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A Remembrance


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A remembrance - If this bores you, please move on.  I need to get this out of my system…..

 

It was a couple of days before Christmas and I was having the worst day at the office ever.  I was completely snowed under with work, lots of deadlines and it was starting to look like another late night.  Then came my yearly performance evaluation.  Mediocre.  After all I had done, volunteered to do, all the late nights, covering for others……..  I was dumbfounded. I got back to my desk, trying to come up with an adequate response for the evaluation form and fake an "I’ll try harder next year" commitment when my messenger popped up.  

 

Steve:
Sorry about Jeff.  I know you worked really closely with him.

 

Me:
Jeff ****y?

 

Steve:
Yea.  

 

Me:
What about Jeff?

 

Steve:
Oh I thought you knew.  He died last night.

 

Me:
OMG

 

Steve:
I’m really sorry to be the one to tell you.  I hoped you had already heard.

 

Me:
OMG

 

Steve:
I’m sorry…………..


Jeff was the kind of person who could light up the room.  I could hear him laughing from 5 rows away.  In a cube farm, that’s a long distance.  He was my lead when I came into this project.  He was always telling a joke. Always.  He used humor as a means of training.  If he wanted you to remember steps of a process or some such, he would tell a joke about it.  You were certain not to forget it because the joke would come to mind, at least it did with me, every time you went through the process steps.  Staff meetings were never boring with him because he was always telling a joke or poking fun at something.  Always great to be around.  Any team building events we attended, he had a group of people around him laughing it up.  The life of the party…….

 

Our manager was the worst I had ever experienced.  Shouting at us, having us come in on the weekends, shaming us for not completing our work, regardless of the circumstances, was his modus operandi.  This guy was awful.  Since Jeff was the lead, he had even more responsibility heaped on him and I could see the strain.  I finally left the department because I had enough.  After I departed, I stopped by Jeff’s desk a couple of times for a laugh and to see how he was doing.  He wasn’t laughing as much and his humor had a dark streak in it.  I tried to keep things light but wasn’t very successful.  Jeff told me he was starting to experience health issues from all the stress.  He was hospitalized with arrhythmia one time. I told him he needed to find another job because that ding-dong manager was harming him too much. He said he would because he couldn’t take it any more.  He then cracked a couple of jokes just to lighten things up and I went on my way.  I made a point to visit with him when I could.   The manager finally drove Jeff to another program.  Unfortunately, this program was even more stressful.  Lots of long hours and time away from his family.  I would ping him when I got a chance to see how he was doing.  He was having more and more health issues.  He said his 20+ years in the Air Force weren’t as bad as working for this company was.  Then he would crack another joke.  He said he had found God and was hoping that would help him deal with his stress.  He told me about the well worn bible on his desk.  Whenever he was having a rough day, he would take a break and read some passages.  I told him I was glad to hear he was happier, best of luck to him and I would check back again soon.  That was early December last year…………….


Jeff, I’m sorry I didn’t make your service but I know you would understand.  My stress related health issues kept me from going.  I’m sure you’re holding court, telling jokes and making everyone laugh.  The stress is gone now.  Miss you, buddy.  We’ll make sure your wife and kids are going to be OK.  Take good care. 

 

Jeff was in his mid 40's.  He leaves behind a wife and three teenagers.  Part of what hit me so hard about this, is it's making me look at my own mortality.  I'm almost 20 years older than him.  What is all this stress doing to me and the rest of us on this program?  Really scary to think about.......

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That's a nice tribute to a friend and I'm sure he appreciates it.

 

My mortality doesn't frighten me.  It's inevitable and I see no reason to dwell on it.  People ask me how I can stay so upbeat with all my issues and I have to ask them:  What are my alternatives?

 

Suicide?  Not my style.

 

Quiet resolve?  Also not my style.

 

I suppose I could sit around and cry and mope and feel sorry for myself, but that isn't my style either

 

It's easier to stay upbeat and as cheerful as possible.  It makes me feel better and makes those who know me feel better....which makes me feel better...and the circle continues.

 

I sincerely hope and pray that someone finds a way to pay tribute to my memory as you have done for your friend.

 

Thank you and God bless.

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3 hours ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

That's a nice tribute to a friend and I'm sure he appreciates it.

 

My mortality doesn't frighten me.  It's inevitable and I see no reason to dwell on it.  People ask me how I can stay so upbeat with all my issues and I have to ask them:  What are my alternatives?

 

Suicide?  Not my style.

 

Quiet resolve?  Also not my style.

 

I suppose I could sit around and cry and mope and feel sorry for myself, but that isn't my style either

 

It's easier to stay upbeat and as cheerful as possible.  It makes me feel better and makes those who know me feel better....which makes me feel better...and the circle continues.

 

I sincerely hope and pray that someone finds a way to pay tribute to my memory as you have done for your friend.

