Yes, we all make fun of them. We tease them about being short, overweight, lazy, too industrious, overachievers, overbearing, stupid and whatever other quirks or traits they may have... We get mad at our coworkers. Some of them stab us in the back over promotions or even just the perceived chance at a possible promotion in some vague future. Some we like. Some we hate. Some we like to hate.
One of the images about 9/11 that stuck in my mind were the jumpers. The images shown on tv still sometimes play over again in my mind. I've thought about it quite a bit. I've even had a few related nightmares.
There's a word that describes the feeling I had when I first saw the tv clips. I have no idea what that word is, but I'm sure you know it. And the only way it can be expressed is to say "Oh, my God..."
I read the articles in various papers. There were accounts of a number of groups of jumpers. There were coworkers who jumped in groups of 5. There were also couples who jumped together. I eventually read that in a situation like the one they were in, jumping is the most sane course of action. It gives you a few moments of relief before certain death. It also gives a much better chance of your remains being identified - giving closure to your loved ones.
What caused me to think about this again was an article about the miners trapped in the Pennsylvania shaft. They fought off hypothermia by taking turns huddling around an individual. They did this for the 77 hours that they were trapped. "They decided early on they were either going to live or die as a group."
These are the same people who probably teased each other on a daily basis.
Work can be a very dangerous place. Look around you at work. These are the people you could be stuck with in a crisis situation. Does this scare you? Does this comfort you? Remember this on your next interview when you're trying "your all" to get that job.
Perhaps that's one of the reasons I work for a government contractor. I trust the military in a crisis. I'm surrounded by a number of military police officers. There's a lot of safety in a position like that. I also trust my coworkers. Even "Homer Simpson." He may be tough to deal with, he may not know one end of a router from the back of his ass, but he would be one to trust in a crisis. I see it in him. A crisis would bring out the "daddy" and "coach" parts of him. He would see us as his "work children." He would do the right thing. He would never admit that before a crisis. He would make up some excuse after the act to maintain his current curmudgeon status. But he would do the right thing.
Hopefully, since I realize this, Fate won't have to show me and I've avoided a crisis. Like Oprah says, "get God on the whisper." I try to listen as closely as I can.
Posted by BlueWolf on July 28, 2002 10:47 AM