He glanced at the monitor’s clock again. Still twenty minutes until shift’s end. The morning had been uneventful, seconds stretching endlessly rather than ticking by.
He surveyed the room. Banks of identical desks. Grey partitions exposing only the tops of heads. Operators slouched in ergonomic chairs while overhead vents pumped chilled air.
He turned back to his monitor. Nineteen minutes. Then he’d collect the kids, and groceries for dinner. He began forming a mental list.
His screen blinked into life. Suddenly other operators bolted to attention like alarmed meerkats, adjusting headsets lazily allowed to droop around necks. So many incoming calls. He accepted one.
“Emergency assistance. Which service do you require?”