A girl that stood beside me leans over to me, “That’s Maxielline Jones, floor supervisor for our squad. Don’t worry, she’s not as scary as she lets on.” without another word, she’s gone with a swish of her thick curly black hair.
I start walking to catch up with her, trying to subdue the small feelings of hope I found with my first friendly encounter here. I make it three steps out of the door before I find myself being pulled over to the other side of the hallway by my sleeve. I find myself face to face with Ms. Jones, she doesn’t look happy.
What the hell did I do now?
“You’re one of my new trainees that started today, right?” She doesn’t wait to hear my answer before continuing, “Okay, so I’m going to have to switch you over to call taking. One of the current staff members has just emailed me her two week notice. Currently you’re the newest employee with the least amount of experience, so you will have to be trained as her replacement. I will have you sitting with Ms. Chaplin until I find an available trainer to take you.”
I don’t argue with the decision since it’s my first day, “Which position is she sitting at today?”
I see Ms. Jones visibly let out a sigh of relief, “Thank you for being so understanding. Chaplin is sitting at Position 15 today, that’ll be in the middle of the room towards the back row.”
I take a deep breath and follow the straggling end of the crowd into the main communications room. It’s massive. There’s easily fifty computer console in the hub. I stop in my tracks, unsure of where to go, the center of the room consisted of three columns of consoles that were four rows deep. Which one was number fifteen?
I scan the rows to see if they were numbered or had any indication of what position they were. Without luck, I resign to asking one of my new coworkers. As I almost tap the shoulder of a rather disgruntled looking woman on the very back row, I notice a familiar mass of black hair two rows ahead. I make a beeline in her direction. Before I even open my mouth to ask, she laughs, “Yeah don’t worry, this place is pretty daunting the first time anybody sees it. You’re doing Gen dispatching right? That’s gonna on the first row on the far left of the room. I think your trainer is already over there setting up.” I shake my head, “As comfortable as I am with dispatching, Ms. Jones just pulled me aside to inform me that’ll be training as a call taker now.” The girl’s eyebrows rose in surprise, “Oh dang, yeah that probably threw a wrench in you plans for today,” a conspiratorial gleam light up her eyes as she continues, “but hey, between you and me, Call taking is where all the fun is at anyways. Do you know who she picked to be your new trainer?”
“Yeah that’s actually what I came over to ask you about. Do you know which console is number fifteen? I’m supposed to introduce myself to a Ms. Chaplain.” The woman’s face pales, “Did you just say Chaplain? Son of a biscuit..”
“Yeah, is it that not good? What’s wrong with her?”
She smirks before flipping her hair back over her shoulder, “It’s nothing like that, she’s fabulous. But, she’s also me.” Chaplain rubs the back of her neck, “My hesitation has nothing to do with you personally, it’s just that I was only released from training two months ago.” Chaplain blinks a couple times before cracking her knuckles decisively, “But hey, I guess there’s no time like the present to get a jump on things, so let’s do this.” She points to the left of the room, “The extra chairs are over there, go snag one for yourself and come back.”
I shake my head in disbelief at how differently this week had started compared to now.