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.