Today I got some truly shocking news, just completely unexpected. A co-worker of mine committed suicide. Working at McDonalds, you get kind of a weird extended sense of family with every you work with. There is a unique bond that anyone who doesn't do what we do for a living just can't understand.
The expectations of the job can be very demanding, and the hours sometimes long and at all hours of the day. Vacations and days off are something that you never truly enjoy all the way as bosses or employees call you for advice or help. Sometimes you work hard and it seems you aren't appreciated. At McDonalds, all the management staff can relate, its a special fraternity of people who face the same challenges. The people in your store aren't your only co-workers, the people in your patch of stores, or your division of patches all are a part of your co-working family that you see several times a month. The supervisors, the store managers, the assitant managers, we all know each other and create bonds, despite not seeing each other everyday. Whether we see each other in meetings or class events, we are brought togther almost weekly throughout the course of a month for some reason or another.
I heard today that a fellow manager killed himself. His name was Frank. I never worked directly with him, but he was a store manager when I first broke into the salary ranks. My boss had trained him before taking on me, and as a result we knew each other well. Often after our shifts, groups of us would go to a bar to play pool or darts and talk shop.
Everyone liked Frank, he was a genuinely nice guy. He got along with everyone and always had a joke and a smile for you. He was the first store manager (not involved in my training) that accepted me into the ranks of the salary team, which at the time was a bit of a clique. Through him I developed relationships that helped to further my career. He treated me like an equal and I always appreciated that. Though I never did get to tell him.
Over the last two years we didn't see each other that much. He left McDonalds to devote to his family and to improve his health, and subsequently had a rough time of it. Though he physically got healthier, he suffered a bitter divorce. Returning to Phoenix, he resumed working with us again and experienced another tough breakup. He was also struggling professionally in his store, a very difficult location to run. I am sure that all of these thins contributed to this tragedy, but I still can't equate the guy who was always so carefree, with being so hurt inside.
When something like this happens, you get to thinking about yourself and your own life. Loneliness is a tough burden to bear and everyone has to face it, though hurting yourself or others isn't the answer. I choose to remember the Frank that I knew. A man I called a friend. Goodbye Frank, you will be missed.
End of Line.