Have we become unfeeling?

A client of mine, a credit union, had a closer. She had been with the company for over 10 years. She died in December, unexpectedly, in her sleep.

We were alerted to the situation, as the closer had worked for us as well.

We sent flowers, and I called the production manager to see how her team was holding up. Lisa’s death was out of the blue, she was only a couple years older than me, and not in poor health. When I expressed my sympathy and asked how they were doing, I was a little amazed at her answer. She was quite irritated. Several of her staff were too shaken up to finish the day of work, and she was not happy. “We have a business to run! Now I’ve got to find a closer, and everyone wants to go home and cry.”

That wasn’t the response I thought I’d find. The manager was not interested in sympathy, she wanted to get her loans out.

The death of her coworker, colleague, elicited no sadness at that moment.

Now, I don’t know if she was in shock or grief when I got ahold of her, or if she was any different later on.

It was just a sad reminder that for so many companies, “the show must go on”.

We can be replaced. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a part of something. We will be replaced once we are gone.

Our lives are so short, and when they are done, the people remaining must go on. They don’t stop living. The community doesn’t stop functioning.

But must we “go on” so quickly? Isn’t there some decency out there that says “the life we just lost was important enough to pause and grieve?”

Do we have to be such slaves to production that we are irritated at the death of a coworker?

It just makes me sad.

14 thoughts on “Have we become unfeeling?

    • No. It was a client we support. It was really shocking. They are a company that has mostly tenured employees who think of the company as family. I’m hoping this was an isolated incident.

      • Tragic, really. Sorry you had to witness such behavior. It is hard to know the cause… if it is sociopathic or just stress, burnout, ptsd. Of all the inductees I worked in, I cared the least for finance … wishing you all the best !

  1. I’m reading (and reacting) to this while listening to reports of the unexpected death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter who was following in his (basketball) footsteps, and 3 others. I was alerted to this loss by my sister who yelled at me over the phone about how she couldn’t believe it. My initial responses, upon hearing from her that it happened in a helicopter crash were that (1) the rich are different and can afford to travel even locally by quicker and more sophisticated/expensive means; (2) that even these methods are still machines that can break/crash and (3) in the end the rich are also just human and not immortal. Beyond that, in a conversation I had with a new friend during which I received the call from my sister, I stated that I wanted to leave a legacy, which I have done through my children, and give something back to the world and the people in it. I did/do not expect/want to receive any other lasting recognition beyond my own personal satisfaction. In the first memorials broadcast about Kobe Bryant, his basketball career was highlighted. My response to this was that what the world will really miss is all the contributions he had started to make beyond that.

    • Bottom line, he had family, friends, and fans who cared. We all have that. We are not just a job, we are people, and our souls/spirits leaving this world need a moment of recognition.

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