She was around eighteen. He was about 5’5” bordering on chubby with a number 2 hair cut.
I could see from my desk in the corner of the room the way she would catch his eye; swinging around on her chair, flipping her dark hair wildly over her face and twirling it around her finger in that clichéd way that girly-girls do.
She proceeded to raise her feet onto her desk so that he could see up her skirt— I don’t think he was the only one.
For her, it was a momentary distraction away from the list of calls she had to make that night and she was also running out of gum.
For him, it was pure flattery. Girls never took notice of him like this before, not since he found himself in pole position as a team leader.
Derek started working at the call centre at the age of sixteen and after a four-year stretch of repeating the same dialogue into a headset, he decided he wanted to make something of himself.
Now he had the privilege of surveying the newbie’s on the office floor—mainly university students—girls with matching hair and naivety in their eyes.
The bell rang, signaling it was time for a break. I ambled my way to the staff kitchen, while the team leaders were ushered into an office for a meeting.
“Come and sit with us,” the girls called out to me.
“I’m fine,” I smiled.
I couldn’t engage with their small talk and giggles. Their chatter brought me back to the intensity of high school— something I would rather forget. The hair twirler was the centre of attention and everyone was curious: would Derek ask her out?
I preferred the random conversation with the odd-bods who were working at the call centre, between freelance contracts.
Exactly half an hour later we were called to sit at our stations again, with the large digital numbers on the far wall rolling into a countdown. It was militarized at best.
We sat for the next few hours, until it was time to walk into the darkness and I wondered whether this was what working life would always be like.
Style File: I’m loving the warm summer weather, but I’m excited about winter collections and New Zealand label ITZME caught my eye at NZFW last year. I’m wearing ITZME wool trousers (available in tan) and ITZME Gallery Dress, both dropping soon as part of AW 16. I’m always a fan of the pussy bow blouse and I bought this silk one from Kate Sylvester about 3 years ago. It continues to be a good winter staple—the blush colour works well as a neutral in my wardrobe.
See ITZME NZFW runway show here.