Coping mechanisms, or, a probable day in the life of the Pressbyrån clerk who made me cry two weeks ago

You know what they say: It isn’t home until you have cried in every establishment within a five mile radius!

Who “they” are, I do not know. Nor do I know when this was ever said by anyone real or imagined.

True or not, I do know I am slowly but surely working my way to establishing myself in a new home by building my list of places I have cried, and as a result can never return. The list includes but is not limited to: outside the bar where I lost my phone, the tax office, the bank across the street from me, migrationsverket, and now the university Pressbyrån.

The last one was particularly scarring because the clerk was such an incredible wench—I maintain that anyone would have cried or expressed outrage in some form after that encounter! I will spare you the details, but let’s just say someone was having a bad day prior to my arrival. The aggressive chucking of diet cokes into the bin in front of me from across the room should have tipped me off, but I ignored these signals and was verbally reamed as a result.

I am the first to admit I am overly sensitive–the Distillery crying incident of 2012 anyone? There is a veritable smorgasbord of inappropriate places I have sobbed in or around. If there truly was a rule that you couldn’t go somewhere again after crying there (aside from pride), I would be banned from most places in my hometown. Some people might suggest oh I don’t know..not crying all the time. To that I reply, it’s my life and I will watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, cry profusely, and only be minorly ashamed!




But okay, this lady was awful. My coping mechanism of choice is to mock her on the internet/ account for what her days must look like to cause her to direct her rage at an innocent stranger such as myself.


 Once Upon a Time..

42 year-old Ingrid awakes at the crack of dawn, her pack of ferrets are ravenous and call to her telepathically—rousing her from her troubled slumber. She was dreaming of her last boyfriend, Oscar, from her eighth grade year. He remains on her mind as she stumbles to the cage to feed what she refers to as her “children”. If she had friends, this habit would be of utmost concern to them. However, this is not the case and as a result she remains painfully unaware of her sad situation.

Photos of Oscar—the now happily married ex-boyfriend of Indrid’s childhood—line the walls of Ingrid’s apartment. Some pictures he is aware of being photographed, while others are secret ones taken stealthily from across the room. Some are not photos at all, but instead warped watercolors. Ingrid’s favorite is immediately apparent due to sheer size alone. His wedding photograph has been oh so subtly altered, with our heroine’s face craftily photoshopped over that of his actual wife. Ingrid had not been invited to the wedding, as her and Oscar had not spoken for over 12 years at the time of the wedding, making her acquisition of the photo more troubling.

After a hearty breakfast of blodpudding and lukewarm instant coffee, it is time for work. Cashiering at Pressbyrån was not exactly in her life plan, but it pays the bills and funds her gambling addiction which is no joke. If only her job could occur in the same place all her social activity does: Second Life. Instead she is doomed to fill her days with the inane activities of restocking and pressing buttons on a cash register for nine hours at a time, 5 days a week. Counting out change to the youth population of Stockholm University as they fuel themselves intellectually with hot dogs she prepares, and bakery items she sets out herself.

On her way home she quietly reads her 50 Shades of Grey book set, for the entirety of her hour-long bus commute. Tonight she is excited, for the new Mitt Romney documentary has been put on Netflix! Her ferrets and her will have a wonderful time, indeed.




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