December 04, 2007

Thanks for the Memories!

Working at Company X was high stress. Those of us who worked there, often speak of the people we knew that died while working there. Cancer, heart attacks, strokes, mostly people in their 50s, much too young to die, considering also the average American was projected to live nearly 20 years longer.

Young women were not able to get pregnant, nearly all of the one’s I knew had to use fertility drugs, men in their 50s died, and it was all just considered… normal. We knew there was stress and pressure… we knew it was tough, but it was what we knew. It was not until after we left the company, that we all realized how stressed we were… 10-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, IF you could leave work at work… until you retired.

Or died.

And this came up today as my Tech Lead was speaking today about how he felt his blood pressure rise and his body start to react to the stress, just by walking to the doors of Company X HQ a couple weeks ago when he was presenting our finished project.

The floodgates opened amongst us about stories of people dying at work and how ‘you didn’t die on the property’.

That was key. When working there, we always joked about it, but it was serious. You did NOT die on property. We had our own paramedic staff, fire engine, etc, which we had to have considering the nature of the work at our site, but one did NOT EVER EVER die on plant site.

We reminisced about a gentleman we knew that hit the floor dead, was brought back, and Life Flighted off the premises, only to be declared dead in air.

And then I brought my horror story of a gentleman who worked in my group two rows down, had his head on his desk when a co-worker punched another one and said, “Hey, wake him up! He’ll get fired!” only to have the co-worker nudge the guy and the guy’s head lolled to the side, purple tongue hanging out.

Another co-worker immediately performed CPR, 911 was called, Company X’s paramedics arrived, and they got his heart started, and had to actually stop the gurney twice before making it to the ambulance, to jump start his heart with those shocky things and get him alive again. Unfortunately he laid brain dead in the hospital for a week, but usually when it was that bad, they’d declare them dead in the ambulance once off plant site.

You didn't die on the premises.

My boss informed us that there were actually reasons for it, both financial and legal. Evidently if you died on plant site, it cost the company considerably more. I don’t know if it was life insurance or what, but it was enough that the company was going to do anything it could to make sure it didn’t happen.


Which brings me to the funny side of the horror story we all laughed at. Morbid humor keeps people going at times.

So we were telling our stories when a guy I work with, I’ll call John, told us that he was back out at Company X working as a contractor when he stopped by Medical (Company X has a full Medical staff complete with Dr, nurses, and psychologist), to check his blood pressure when the head nurse came by and said, “Wow, that’s really high…”

She made note of it and asked him to come back in an hour. He told her he’d been struggling with it but he was sure it was a fluke.

An hour later he returned and it was slightly more elevated. She got his boss's name, doctor’s name, meds he was on and then according to him said, “I’m not trying to sound cold, but we can’t allow you to stay on the property. You have to leave.”


No kidding. We were laughing hysterically at that. You don’t die at work… not when you work for Company X. Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at December 4, 2007 09:52 PM | TrackBack

Man, I wish my company would do that. I would have been sent home yesterday for sure!!

Posted by: Sissy at December 4, 2007 11:09 PM

Years ago, we had a lady throw the sixes while sitting at her desk. Known to have been quite a slacker, she had been dead for several hours before anyone noticed.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 5, 2007 02:53 AM

Ahhh. That explains a lot. ;-) No dieing on premises.

Posted by: vw bug at December 5, 2007 06:19 AM

holy crap

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at December 5, 2007 09:12 AM

Our company is the same way. They have made people leave because of blood pressure too. If you die on the premises, for whatever reason, it is an OSHA recordable, there is an investigation, and that means we don't get our safety BBQ for that month. Whatever you do, don't deny free food from our bunch!

Posted by: sticks at December 6, 2007 04:05 PM

So how long has Disney had an Aerospace Division?

Posted by: The Thomas at December 6, 2007 05:06 PM

Hey, if you get paid when they tell you to leave, I'm all ready to join up.

Posted by: Ogre at December 10, 2007 12:50 PM