I am sitting here, perched in agony on my itchy, black wobble chair, feet tapping wildly, head lolling back and forth to distract me from my (literally) bursting bladder–that is, until an attorney or, in the case of this morning, a US senator strolls in, and then I have to stabilize (both body and sanity) and put on my cool, calm and collected receptionist face, presenting a façade of warmth and welcome rather than the thinly-veiled mounting agony and panic that arises at the notion of my innards exploding right before Mr. Senator’s shocked, star-spangled eyes. Such is the nature of my job. I am not allowed to leave my desk for any reason whatsoever, regardless of bursting bladders, lunging madmen, a dementor attack etc.–every phone call must be answered. Vigilance, vigilance, vigilance. Nobody understands what a brave and noble profession reception really is. Stoicism in the face of pain, cheeriness and restraint in the faces of shouting, tomato-face men, courage in the face of callers who insist on screaming at you only in Spanish…The list goes on. And what’s more, I don’t know if this is some sick form of amusement, but for the most part, I am referred to here as “Cassie,” “Kathy,” “Tracy,” “Girl,” “Village Idiot”–in fact, most everything except for Casey, which is, of course, my personal preference. At the end of this, I plan to apply for knighthood.
A reward for my turmoil (view from my desk):