Jun 15, 2006


Someone I know died yesterday morning. She got out of bed, got dressed and left for work, like she did everyday. She didn't know it would be for the last time. A few miles from home, she was involved in an accident and died. What makes this especially difficult for those who knew her, is that this needn't have happened. She should have been somewhere else, instead of speeding down the freeway. She should have been in her office, greeting her work crew and doing all the things that she did each morning. Instead, she was on the way to a meeting in another city about two hours away. We all were, in groups of 2 or 3 or 4. Some traveled alone. The boss of our organization had commanded that we all appear in person to hear what he had to say about the state of things. I'm sure it never occurred to him that he was putting 50 or so folks at risk by making them drive 120 to 200 miles to see him. Bosses rarely think about the toll their egos take on the little people, the price we pay to indulge them. This would have been avoided if he had arranged a video conference. Even an audio conference call would have conveyed the message that he intended, but our presence was demanded. Some of us complained to our supervisors about the possibility of this type of accident happening, but supervisors are timid creatures by nature when it comes to pushing an unwelcome message upward in the chain-of-command. Our complaints were met with indifference. Those things that were so urgent that they could only be told face-to-face turned out to mean nothing. Perhaps people who didn't know our friend found some of the information presented useful or interesting, I did not. I don't recall a thing that was said. At the end of the day, the message that seemed urgent rang hollow. At first I was stunned and sickened by the news. Then I became angry. How could someone be so egotistical and so thoughtless as to demand a showing like this? But my indignation quickly gave way to sadness, primarily for the victim and her family, but also for the boss who called the meeting. He will never forget this day that went so tragically wrong. And neither will I. Tag:

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