Friday, July 24, 2015

A different Friday

I feel specially melancholic today. Perhaps it's because of what's happened in the office. Some may say what kind of awful person I am for being too affected by what is happening in the office. Yes, it seems like I am the kind of person who lacks life outside the four corners (or even more) of the workplace. But what happened today is different.

For the second time, a colleague of mine died.

I came in early in the office, minutes earlier than I used to. It made me happy. It was an achievement. So I went in the office with a smile on my face, larger than what I used to sport when I arrive a bit late. When I got to my area, three of my colleagues were talking in low voices, with a sullen look on their faces. I heard them talking and wondering what happened to this certain person and that they just talked to him earlier this week. I asked one of them what was happening. I was finally told that our colleague, who I will name Jerry in order to protect his identity, died this morning. I was in shock. I just saw him last Monday and I even talked to him. There was no evidence of any sickness that might signal us of his impending demise, although he looked very sleepy during the training we had earlier this week.

                                                           Artwork by Rose Wong's Art

Later today, I learned that he died because of heart attack. Apparently, he had burdened himself with some personal problems, which may have caused him stress that led to his cardiac arrest. Our deputy representative called all those present in the office to talk about the situation. She shared that one lesson to be learned from what happened is that there are times that it would be helpful to talk with your colleagues and chat them over their life outside of the office. In that way, it can help lighten their load if ever they are carrying heavy ones in their own personal lives. She encouraged us to make it our personal mission to foster such kind of relations at least with one person in the office.

Throughout the day, I was sullen. It was just relieved by a presentation of one colleague on inter-faith dialogue and peacebuilding. It felt good to learn new things, share ideas, and interact with people outside my unit. I was even praised by our Country Representative for an idea I shared during the session. How generous with praise he is!

However, the joy brought by the approval was snatched away by this urgent administrative matter in the office that does not merit much space in this blog, hence I will not speak much about it. But I do hope it will be settled come Monday.

The rest of the day, I felt cheerless. I hope tomorrow will be a better one.


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