Sunday, September 11, 2011


Writing Challenge, Day 23

Decided to re-explore Bryan's and Sim's relationship (obviously I don't have an idea on how to move forward yet). Here I try to show a glimpse of their friendship during Bryan's call center stint.

* * *

"Bread?" a familiar voice on Bryan's left interrupted his five-minute mental break.

"Go away," Bryan replied, eyes closed. He had just finished a three-hour call and the customer's issue with her email still went unresolved. Frustrated, Bryan did what he had to do: drop the call mid-sentence to make it look like his line got cut off.

"Okay ma'am," he had said. "What we're going to do now is to refr--." He pushed the End Call button.

That was the reason he's using five minutes of his AUX 10, which is programmed for Bathroom Break in the standard issue Avaya phones on every cubicle. Now his seatmate Sim is distracting him. A welcome distraction, he admitted to himself. but a distraction nonetheless.

A slice of pullman loaf plopped on his head. He opened his eyes and whirled his chair to face the culprit, who is now laughing silently and congratulating himself for his good aim.

"Did you just throw this?" Bryan demanded, even though the answer was obvious. He snatched the bread slice and ate it glaring at Sim.

Sim made a face, as if disgusted. "Kadiri!" he exclaimed.

"What?" Bryan asked innocently. "My hair is clean. Here, taste it. Lasang Pantene!" he offerend the bread.

They both laughed.

"And why aren't you taking any calls?" Bryan asked, imitating the nasal voice of their account manager.

"Lunch break," Sim said simply.

"That's your lunch?" Bryan asked motioning to the slice of Bread on Sim's hand, surprised. His seatmate nodded.

Well that was new, Bryan thought, munching on the piece of bread thoughtfully. It's been a month since Sim went live and put on same schedule as Bryan's. Bryan figured he got the newbie's basic facts straightened out. Then again, they have only been seat mates since two weeks ago, when Winston, Bryan's batch mate and resident social butterfly formally introduced them to each other and picked the "ideal" seats by the window on the corner of the floor.

"Less visibility from the TLs, more time to play!" Winston had proclaimed excitedly as he took the spot on the cubicle in front of Sim. Since then, that corner became the "unofficially-official" area for Nancy-Papa. Everyone on the floor knows not to mess the seating arrangement, even during the other shifts, when the rest of Bryan's and Sim's batch mates take their places. Bryan and Perry made the easy decision to share the same cubicle.

"How much time do you have," Sim asked, breaking Bryan's thoughts once again. He was putting on his headset, getting ready to log on to the system again. Bryan noted how Sim's looks have slightly improved over the weeks. He still got the adorkable geekiness with his button-down shirts and khakis, but it looks like his clothes are getting...tighter.

Stop torturing yourself Bry, Bryan thought.

"Huy!" Sim prodded. "Baka ma-ping ka for overbreak!"

"Two minutes to go," Bryan sighed dramatically. "Hay nako, I hope I don't get Miss Mississippi again."

"Okay lang yan. That rarely happens." Sim smiled reassuringly, his eyes crinkling. He turned to face his monitor and pressed the Auto-In button on his phone. "Thank you for calling technical support. This is Casey. May I have the email address associated with your account please?"

Bryan turned to face his own desk, putting his own headset in place. He groaned at the sight of the monitor on the big wall indicating the call queue. I hate this job, Bryan said to himself. At least I have friends here.

There was a ding from his computer screen, indicating a new instant message. It was from Sim, who was still talking to his caller.

Bryan read the message and laughed. It said, "Langya! I got your Miss Mississippi!"

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