I wasn't so sure that working at a divorce lawyer's office was such a good thing for me. As I typed the papers necessary for ending marriage after marriage I would hurt for them -- with them. I simply wasn't far enough down the road from my own divorce not to empathise and I hurt over the sadness of so many broken lives. Working there caused me to re-live my divorce and I needed to heal and move on from it. Oh, I knew deep in my heart that I would never really move on from it but it would be nice if it would just quit ripping my guts out every stinking day of my life. THAT would be nice.
I was focused on finishing the paperwork of a client that I related to pretty strongly. It was just one of those days that was a little harder to deal with than most and I found myself spiraling down into the deep black hole of an impending pity party. It was getting tough for me to keep seeing the glass as half full. I liked this client because she did not bad mouth her husband, she always had a pleasant smile, and she never used me for a therapist while waiting to be seen. My mind was lost in thought when John buzzed me and told me to go pick up some files from another attorney's office. I realized that I'd been on the brink of tears and my nose was beginning to drip so I wiped my face with a tissue and made an effort to compose myself. The last thing that I felt like doing was to face the public. Tough toenails, though, because that's what I had to get up and go do.
I put on my best professional demeanor and headed out for this other attorney's office. I'd never been there before and was surprized to find that the layout of his office was a bit like a maze. Upon entering there was a hallway that was about six feet long and at it's end another hallway led off to the the right. At the end of that hallway you stepped into a large circular waiting area that you must walk through to get to the receptionist's area which was located off another short hallway on the other side of the room.
The waiting area was packed with clients sitting in silence except for the occasional crinkling sound made by the flipping of a magazine page. When I entered the room every single person in it fixed their eyes on me and stared me down every step of the way until I reached the receptionist's desk. It was awful. I wondered if I'd smeared my lipstick with the tissue I'd wiped my face with...or if I had a bugger ... or WHAT. Man alive, I did not want to have to walk back through that room again. I felt so akward and selfconscious and uncomfortable. I just wanted to get back to my safe little desk back at my safe little office and finish getting through my day.
I picked up the files and steeled myself for the inevitable trek back through the waiting room with its silent audience of no-manners-among-'em-stare-me-down clients. I straightened my back and set my jaw with resolve to get through that little bit of unpleasantness and get it over with. Sure as the world every single person in the room openly eyeballed me the whole way. I could feel their eyes on my back and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I walked briskly through the room as if I had a purpose in life and made a dignified escape -- except for one small detail -- I'd missed the last hall and instead of making a smooth exit I found myself standing in the dark in their STUPID SUPPLY CLOSET!!!
At first I paniced and just stood there frozen not knowing how to get back out of my rediculas delima. Then I was struck with a brilliant idea. I knew that what I was planning to do wasn't right but I hoped that maybe just this once God might let me slide. I turned on the light, opened the door and made a show of loading up a bunch of their office supplies and THEN I left.
Okay, that last paragraph is not true but it IS what I 've aIways WISHED that I'd done. The truth is that I came back out of that blankety-blank-blank closet red-faced and wishing that I was dead. There was little point in attempting further to feign dignity as I emerged to find a room full of people who all looked like they'd gotten tickled in church and were trying their best not to fall in the floor and roll around laughing. Not my MOST embarrasing moment, but it's up there.
REALLY THE END.