job in Boston. It was always the little things that would send them over the edge.

She continued with her litany of excuses. It was blatantly clear on the computer screen that she was not telling the truth. I tried to put in a word but she kept going off. I offered an alternative solution but she flat out rejected it. "Tell that to the 70 year old woman whose staying with me!" she hit back. Nothing could appease her. She was livid.

"I just had surgery and I am taking Vicodin, etc......" I was close to telling her sarcastically that she needed to take an anti-depressant in addition to the other medications but I held back and bit my tongue. I certainly was not sympathetic to this screamer.

She added, "If it's any consolation to you, I also left an angry message for the President of the society but she hasn't called me back!" Go figure.

For a split second, I envisioned myself screaming back at her and walking off the job for good. At some point, my mind drifted. I had pinned a triptych of postcards with Robert & Shana Parke-Harrison's photographs on the wall next to me. I swung my chair around, put both hands behind my head and stared at his images while she blasted with rage.

Finally, she stopped. It probably dawned on her that I was not the person that could authorize or override any decision to get what she wanted. And, I wasn't arguing with her. I learned early on not to engage in screaming matches. By not reacting, the other person eventually ceases because of exhaustion. I asked for her phone number so my manager could call her back. I pushed the hang up button and threw my headset down on my desk.

I took a deep breath and calmed myself down. I have faith that someday, there will be an end to this. I am working hard towards my goals at the same time, I am cautious not to get myself in a financial hole again. I am putting my personal work out there and shooting whenever possible.

Maybe I just needed a kick in the behind to remind me of what really matters.