Lost a coworker today

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I remember the day he interviewed with us. I had concerns because the man had the shakes like he was coming down from something, but he said the right things and you could tell right away that he needed to work. I asked the young woman who would be his manager if she had any concerns about hiring him but she said to bring him on.

    The man turned out to be a workhorse. He was old school and spent a lot of time in construction in his youth. The guy only knew one speed, and we often told him to take it easy because he was making everyone else look so bad. Honestly, he was making kids half his age look sad.

    Eventually we came to learn more about him and his demons. He was a genuinely good guy - just made some stupid decisions in his youth that carried on with him into adulthood. Unfortunately, they kept a strong grip in him.

    We ended up helping the guy find housing when his last relationship went belly up. It took a long time but we managed to find him a place. The only thing he insisted on was that the place would be nice enough for his son to visit. The guy was so proud of his kid and literally did everything for him. You hear about those guys who walk miles to catch a bus to get to and from work. He was that guy, and somehow he still worked harder than anyone else around him.

    We managed to finally bring him on full time. Again, he was so proud to finally qualify for benefits. I don’t think I’ve ever had to worry about benefits before, and his manager was so thrilled when she got to tell him the news that he was getting more hours and good healthcare coverage.

    Then Covid hit and everything went upside down. We ended up laying off nearly the entire staff. We kept in touch, and something we had worked towards for a few months finally got approved - he would be getting assistance from the government for stipends he qualified for. This was approved just last week and I got the news on Thursday.

    With New York’s recent change into Phase 2 for Covid, we just got the approval to bring back all the team members. We last spoke to him on Thursday only to find out today that he overdosed on Saturday. His disease finally caught up to him. The situation was getting to him, and I can only imagined what caused him to relapse into old habits. He, like many others, will be one of the indirect victims of Covid who don’t get talked about. At least not nearly enough.

    RIP brother. You were better than you gave yourself credit for and the people who knew you cared deeply for you and wanted to see you succeed.
  2. Winslow

    Winslow Suspended

    Sep 25, 2011
    Very sorry to hear that, jmatt. That's a fine tribute you've written. Good thoughts, peace, and strength to you and all who knew him. :angel:
    btmpancake, IamGroot, kobass and 9 others like this.
  3. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I am very sad to hear this. Do what you need to do to mourn him.

    There are many good lessons to be had from his life. Celebrate them and remember him.
    My thoughts go out to his family.

    I too have realized that so many people that were having issues are having a much harder time right now due to COVID related layoffs. It isn't easy to hold up in these times and it is difficult to get good help when so much health care is shut down.
    Ronzo, oldandbold, OldDog52 and 2 others like this.
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I knew the man you speak of, although he had a different name in a different city. I still miss him.

    That was a fine eulogy, sir. Damn fine.
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    That's a shame, but a testament to the quality of man you have become to share his story with us in a kind and compassionate way.
    To be clear, I am not insinuating you were not that kind of man in your younger days. That was just a compliment to you in general.

  6. TOOL460002


    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    AA/NA/similar groups aren't exactly meeting at the moment, so if you are already struggling, then are isolated, depressed/bored, or anything else, chances are you can find the bad way out of life. Sorry to hear this. I wish it was a one-off.
    bobba66 and Winslow like this.
  7. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    If anyone here on the Forum is having a hard time, please search out help.

    Many of us here are always ready to listen.
    geeza, Plake, Reedt2000 and 2 others like this.
  8. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Dang, I'm really sorry to hear that. RIP. Good job doing everything you could for him, and for penning this really nice tribute.
    jmattbassplaya and Winslow like this.
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    "Liking" because there is no "heart" or "sad" option.
    Sounds like you have a real warm-hearted crew there at your workplace.
    jmattbassplaya, Ronzo, GregC and 4 others like this.
  10. I’m so sorry. I had to make my wife read your post for herself because I would have been crying if I tried to read it out loud. I am a little, anyway.
    S-Bigbottom and jmattbassplaya like this.
  11. So very sorry to hear this. There's a psychological toll being paid by many of us; COVID is what it is, but that doesn't make it easier for any of us to bear. RIP to your coworker. Sounds like he was a good guy with the same problems so many carry. My condolences to you on your loss.
    jmattbassplaya likes this.
  12. A beautifully written piece.

    May your friend RIP. You've certainly given him a proper send-off.
    jmattbassplaya, Winslow and Reedt2000 like this.
  13. Mike JV

    Mike JV

    Mar 19, 2019
    God bless you and to all who did what they could to help the man. Not everyone would do that.
    jmattbassplaya and Winslow like this.
  14. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Sad to hear of your loss. It seems that you did all you could to help and that is remarkable given that many others would not have cared. May he rest in peace.
    jmattbassplaya and Winslow like this.
  15. NG51

    NG51 Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Man, so sorry to hear this. This world is such a harsh place. You should all be so proud of all the love and care you had for him. I’m sure he felt he had found a wonderful place with you guys, and was proud to know you, too. My sincere condolences.
    jmattbassplaya likes this.
  16. I'm very sorry to read this, jmattbassplaya.
    You did all you could to help him, but ultimately we must all defeat our own demons. And everyone has a different demon.
    I just wish people who read this, and stories like this would learn from them.

    I lost three friends last year.
    One to lung cancer, age 49.
    Another, to alcoholism, age 43. He actually drank himself to death.
    And the third, also to alcoholism, but not the way you think; he got extremely drunk one night, fell in his own lobby, split his head open and died.

    May your friend, and anyone who knew him find peace.

    bobba66 and jmattbassplaya like this.
  17. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Thank you for sharing his story. RIP.
    MJ5150 and jmattbassplaya like this.
  18. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Sorry to hear this. It's sad that this pandemic is claiming so many lives, and some indirectly, as in this case.
    Winslow likes this.
  19. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thank you guys. I shared the news with the other managers this morning. There was a lot of grief as he had made a very positive impact on everyone he worked with. Again, he was someone who went above and beyond and did things not because of the recognition but because he had a genuine sense of duty. He was a good man and I hope he is finally at peace.
  20. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path

    Not to derail thread, but a clarification: Many groups are meeting in an online format. Although it isn't the same thing, it's a way to keep in touch / get in touch and has the advantage of making many groups more accessible to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend. Of course, if you don't have internet access or a phone it's no good at all. :(