Laurie’s Kind Words

It is part of our job to facilitate trainings
this one is on cases of student aggression
and requires role playing

I make the announcement beforehand
Hello, everyone! My office door will be closed
and you might hear raised voices, but fear not
we are practicing for your upcoming training
we are not really being aggressive

it feels like a parental trick one might pull
on a beloved toddler in an abusive home
we might sound like we’re fighting
but don’t worry, it’s all just make believe

I smile and close my office door behind me
but moments later, when Laurie towers over me
and screams into my face that I am not helping
my face betrays my visceral reaction

I clutch the arms on my swivel chair
and my mouth falls uselessly agape
everyone laughs then, Oh Laurie
Come on, look, you’re really scaring her!
Oh, poor thing, and now she’s blushing

I struggle to regain my composure
and assert that I never want to play the victim again
I don’t want the employees to see me like this
Laurie gently rests her hands on mine
and says, hey, all fun aside
I want you to know that you played it perfectly
you just had a genuine, human reaction
to what I was doing

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