 

Thank you and God bless.

 

14 minutes ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

Take a good look at your circumstances and decide if you want to remain in that environment.

Remember, You're a Long Time Dead.

 

Concerned for my mortality wasn't quite the phrase I was looking for.  It's closer to the statement Cold Lake made about looking at my circumstances and deciding if it's worth it to stay there.  I'm only a couple of years away from being able to retire.  The question is can/should I hold out that long?  At my age, no one will hire me so looking for another job isn't worth it.  I chatted with a couple of my co-workers who also knew Jeff.  Their comments, almost exactly, were why are you staying?  You see what this job did to Jeff.  You need to take a good look at your finances and determine if you can retire before it's too late........

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First, let me say my deepest condolences for the loss of your friend. It is clear from your words that he was an exceptional guy, as most of us would likely aspire to such a tribute.

As for what you should do, I will point out one of your comments.

3 hours ago, Calamity Kris said:

Jeff, I’m sorry I didn’t make your service but I know you would understand.  My stress related health issues kept me from going

 

I agree, you need to take a look at your finances and determine if you can retire, but it sounds like you need to include your family physician in on that decision making process.

 

We've lost some very good people around here, far too young. Among the women, Allie Mo and Whiskey Business come immediately to mind. Call me selfish, but I would prefer you to stick around awhile.

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Khris,

 

  I can identify with the loss of a dear friend all too soon and the job situation.

I can't say anything to help with the loss of your friend.  As a Christian I believe that he is in a better place, but as a human the loss is hard to bear.

As for the job one of my supervisors was such a jerk that his daughter would not allow him to attend her wedding. 

His supervisor would give Operations the phone number of the bar that he was going to be in, tell us that he would be inspecting another part of the plant and depart. 

I was once told to withhold information during a critique (I managed to work it in anyway)! 

I can't tell you what to do, but I took a big financial hit to retire two years earlier than I had planned.  The Good Lord has looked after me and I have not missed the money as much as I thought I would. 

The relief from the stress has been enormous.

Whatever you decide to do, God Bless You!  You are in my prayers.

 

Duffield

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KRIS!!

 

My last gainful employment was with a company where I liked most of the people I worked with, loved the work, and utterly despised the people I worked for!

 

I had left a great job, working for a couple of guys that I really appreciated and they appreciated me.  I just couldn’t live on the money that they could afford to pay me.

 

The new employer lied to me about starting pay, but it was two weeks before my first paycheck and since I’d trained someone to do the job I had left, parted with the company with some severance, and was making more money, I stayed.

 

The owners of the company were former “Gospel” performers and had fallen into their business by blind luck! They have no appreciation or respect for skill, hard work, or the value of giving your word.

 

Needless to say, we never got along well and were forever at odds over how things should be done, what customers should know about their product and scheduling, and who was responsible for what!

 

I survived because there wasn’t anyone else that could do the things I could do for anything near the money that they paid me and because I refused to lie or pass the buck when it came to getting the job done right.

 

After about a year, they raised my pay to the level that was promised when I hired on, but by that time I had totally soured on them.  At my second annual evaluation, one of the two brothers that owned the company asked why they weren’t making me happy. I recounted the story of my hiring and explained that I would ALWAYS do the best job that I knew how to do and that I would not ever lie to them or be their one of their “yes men”, but that they should consider me to forever be a prostitute. “I turn this trick to get the money I need to do the things that make me happy!”

 

I lasted another thirteen years and was promoted twice, finally making UAW level income and running a section of the business. I would leave the place and it would never cross my mind until I walked through the door the next workday.  I had a direct superior and he KNEW to never call me if I wasn’t in the building!

 

I played the game, taking my off days, vacation time, comp time, and personal leave to give myself all the time I could get, away from the job.

 

We parted company by mutual agreement after I stood up in a Friday morning company meeting and told the VP that I wouldn’t take responsibility for something that didn’t get done while I was in the hospital when my supervisor, my second in command,  and every-damned-body in the shop knew what was supposed to have been done!!

 

I was fed up with the place and the people who owned it. I was already qualified for disability, and I had a big chunk of 401K money that I could withdraw. I also had four weeks of vacation, a week of comp time, and two weeks of personal time that they owed me and I immediately applied for unemployment benefits for the first time in my life!

 

You need to make some changes. Either in how you look at your job or in where or if you work and find peace in your life!

 

Talk to Uno if you haven’t already and get him to help you deal with this in a way that’ll make both of you happy. Having him on your side is better than anything else you could ask for!

 

I once changed jobs about every six months for nearly three years before I found a job that fit. Schoolmarm would just shake her head and laugh ‘cause she knew that I was making it better for both of us, every time!

 

Don’t feel bad about it. Do whatever it takes to make you happy and healthy!

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Much good wisdom here.

A fine tribute to someone who improved his world!

 

 

 

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