I’m staring blindly at my computer, trying to make sense of the words swirling in front of me. There was a late two hour booking for Maggie last night and as a result of that I was barely able to get any sleep seeing as I had to stay up until 4am to make sure her appointment had left and that she was safe. Mike had spent the night and had given his best attempt at staying up with me but by 2am he was passed out and I can’t say that I blame him.
by Sarah Brooke
It’s almost 5pm and the phone has finally quieted down. I’m taking advantage of the downtime to finally get some of my other work done. Joe has been very understanding of my new situation but I can’t say the same for his lovely wife Anne. She called me up last night and ripped into me, telling me that she had sent an email from a fake account to see how long it would take me to respond.
I hadn’t responded for over 24 hours and she was absolutely outraged. It took all the self control I could muster to ignore her bitchy outburst and apologize to her. Joe had come over afterwards to apologize, I guess he had been there when she called or she had told him about it afterwards.
Instead of telling him what a bitch his wife could be, I smiled and told him that there was no problem, I was used to dealing with people like her. To my delight he had showed up with an envelope of cash containing my share of their earnings for their vacation home. He handed over the money to me and gave me a big hug, telling me that he appreciated all the work I’d been doing for him.
Spring was here in full force and the rentals had been going well and there was a good chunk of money in that envelope. When I saw the sizable stack of cash I couldn’t help but feel an immense wave of relief. I feel like I haven’t stopped for a minute since starting with Angel Escorts and on top of the nearly all day responsibility of answering the phones for them, I’ve had to find time to respond to emails and calls about the vacation home.
Most communication is done through email which is a good thing because a couple of days ago I had answered my personal phone and ended up going into my whole spiel of “Angel Escorts, Roxy speaking, how can I help you?” Thankfully as soon as the word angel tumbled out of my mouth my brain realized the mistake and saved me from further embarrassment.
The client was speechless on the other end, not sure what to say. I played it off like I had been expecting a call from my friend Angel and the client didn’t question it and instead just started rattling off questions about the rental. During the entire phone conversation my heart was beating a mile a minute, terrified of the mistake I had almost made. Being dead tired hasn’t helped things, I frequently find myself on autopilot and it scares me.
Yesterday I was in the kitchen making tea when I distinctly heard the Angel Escorts cell phone ring. I sprinted to my room to grab it and when I finally had the phone in my hand I realized it had never been ringing at all. I was so certain that I had heard it ringing that it had freaked me out for the rest of the day.
Determined to respond to emails for the vacation rental, I close my eyes and shake my head, hoping that when I open them the words on the computer screen will have stopped swirling. For good measure I rub my eyelids with the back of my hands, wondering what the hell I’m going to do if I’m in for another late night.
When I finally open my eyes again the words have mercifully stopped swirling but they still look blurry and I find myself reading over the same sentence again and again and still I’m not able to make any sense of it.
As if I wasn’t already having problems concentrating, the work phone starts ringing. I turn my attention to the phone screen and have a slightly easier time making out the words. I confirm a booking for Maggie this evening and let her know about it then toss the phone onto the bed and, cradling my head in my arms, I lay my head to rest on the desk and hope that a few moments of having my eyes shut will help with this killer headache I’m developing.
The next thing I know Sophie is standing over me, gently shaking me awake.
“Sweetie, wake up. Your phones been going off like crazy.”
The words don’t quite make sense right away but once they do I’m filled with sheer dread.
“Fuck me. What time is it?” I ask, looking at the computer screen for the time but instead I find that the monitor has put itself into sleep mode.
“Almost 7pm. That can’t have been a comfortable way to sleep, isn’t your neck killing you?” She asks, tilting her head and looking at me with concern in her eyes.
I stretch my back and neck and confirm her suspicions. A white hot pain sears up my back and neck, punishment for my impromptu nap.
“Oh god, the last thing I remember it was around 5pm and I was just going to close my eyes for a second. Shit… oh shit. Where’s the phone?” I hop off of the chair and immediately I’m hit by a wave of dizziness that almost floors me. I reach my hand out and grab onto the desk to steady myself.
“Whoa Sarah, are you okay?” Sophie grabs my shoulders to help steady me.
