There’s a fine line in the workplace, especially if your workplace is an ER in a large inner city hospital. You work together with your colleagues closely, year after year, and then suddenly someone is gone. You have no idea what happened, but now you are genuinely concerned for the welfare of this person, thinking WTF happened? The thing is, it’s unfortunately not your place to delve too deeply. Privacy must be respected – but this creates its own level of stress.
It doesn’t seem right to work side by side in a very chaotic and unstable environment, always watching each other’s backs, depending on each other for help, and then when someone is suddenly no longer there be expected to somehow just pretend like nothing happened, as if this person never existed. You want to know if you can help, if this person is ok, if there is something you can do.
But there’s nothing you can do, except just move on. It’s fucked up and somehow doesn’t seem right. You feel helpless to reach out and offer something – anything. You wish you could say “I really liked working with you,” or “If you need anything just call.”
But instead they just disappear, and life goes on. I try to honor them in my mind and hope that they’re ok, but that doesn’t seem right either.
It’s weird. And not in a good way.