Think back to all of the times you have apologized over the course of your life. Were you truly sorry for the things you did, or were you sorry that you got caught? Now contemplate this: if there was a chance that you could do those same things again only without being caught, would you?
Miranda Plett wishes she could take back what she did. It had been one of those days at work, the kind that makes a person wonder why they ever got out of bed that morning. Customers kept complaining about things that were beyond her control, her technologically challenged boss kept asking her how to make his computer work, and a memo had gone out saying that everyone was going to have to work overtime this weekend. Her first chance at a break didn’t come until 11:30 a.m., and all she had time for was a quick trip to the washroom. She ran into Louisa, a girl from the Marketing Department just as she was heading into the ladies room.
“You okay, Miranda? You look a little stressed,” Lousia said as she held the door open for her colleague.
“Just one of those days,” Miranda replied while stepping into the ladies room. “Actually, it’s more like one of those three year stretches of bad days,” she then said as she put her purse onto the counter.
“What do you mean?” Louisa asked.
Rummaging through her purse for her lip gloss, Miranda then clarified.
“Do you ever wonder what you’re still doing here? How long you’re going to be trapped here? If this is all you have to look forward to until retirement?”
“All the time,” Louisa answered.
“Do you know how some people have a fear of flying?” Miranda then asked. “My greatest fear is that I’ll never be free of this place. That I’ll end up like Faye in Billings. All mean and nasty and bitter, as old as Moses, and hated by all. Please promise me you’ll shoot me before I turn into her.”
“I’ll do one better. I’ll make a suicide pact with you. If we’re both still here in a year, let’s end it together,” Louisa told her.
Both women laughed because of course they weren’t serious about killing themselves. They were serious about wanting new jobs, though. Just as they finished with their giggling fit, they heard someone flush the toilet in the far stall. Then they heard the door to the stall open, followed by the sound of a pair of sensible loafers making their way towards the sink. A pair of loafers worn by Faye from the Billing Department.
“Hello ladies,” Faye said as she washed her hands.
“Um…hi Faye,” Miranda said before turning two sheets of red.
It was at that moment Miranda realized her worst fear had already come true. By saying what she did about Faye, she was just as nasty and mean and bitter as the woman in Billings who simply hated her life the way Miranda hated her own, and she would never be free of the guilt she felt for hurting Faye’s feelings.