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from Starrbodies by Cynthia A. Jensen

Copyright © 2019–2020 Cynthia A. Jensen

Chapter 12

Chapter Twelve


           I went back to work that Tuesday, not looking forward at all to it. Same faces, same comments, same bullshit. I sat in my cubicle and turned on my computer. I worked for a third-party agency, otherwise known as a collection agency. I was a debt collector. I’d worked for several agencies in my working life, but this one was the worst. Most of the workers here used intimidation and truly seemed to enjoy their jobs.

           I took inbound calls from debtors who genuinely wanted help with clearing up their financial matters. When we spoke, it was almost always a calm situation. I could hear Brian and a few of the others yelling and using their bruteness on their calls, and I’m surprised that no one I was on the phone with heard the ruckus.

           I decided to take a short walk during my lunch hour. I left the building and headed north towards the park where they had a farmer’s market on Tuesdays. I could smell the fragrances as I got closer. I had put my foldable tote in my purse that morning because I knew I wouldn’t be leaving this place empty handed.

           As I walked slowly through the market, squeezing and smelling fruits and vegetables, I decided I would make chicken soup in the crockpot for tomorrow night’s dinner. I texted Todd and asked him to pick up boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I would get the rest of the stuff I needed here.

           Back at work, I went to the lunchroom and set my full tote bag in the refrigerator. It wasn’t used very much. Sometimes someone would leave their lunch in there for a few weeks, and there’d be open cans of soda that would never get drunk. I started getting in the habit of cleaning the thing once a week, and I purchased baking soda boxes and replaced those in the refrigerator and freezer once a month.

           I went to my cubicle and sat down with a bottle of water. I hadn’t been hungry enough to eat lunch, but I was very thirsty. I guzzled it down in a few swallows. After putting the lid back on, I set the bottle aside to place in Julie’s recycle bin. She had four of them. One for plastic, one for aluminum, one for glass, and the other for paper. She had been doing that since way before I got here. There were always a lot of cans and bottles, and on the days Julie worked, she would gather the bags that had lined the bins and took them with her. I don’t think she got that much for them, but every little thing helped, I’m sure.

           I put on my headset and immediately the phone rang. I shook the mouse and my computer came to life.

           “Thank you for calling CRV, this is Amanda. How may I help you?”


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