9/11/01 was further punctuated at the Star Gazette by a series of phone calls alerting us to the coincidental death of a coworker. Carolyn was returning from Atlantic City when she was overcome by asthma.
We could have used her that awful day; she would have shared the burden of the Extra Edition. The younger workers were in too much shock to work. They whined and cried, and generally were useless. Who could blame them?
For years, not a day would go by when we didn't miss Carolyn. Lately, it's more like weeks, but we still miss her terribly. New employees work even less. I don't know if it's an age thing, or something more insidious, like culture.
When you lose an Old School workchum, things are never the same. Last night, my boss raised the question of whether or not we are victims of ageism. Left to work nights, the toughest shift of all, while the younger folk pass the day (I wouldn't much call it working) carrying less than half the load. You see, it's easier to let things slide when not on deadline. It's easy to go home, leaving unsolved problems, when the central office isn't yet demanding an immediate solution.
We would find the solutions: Carolyn, GF, and me. We were once called the ATeam. I remember. But memories don't count for anything today. They are just sad.