I knew instantly that he’s a goner. A close friend called out “Jim, Jim are you all right?” His sun burnt face offer a blank look. No breathing. Time stopped. All was in shock.
Moments earlier, Jim had felt giddy and the view in front of him began to spin. He struggled to stand still but could not. Seconds later, he collapsed right in front of all his colleagues. He faced the mid noon tropical sky and stared into his colleagues who had caught him before he hits the ground.
Two days earlier, when the staff team building agenda was revealed, Jim was the one who stood up and vehemently opposed to have the team building at the seaside. “No sane people would have such long outdoor activities over the late morning and stretches over lunch till 1.30pm.”, he had challenged them. He had warned the organizer and his supervisor that holding such an event over the hot mid afternoon sun could kill someone. It fell on deaf ear.
“Nope”, said his supervisor, “all must attend and participate in this good staff team bonding activities.” The supervisor added.”Furthermore, the director is coming. He’ll join us for lunch. I would like all of us to support the event and be active when he’s here. So, no compromise.”
A sad moment. Those “sorry” words articulated by the bosses were too little to console Jim’s family. A poignant moment for all to reflect on. A life taken away because the ego took over from common sense.