March 10, 2023 | FEATURES | By Anya Jones

7:10 a.m., Denver International Airport, boarding group three.

The collective heaviness in everyone’s breath tells a myriad of stories. The woman with the obnoxiously colored Louis Vuitton handbag who can’t believe she woke up at 4:30 in the morning. The millennial on his first ever business trip is appalled that they don’t have a Starbucks in this terminal. The mother with the squirming baby in her arms is wondering why she keeps making eye contact with that other woman. The active military man is thinking there is no way that that person actually farted knowing he is directly behind them.

It’s the kind of dead silence one might fear in an airport gate. No friendly extroverts are chatting, no parents are making sorry attempts to discipline their poorly behaved children, no murmurs are coming from the staff at the help desk or the boarding checkpoint, and no one is in the midst of a pressing business call.

Which is why the world suddenly comes to life when the millennial answers his phone, ringing with that weird ringtone that sounds like the beginning of that one amusement park ride that always has to be put on ‘maintenance hold’ because a kid jumped into the water (it’s called By The Seaside).

He answers with a thick Boston accent, “Yeahp.”

At this point, nothing has piqued my interest. I am two completed boxes into my New York Times medium-level Sudoku, and I’m deeply invested in beating my previous time. This is to say that about five or so minutes elapse before I am snapped back into the reality of my delayed boarding group by this man: “Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, AmandaAmandaAmandaAmanda.”

Naturally, I immediately wonder who is Amanda? How old is Amanda? What color is Amanda’s hair? Does Amanda prefer the city or the suburbs? Is Amanda a people person? Is Amanda a girl’s girl? Can Amanda speak Spanish? Does Amanda believe in the idea of a patriarchy? Does Amanda trust the government?

Virtually all of these questions were answered over the duration of this hour-long phone call.

Here are the spark notes:

  • Amanda is an employee of the same company as this man, although she holds a lower ranking job than he does.
  • Amanda is in her late twenties, early thirties – not this man’s daughter.
  • Amanda has dark brown hair (cannot confirm, however it is highly likely).
  • Amanda prefers the city; she lives in Chicago (this man was on a business trip in Denver, but the company is head quartered in Chicago).
  • Amanda is a people person (we’ll get to this later).
  • She’s definitely a girl’s girl (you can just tell).
  • Amanda cannot speak Spanish (French is more likely).
  • Amanda is vehemently against the patriarchy.
  • Amanda does trust the government.

Here is how I know all of this:

Amanda and her supervisor call our guy at 7:15 a.m. MST, which is 8:15 a.m. in Chicago. What they are discussing on the phone was brought to our guy’s attention right before he left for his business trip.

An older, male employee at the company has been making Amanda very uncomfortable. He has been abusing his position, spewing outrageous lies, and behaving with little-to-no professionalism. He has been saying that he owns a private jet, and he has repeatedly hung up on Amanda while in the middle of important corporate discussions. Amanda is not the only one who has had this experience.

On the end of the phone that I cannot hear, Amanda is crying. She is justifiably emotional. She is repeating the offenses she has experienced to the man on the phone in between gulping for air and wiping away her tears.

The “AmandaAmandaAmandaAmandaAmanda” I overheard was the man on the phone attempting to quiet Amanda down so that he had the chance to speak. However, the lack of emotionality and compassion in his voice made it unfortunately clear that he deals with issues such as this one often.

Amanda is a people person because she has pulled together a case against this foul employee by asking her colleagues for their incriminating stories. Amanda is vehemently opposed to the patriarchy, I believe, because she does not stand for older, male employees acting out of entitlement and perpetuating a harmful gender dynamic. Despite this, she trusts the government because she possibly trusts the system.

All I can hope for is that our phone guy did his job and accordingly punished (or fired) the employee that so upset Amanda. And I can only hope Amanda is doing well and feeling empowered.   

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