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A Delightful Calm

Will Courtanae's first day of work be a disaster?

By Tiffany Gordon Published 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 6 min read

Courtanae sipped her second energy drink of the morning and braced herself for her first call. So far her day had been about as eventful as the stale luke warm water in the nearby office water fountain. Courtanae didn't realize it yet but her day was about to get a whole lot thornier.

To fight her boredom, Courtanae vigorously wiped her keyboard, computer monitor, phone, and desk down with Lysol. She smiled as she came across her stuffed shark named: Sam, a recent birthday gift from her dad. Ever since Courtanae saw Sharknado when she was 11 she fell in love with sharks. Courtanae had always found sharks to be badass and brave because of their fearless nature and 300 rows of teeth. She kept Sam around to remind her to face every task with courage.

Two uneventful hours later,Courtanae eagerly took her first call of the day.

"Memory Cruises, Courtanae Petty on the line."

"This is Vinny Escada, doll. I need a Grecian cruise sailing on October 31st round trip from San Diego, and we are using our own Air seeing that your air rates are so outrageous!"

"Okay, Mr. Escada, will you be cruising this year or next?" Courtanae asked politely.

"Three weeks from now, doll...that obviously means this year and this inquiry is for my clients not me. I will be right here in NYC on Halloween night watching the New York Yankees whip the Boston Red Sox."

"How many passengers are cruising?" Courtanae said cheerily.

"There will be seven Mitchell's cruising, doll. It is imperative that they have an upscale, finger-paint-resistant balcony cabin with Vegan chef services for the wife Kami, twenty-four hour on-call nanny services for three-year-old triplets Tye, Trevor and Travis, tie assistance and shoeshine services for grandpa Brady who prefers to be pampered by a professional, an ethnic hair dresser for grandma Nita who needs to have her dreads kept up, and we'll definitely need one of the larger ships with a good green aboard to satisfy the husband Daniel's golfing obsession."

"Okay, sir, our largest ship is the Scavenger. It holds approximately 10,000 passengers. It has all of the necessary amenities that you mentioned except for the twenty-four hour on-call nanny service. Our nannies go off duty at 11 p.m.," Courtanae explained respectfully.

"What? That's ludicrous! Lightning Bug Cruise Lines offers twenty-four hour nanny services. In fact, they even send out special text messages to parents in the event that there is an emergency. Sounds to me like Memory Cruise Lines is slipping, doll!" Vinny Escada said in an escalated tone.

"What can you offer the Mitchell's to make up for your Company's nanny flub?" Vinny asked huffily.

"I can give the family complimentary passes to the ship's art gallery," Courtanae said as she held her breath.

"The Mitchell's are not the artsy-fartsy type. So that's just not good enough, doll. How about throwing in four complimentary bottles of Sherry for grandpa Brady's 80th b-day party instead?"

"Sorry Mr. Escada, Memory Cruises only offers one complimentary bottle of wine per family and only in the summertime," Courtanae replied softly.

"So you're telling me that Grandpa Brady should have been born in July or August instead of October? You know what? That's a really crappy thing to say! I want to speak to one of your superiors NOW!" Vinny Escada roared.

It was Courtanae's first day on her first real job therefore she did NOT want to blow it. She nervously bit her lip and tried to diffuse the tension.

"Sir, how about a free dessert for the family during dinner?" Courtanae offered.

"How old are you?" Mr. Escada yelled.

"Eighteen," Courtanae said meekly.

"Oh boy! I knew it! An amateur! Why don't you hand the phone over to one of your more seasoned elders, doll?" Mr. Escada replied.

Whoa, this guy is really losing it, Courtanae thought to herself.

Courtanae was currently in a dormant state but she truly thought she was going to claw her own eyes out if she heard Mr. Escada condescendingly call her doll one more time. She had successfully ignored Mr. Escada's rudeness thus far, but Courtanae's patience was becoming potato-chip thin; Courtanae truly felt like a slowly crumbling JENGA tower and like Mr. Escada was an overzealous player trying to purposely make her patience topple.

Courtanae was honestly ready to tell Mr. Escada where he and the Mitchell's could go when out of the blue a calming thought came to her mind.

Courtanae suddenly remembered the slightly corny video that her favorite teacher Miss Martinez had shown the previous spring in health class.

The video featured Ida Owens, a road rage participant's mother whose son impulsively and tragically killed another teenage driver, tearfully urging teens to think before acting.

Courtanae always remembered what Ms. Owens said, word for word, because of the urgency in her voice and the deep melancholy in her eyes.

She said:

"Never let anyone take you out of the race. Ignore the taunts from your competitors, the whistles and blares from the crowd, and the steady beams of scorching hot sun upon your skin. Don't let negative emotions take you captive. Break free and run your race. Don't make the same mistake that my son did. Please keep your mind on your final destination."

The video's message always gave Courtanae chills. She thought about the senseless killing and immediately garnered the strength she needed to continue to positively manage the Escada call.

"Mr. Escada, I'd be more than happy to transfer you to my supervisor Florita Johnson. I hope that you have a pleasant day," Courtanae said with a super-sunny smile, mostly because Mr. Escada would soon be someone else's tantrum.

"Congratulations, Courtanae!My name really is Vinny Escada, Operator 465. I am a Regional Manager for Memory Cruise Lines. I work out of the New York Division. This was a random mystery call. We were calling around today to determine the customer service levels in our East Coast offices. Out of the four persons that we randomly called today, you scored the highest with a four out of four. In fact, you were courteous, you remembered the proper greeting, you offered an additional option to counter the caller's unfulfilled request, and most importantly you remained calm throughout!"

"Miss Petty, you have earned $50 in cash and a $50 gift certificate to Red Lobster. May I please speak with Florita so that you can claim your reward?"

"Sure thing! That is so dope!" Courtanae squealed as she handed the phone to her supervisor.

Later that evening, as Courtanae and her boyfriend Kyzell finished their lobster cakes, they reflected upon the humorous and unpredictable way that they had ended up dining at their favorite restaurant that evening.

While Courtanae waited for her dessert, she took a penny from her coin purse and slowly dropped it into the enormous, Red Lobster wishing fountain that sat adjacent to their table. Before the penny reached the bottom of the fountain, Courtanae made a silent wish that other teens would receive Mrs. Owens' road rage message; she was certainly thankful that she had.

Young Adult

About the Creator

Tiffany Gordon

I am a super-spiritual, fun-loving artist, writer, & peer-counselor residing in the Pacific Northwest. I am also an Institute of Children's Literature alumna who enjoys writing about the triumph of the human spirit.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (5)

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  • Novel Allen10 months ago

    Reading from the beginning again. Such a great message for the young and everyone. Patience and good manners. Kids are so rude these days, makes you wonder if they will outgrow it. A really eye opening story.

  • Phil Flannery11 months ago

    Great message

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Magnificent story!!!

  • What a wonderful and fantastic story. I really enjoyed it. Very well written from start to finish.

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