Isn’t it funny how an unexpected phone call can bring memories flooding back? Last week I was left a voicemail from a name I most definitely knew from the distant, fog-shrouded past. Ah yes, Annie. Our youthful, spoiled, blonde minion who thought she was better than all the rest of us combined. Back in the stone age, my office was across the hallway as I assisted a different department and Ms. Annie briefly played the role of switchboard operator. Several operators have come and gone during my employment here and I’ve experienced amicable relations with one and all, until her... Lovely though she was, her lowly rank failed to squelch her lofty opinion of herself as she felt she deserved all the amenities due those of lengthier employment and more complex duties. Hence the clash. No, it wasn’t overt, but it was subtly felt and completely discerned nevertheless. I recall two specific occasions when we went toe-to-toe on this difference of opinion. Switchboard chicks usually took their lunch hour later than the majority of employees as a fill-in was required to relieve them. Ms. Wonderful insisted on a noon lunch hour to coincide with her darling husband’s schedule. My spineless boss meekly caved in to her demands and had us alternate the coveted hour. Demerits for him. On another occasion, a beloved coworker passed away and though the princess’ employment had been very brief and her passing acquaintance with this colleague extremely suspect, our precocious child petulantly begged to attend the funeral and once again my jellyfish superior capitulated and asked me to stay behind. These and other instances kept a cordial relationship from developing but one day I discovered a closely-guarded secret she had kept from everyone and my whole attitude changed. After her daily noon visit to a local diner accompanied by her better half, she made a speedy pit-stop into the ‘think tank’ before returning to her afternoon duties. I happened to be the next visitor and my horrified eyes discovered the undisclosed mystery behind her weight maintenance program. There to my wondrous eyes was obvious evidence of undigested food that had stubbornly refused to flush. I felt shock followed by deep sadness. How could I dislike this troubled soul after stumbling upon this closely-guarded skeleton? My dislike for her evaporated like the morning mist and it wasn’t long after that she moved on to greener pastures. I hope she slew those inner demons and that her life has since followed smoother pathways.