Leslie Anne Jones
“Yes.. Mm, sorry-sorry . . . Yes, understand.” My coworker Wenwen is gripping the end of her ponytail like a safety handle as she speaks into her headset. I stop clicking through all the browser tabs of grad school programs and Internet news that I’ve opened, because I can tell she’s on one of those calls she’ll have to transfer to me any minute now. I pull my legs up and pretzel them. I tilt my head side to side until my neck cracks. I like to feel loose before I get on the phone.
Wenwen and I occupy the last two desks in a double column of work stations squeezed into our tunnel-like office. Besides us there are six other customer service agents, and on an average day each agent needs my “foreigner expertise” roughly twice. So in an eight-hour shift, my employment is justified fourteen times in three- or four-minute bursts. I sit in the desk nearest the window. Sometimes when the light is low I catch my own tired 24-year-old face in the glaze. I have my mother’s pointed, white-lady nose, but my father’s Chinese eyes, his dark brows and small mouth. Beyond the distraction of my… Read more »