Sessygail Is having her best year yet.
My job involves daily contact with many wonderful people. They are bright, funny, dedicated, warm, friendly, caring, good people. And I have never laid eyes on about 95% of them. Never shared a cup of coffee with them. Don’t know but so much about their lives except where we delve into an occassional personal sidebar during a professional conversation. And today I found out how hard it is to lose a person that you have grown to love and admire despite never having met them face to face. I was out of the office for a few days and yesterday, the person who was covering for me told me that it had been a bad day…three contractors were reported as “no shows” for assignments. Well, on one of those, in fact, we had received a cancellation notice and the contractor was told not to go. So that was not an issue. On another one, the contractor is a flake and there is no excuse since she was only assigned to the job the day before. But the third one has broken my heart. The assigned contractor had never missed an assignment for me. If he had to change his schedule, he let me know well in advance. My backup sent him an email yesterday when the job called to see where the contractor was. No reply. I sent an “Urgent/Reply Requested” message this morning. Nothing. A dark feeling started welling up inside my chest. I called his cell phone. The dark feeling welled deeper and darker when I got the message that the number was no longer in service. I started googling as I talked to my counterpart in the court who was aware of the issue yesterday (the court had sent her a nasty email about our lack of service). We found vague information about an accident in the past couple of weeks in which a person with the same name in the same area was killed. But I didn’t want to believe it and there was no mention of his relation to his profession. I held onto the slimmest of hopes but knew I had to get more info. I called another contractor in the same area. “Hate to bother you but I have a strange question…do you know [name]??” “Um, yeah.” “Is he okay?” “Oh, Sessy, I am so sorry no one let you know. He was killed in an accident two weeks ago.” “Oh, SH!$ I was oh so hopeful you would not say that.” And then I started grieving for the loss of someone I had never met but who had made me laugh on more than one occassion and who had never let me down and often stepped up when I was in a bind.