Life is about change - and sometimes, those changes happen without us knowing that they've occurred, or without us being able to say good bye.
Yesterday morning, two thugs attempted to rob a Jewel food store before it opened in south suburban Dolton, IL (for the record, Jewel is part of Albertson's). They were unsuccessful, and fled as police arrived. One employee was severely beaten, and many others freightened by the experience. Although the police did not chase them, the thugs still drove recklessly away from the scene, and shortly afterward collided with five other cars, one of which was a Buick Rendezvous. Inside was a soon-to-be married couple, on their way to pick up her mother before the three of them headed off to work. The collision was fatal; the couple, one month before their wedding, was killed.
The mother is the HR rep here at the BigLaw firm where I work. The boyfriend was in charge of the supply room, and the daughter/girlfriend worked at the reception desk and in the call center. I know, or knew, all three of them. In fact, the supply room is in the lobby of my floor; when I'd forget my keycard, I could count on Alen to let me in. And if I saw him outside of the building, he'd always say hello. Katie was the person I'd seek out when a fax didn't get to me; she once chided me in front of classmates for calling her by the wrong name (I had a brain fart). They were two of the nicest people here. Alen & I shared a laugh last month when the firm gave away free ice cream, and he walked around each floor with a mini cart and a hat, acting as a vendor.
"Do you want some ice cream?" He asked as he passed the file room where I was.
"Is it free?" I asked.
"Yes, it's free. The firm's treat."
"Well then, of course I want some. If you saw my paycheck, you'd know I'm all about the free stuff."
We laughed and ripped on the firm's cheapness. I picked out a frozen Snickers ("my favorite, too," Alen said), and he went on his way.
The sad thing is that I had heard the story on the news last night, but didn't realize that the victims were friends of mine. Two very nice people who I shall miss around here.
To top things off, my 'unofficial secretary' (she actually works for the partner I report to) has announced she's leaving in two weeks to take up full time her side business. While I wish her well, I'll miss having someone who can share the inside scoop, and with whom I can commiserate when things get nuts.
What a fun day to go into the office. And yet, life goes on...