I start a job where I take phone calls from angry people. Sometimes there is cake in the breakroom. My coworker listens to the radio loudly, slurps his blue gatorade through a straw. Twyla, the woman at the desk beside mine, crows when the radio is turned on. She is not a fan of today’s hits or yesterday’s favorites. Monday morning, I ask Twyla how she’s doing. She tells me without pause: she’ll be a lot better once it’s Friday. She returns to her disgruntled customer. The next day, I ask again, undeterred. This is empathy, I assume, or workplace solidarity. Maybe we’ll unionize. Maybe this is only the beginning. She repeats yesterday’s mantra. “I’ll be a lot better once it’s Friday,” blinking red hold button on her telephone, an anger in waiting. I check my emails in between calls. Everyone congratulate Missy on her engagement, one reads, the office has provided donuts. A man on the phone shouts about brylcreem. These are my constants: anger and Twyla’s waiting. On Friday, I assume victory. Twyla will have to spill the nuts, tell me in earnest how she feels. Perhaps she’ll share pictures of her grandchildren, an accordion of photos from her billfold. Soon enough, we’ll be marching in a picket. This is only the beginning. I perch over my cubicle and peer down at her—a meeting of hawk and field mouse. The line of fire. I ask the question in confidence, but she doesn’t look up from her computer, hardly registers me at all. “I’ll be a lot better once it’s five o’clock,” she says, red light tapping its foot like a bossman.