I return to my work station after disappearing from all electronic devices for a solid half-hour, long enough to read three short stories, and I feel purified. I discover I have missed a call from an unknown number. Usually this would be anxious-making. I would fantasize, in the genre of foiled wish fulfillment, that I had missed something important, like a contract someone wanted to offer me but won't now because I called back six minutes later. This time, I circle patiently, dreamily around the conference call booths in the center of the open-concept workspace; entrance to one booth is blocked by parts for a giant interactive screen you operate by cranking a lever, and someone's in the other booth. I exit into the green-grey dimness of the lobby. I plant myself just west of the single-occupancy bathrooms, beside a whirring snack machine most workers in this building are too generationally wealthy to use before an audience. I tap the screen resolutely with my index finger and in the delay before it starts to ring I prepare myself to inflect, "Hi, I missed a call from this number?" – sweetly, though in a lower register than my girlish normal. It forgets to ring and goes straight to an automated message. Oh; it is Vidéotron conducting a customer satisfaction follow-up about my service upgrade, ordered by me three months of data-exceeded surcharges too late.
If you’re my Facebook friend or you follow me on Twitter, you know that last year I made a zine called “Things Dudes Have Said to Me on OkCupid” and sent copies to everyone as Christmas gifts. Your feedback was so positive, I made a second zine! Both are available on my Etsy shop.