The Big Squeeze



“You go to da box for two minutes, ya know, by yourself … you feel shame … and then you get free.” - Denis Lemieux



Jet-lag is legit, and it makes your first cup of coffee back in the office that much better. I set my company mug in the appropriate spot and turned the dials. The beans told me, “son, you are going to be okay.” An older woman, head of HR for some region or another, worked her way into the small kitchenette to fix a cuppa. We exchanged awkward glances, as if to say “should I know you?”

It was a look that I had become accustomed to in my new job, so the awkwardness didn’t catch me completely off guard. I was surprised, though, when she reached her arm out to shake my hand.

The last drop of coffee hit my cup and steam from machine filled the tiny room with a hiss. My coffee would have to wait; I reached my hand out towards her. Her hand reached mine, first, and before I could tighten my grip she squeezed the entirety of my masculinity out from under me.

It was awful; I walked away with my head down.

“No, I am not going to be okay,” is what I wanted to say to my coffee.

Maybe I had bigger problems to deal with (talking to my coffee, though high in anti-oxidants, could not be healthy), but I had just experienced the worst handshake in my life. The embarrassment and shame nagged me for the rest of the day. I boarded the train home and felt like I had just endured a sunny afternoon without a forgotten pair of sunglasses. It was kind of like wearing someone else’s rainbow sandals. It just wasn’t right, and there was no way to take it back.

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Categories: Rambling, Rant

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