I'm glad to read that this turned out positively.

I can relate to having panic build up, and it's not good. My ex-wife used this as a manipulation tool, usually by calling me early in my work day to say, "We need to talk when you get home," and hanging up. She knew that my imagination would do the rest.

I also had a moment when my boss called me and said, "We need to have a chat." He could hear the start of a tear in my voice, so he said, "You really need to knock that off." I replied by asking him if I was getting fired. When he said this wasn't even remotely related, I told him that it would be helpful if he would NOT start conversations that sound like I'm getting fired."

"We need to chat." or "Got a minute?" are phrases that set me off.

Glad to hear it worked out.