Robert Edward Sullivan

Robert Edward Sullivan - Ebbing

Robert Edward Sullivan is from the Midwest (Iowa and Michigan) but now lives in Oregon. He holds an MFA from… Read more »
Leslie Anne Jones
Foreigner Manager

Leslie Anne Jones - Foreigner Manager

Leslie Anne Jones was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Dark winters, big glaciers, neighborhood moose—all that stuff. She spent… Read more »
Dan Malakoff

Dan Malakoff - Standstill

Dan Malakoff’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Prick of the Spindle, The Long Story, Ellipsis, River… Read more »
Therese Borkenhagen
The Amazon

Therese Borkenhagen - The Amazon

Therese Borkenhagen is a freelance writer and translator from Oslo, Norway. She completed her BA and MA in English Literature… Read more »
Maxine Rosaler
The Girl from Texas

Maxine Rosaler - The Girl from Texas

Maxine Rosaler’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in or is scheduled to appear in The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, Witness,… Read more »
Scott Sikes
The Widow’s Daughter

Scott Sikes - The Widow’s Daughter

This is Scott Sikes’ first published work. He is thrilled and also keeping his day job, which he loves. He… Read more »
Nick Almeida

Nick Almeida - Watchdog

Nick Almeida is an MFA candidate at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He holds an MA from… Read more »

Foreigner Manager

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 »