Wednesday, August 24, 2011

night shift

Writing Challenge, Day 4.

* * *

"Thank you for calling technical support. This is Bryan. May I have the email address associated with your account please?" Bryan recited in less than ten seconds. He glanced at one of the five wall clocks on the big white wall his cubicle--like the rest of the cubicles in the office floor--is facing. It's eleven o'clock on a Monday night, Manila time. The other four clocks display the four time zones in the United States: the labels below them indicate Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.

It's Bryan's first day working on this shift and an hour in, he decided that he will beg his TL--team lead--to bring him back to morning schedule. I don't care if I start at five in the morning, he thought, remembering that horrendous schedule he had two weeks ago. He glanced at the at the big monitor below the clocks and sighed. Calls on Queue: 126, the monitor declared. It had been displaying that for the last forty minutes.

Bryan's caller, a man from Wyoming, apparently needs to connect to the Internet. Bryan already knew the solution by heart, and he could finish this call in five minutes. Instead, he decided to prolong the call a little bit. His first thirty-minute lunch break is not until the next hour, so how about a little break? Besides, his caller's voice is so sexy. Do men in Wyoming have a twang? Bryan thought.

"Sheeehhht mukang B.Y. ang caller ko!" Bryan announced to his seatmate, Sim, after putting his caller on hold.

Sim was busy talking to his customer, but Bryan saw a dimpled smile form in his lips. Bryan always liked that smile, but surely it cannot be because Sim was actually happy talking to--Bryan glanced at Sim's screen--Mary from Wilkes-Barre?

Well let's see then, Bryan said to himself. He put his caller back on. "Thank you for waiting, Christopher," he said in his most amazing imitation of an Arkansas drawl. His accent neutralization trainer would say that he is actually using a "generic" Southern accent, but Bryan wanted to label it with a specific state name. Arkansas was his first thought, despite the fact that Alabama, which is also a Southern state, alphabetically comes first.

"Now, to address your issue we're going to create a manual dial-up connection," Bryan continued, slightly raising his voice so that Sim can hear. "But before we proceed I'll just need to verify some of your personal information here in our records? Are you from North Dakota or South Dakota?"

Sim coughed to cover his laugh. He had no time to mute his phone.


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