nosuch.org

Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

July 25th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Reality check

My desk borders the cubicles of another group in our office. It faces that group, so I have a good view of what goes on there. One of their conference rooms is right in front of me. Because of the layout, I can’t actually see into the conference room, but I can see when people come and go.

Usually, I’m pretty oblivious to what they are doing.

I did look up, though, when the door to conference opened a woman came out sobbing quietly. She sat down at her cube, crying quietly. The door to the conference room shut behind her.

A moment later, the door opened again, several more people funneled out. They looked grim.

We’re not a dot.com, in case you’re wondering. We’re an investment bank, and business is okay. The group next to me is facilities, the folks who keep the building running, so it can’t be layoffs, or so I think.

The crying woman gets up and heads out, probably to ladies room to compose herself.

I’m torn between trying to be respectful and wanting to be supportive. Or, at the worst, nosy. What’s going on? There is a palpable dark cloud forming over the area next to me.

One of the senior people asks an assistant about a means to contact someone else in the group. Obviously they are trying to inform everyone about something. Whatever that something is, it’s obviously not good. Not good at all.

Of course, it’s easy to speculate what type of “not good” it could possibly be. Finally, a woman is making a phone call, and I overhear her.

“It’s Frank. He died last night. Heart attack.”

Apparently, one of the managers of the group, not old, not unhealthy, dropped dead in his house, by himself. Alone.

No warning. That’s it. You’re done. One minute you are here. Now you are not. Game over. Thanks for playing. Certainly gives me pause for thought.

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