“I just stood up too fast. I’m okay.” Instead of trying to walk I throw myself onto the bed and crawl towards the phone. “Fuck, how did I not hear it ringing?” I check the phones volume and see that somehow it’s been turned down low. Not low enough that I shouldn’t have been able to hear it though.
“I dunno, I heard it ringing from my room and after ten minutes of it I decided to come in and check if you were okay.” She sits herself next to me on the bed and starts stroking my hair, trying to impart some comfort.
“This is going to be bad.” I say and slide the phone open, trying to steel myself against the texts that I might find. I skim through the messages, for right now I’m ignoring any messages from clients and instead I’m looking for messages from my coworkers or boss. It doesn’t take long before I find them. Ebony freaking out asking when her next appointment is, and then Maggie texting me to let me know that Tim is trying to get a hold of me. Then there’s the text from Tim. There is only one text, all caps saying CALL ME. When I check the call logs I see that he’s called me three times.
“What am I going to do? He’s going to flip.”
“You don’t know that.” She says, her voice soft.
“I fell asleep for two hours. He knows that I wasn’t answering the phone. I’m getting fired.” When I think about getting fired I’m actually slightly relieved.
“You won’t get fired, don’t psych yourself out.”
“Imagine how peaceful my life would be if I did get fired. I’m almost looking forward to it.”
“If that’s how you feel then maybe you should quit?” She says.
“I can’t, I do need the money.” I say this even though my first paycheck was not nearly enough to make up for the long hours and bullshit I’ve been putting up with. “I’m just saying, if I do get shit canned it won’t be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“Are you going to call him back?” She asks. I don’t respond, instead I just select Tim’s phone number and press dial.
“Tim- It’s Roxy. I’m so sorry, I don’t know what happened. The phone somehow switched to silent.”
“How exactly does that happen?” His voice is cold but that’s not exactly unusual for Tim. He always sounds the same, monotonous and very matter of fact.
“I honestly have no idea, I’m pretty tired so I might have pressed the volume button without even realizing. I’m very sorry, I feel just awful.” I make sure to keep my gaze away from Sophie who is standing over me with her hands parked casually on her hips.
“The girls are freaking out over here.” He says.
“About you not answering their texts.”
“Oh, well, I’m very sorry. It won’t happen again.” I try to sound as polite and apologetic as I can.
“Why don’t you come in here tomorrow for your shift instead of staying home. Maybe being around the girls will help remind you that you need to be attentive and on the ball at all times.”
“Sure, I can try to come in for ten.” I say, making sure to give myself time to wake up, shower and get dressed.
“No, how about you come in for 8am. I’ll see you then.” Without another word and with his usual lack of goodbye, he hangs up.
“He wants me to come in tomorrow at 8am.” I throw my head down into my pillow and scream.
Sophie waits patiently for me to be done. “Feel better now?”
“No.” I say, mumbling into the pillow. “I’m going to be up until 2am at least and he expects me to be in for work at 8am? That’s bullshit. Just to punish me for this.”
“That sucks, I’m sorry.” She sits herself down next to me on the bed and frowns. “Anything I can do to help?”
“What time do you have class tomorrow?” I ask, an idea brewing.
“Not until the afternoon, why?”
“If I paid you would you answer the phones tonight?”
Sophie stops and thinks for a moment. “Yeah, I guess I have enough experience to do that. I’ll do it but only if you promise me that you’ll get some sleep.”
“Sophie, that’s all I want. I’m so fucking tired I could scream.”
“You’ve already done that and it didn’t help.” She says, smirking. “Just give me some basic info and I’ll take over for you. No worries.”
I drag myself out of bed and over to my desk, grabbing a pen and a pad of paper.
“Here, I’ll write down who is working tonight and what appointments they already have. There’s only three girls on tonight so it’s not crazy. If any of them call to talk to me, wake me up. Otherwise just text them for their appointments. You know the drill… they need to text to confirm when the guy shows up and when he leaves. I always send a text saying ‘ok’ to let them know I’m there and that I’ve received their message.”
“Easy enough. I’ll wake you if there’s anything I can’t handle.” She says.
After I’ve written all of the pertinent information down I toss her the pad of paper and then toss myself back onto my bed.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. I love you.”
Out of the corner of my eye I see her smile. “I love you, too. Now go to sleep. And don’t forget to set your alarm for 7am. You have work in the morning.”
With that she exits my room and within seconds I’m fast asleep.