“Thank you for calling Byte Back Solutions. This is Ava speaking. How may I help you?”
The rapid clacking of Quinn’s keyboard comes to an abrupt halt as she listens intently. That voice, the voice of an angel, is music to her ears.
“Yes, sir. That is a security feature that’s built into… Yes, sir… Uh-huh,” Ava’s polite and bubbly temperament lessens with every response.
Ah, yes. There’s no better way to start your day than with a problematic caller. Quinn chuckles to herself, remembering the days when she had to answer calls. But those days are long gone. Now, she focuses all of her time and effort on difficult coding projects with impossible deadlines. Not difficult consumers with impossible demands. You could say that each position has its pros and cons.
That being said, Quinn looks at the ridiculous stack of work on her desk. As much as she enjoys being a software engineer, she wouldn’t say that working on every start-up’s “groundbreaking” project is her dream job. This coding nightmare currently illuminating her screen is no exception. Lines upon lines of code reflect back into her bleary, dark green eyes. By the end of the day, she has to debug and revamp this debacle of an app and submit it, in hopes that the client will give their ok and accept it. Otherwise, she can expect to subject herself to another day of this hell.
“... Glad to be of help. Yup… You have a good day,” Ava signs off as she slams the phone against the receiver.
A knowing grin spreads across Quinn’s face. She can empathize with Ava’s frustration. In fact, their shared dissatisfaction would make for a great talking point. She could, for instance, go console and reassure Ava. Maybe even remind her that she is doing a good job.
Quinn glances at the clock, which reads 12:44 pm. Fifteen minutes before her scheduled lunch. Aka, the perfect time to strike up a quick conversation before heading off to lunch. Besides, it’s better to talk to Ava now than to risk being distracted any more today than she has already been. Her reasoning is sound.
Placing both hands on the edge of her desk, Quinn pushes forward, sending her office chair wheeling backward. Effortlessly, the chair glides across the floor. That is until it abruptly stops just short of her cubicle’s threshold.
“What the hell?” Quinn quietly groans in frustration.
With a huff, she plants her feet onto the ground and kicks off, thinking she just needs another boost. But to her surprise, she only manages to wobble in place, as if caught on something. Her brow furrows and eyes narrow as she leans over the arm of the chair. Something is preventing her from reaching her destination, and whatever it is is going to pay.
A large seam in the cheap carpeting has caught on the wheel. And it appears the more Quinn struggles against it, the more it pulls up and intertwines itself into said wheel. Long story short, her chair is stuck.
Quinn curses her luck, but she isn’t one to give up so easily. Firmly grabbing hold of the chair’s arms, she starts to rock it over the seam again. This time with a little more finesse and strategy, so to speak.
The chair loudly rattles and clunks against the ground as Quinn pounds her feet in leaping motions and vigorously shakes the chair to and fro. The erratic noises coming from her cubicle garner a few questioning and concerned looks from neighboring co-workers. Yet, no one dares to get up and check.
A minute has since passed, and with a huff of exasperation, Quinn slackens her white-knuckled grip. Despite her best efforts and unceremonious grunting, the stubborn chair refuses to budge. She raises the flag of defeat and dramatically lets her body slump back. In turn, the chair squeaks as it slightly gives under her weight, and a few short, wavy strands of light brown hair fall across her face. With one hand, she sweeps them back and sighs.
“Now what?” Quinn mumbles under her breath.
“Why don’t you just get up and go talk to her?” a monotone voice asks reproachfully from behind.