I feel out of sorts in an atmosphere staged for showing thieves their crimes. The chair is cold, the screens are rotating through various corners of the building and Crystal never stops recording. With so much official business going on, I question the value of my presence in that little room. My voice trails off as she’s tweaking knobs or selecting folders and she says, “Oh, keep going. I multitask.”
Questions posed like pop quizzes. Every other word is scribbled. It doesn’t take long before a strong person hopes to be dismissed and sent back into general chaos.
When monitoring the feel for each associate, Crystal will offer pieces of her life in conversation. The antics of her family are humorous, comfortable, and some of the only times when you’ll really see her at work. Other topics have intentions, if there is a discussion at all; she may suddenly appear, silently retrieving temperatures and data from everyone in the room.
No one can blame Crystal for her robot parts – after all – working to improve our cruel reality is not a joyous task, nor is it one that allows for favorites. She knows narks from the highest to lowest class who are liars, liars who are crooks, crooks with numbered days and has the overall pleasure of hearing them lie to her face on a daily basis. On top of this inconvenience there is too much paperwork and too many policies that keep her confined to that little room, merely noting their dishonesty until one of the files gets fat.
She is oddly surprised today, that I’ve recognized the change in her hair color every few months. Granted, her entrance is often swift and unannounced but I tend to catch her in the last stretch of aisle way, to her room in the back. How does one not notice a fresh head of golden curls, or Suddenly Straight Brunette, or Gone Gothic black, rushing by?
Rarely will someone have that many versions of themselves, all done up so professionally. Makeup complexion, eyebrow arch, highlights and not a split end in sight. So many loud variances for such a low profile. Could changing costumes help ease the monotony of work or are they chemical reactions to the flighty, ever-shifting people around her?
She would make many friends, she comments on the staff, if prosecuting them in the end wasn’t so awkward.
I apologize for asking a question that may be too personal, wondering if her work principles ever trickle into what little time is left over.
“It’s very hard to stop,” she answers, almost immediately. “It’s hard not to know what someone is hiding. This,” Crystal concludes, waving her palm over the desk of pulp and technology, “has pretty much ruined every relationship I’ve ever had.”
Such are the woes of our watchful girl above.