He cradled his head in his hands. Breathed slowly, deliberately. His head was pounding. His eyes were close to watering. And every muscle in his body burnt. All he wanted was to find a soft mattress of some kind and pass out on it.
The phone rang.
The headset was already plugged in. He looked at the display. That sappy executive at the associate firm. Again. No doubt asking his stupid, ignorant, inane questions. Again. Refusing to understand logic. Again. Trying to get three weeks’ work done in two days. Again.
The customary bout of arguments ensued. He tried keeping his calm. Gritted his teeth and rationally explained why it couldn’t be done in such little time. His calm lasted 30 seconds. As he exploded on the phone for the second time that day, at least three people looked up from their machines, eyebrows cocked. Others quietly, and wisely, chuckled to themselves.
He hung up.
He looked around, daring anyone to say something. A few gazes lingered, then quailing, went back to their work. Rubbing his eyes with the balls of his palms, he rested his head against his desk. More than anything else, he wished for the day to end.
His message tone beeped.
Certain he’d be looking at another mountain of work, he looked down at the screen. A pleasant surprise awaited him. It wasn’t from the account executive. Or biz-dev. Or his boss. Or any of the clients. He opened the message. It contained just one word.
He looked up and across the room at her. Their eyes met and they both smiled. As one, they got up and walked to the pantry.
And just like that, the first post in the new year gets dedicated to Pink. Because even now, she has no idea what that ping did for me.