Lost a member of my crew today. He'd called in sick a couple days ago, and still didn't show up for work this morning. We had an uneasy feeling about this yesterday when we didn't hear from him, since the guy was a serious diabetic--multiple shots daily. It just wasn't like him to just not show up for work, without calling, without contact of some sort. And our phone calls and voicemails went unanswered all weekend. It just wasn't the sort of thing he'd do, but we thought maybe what we knew of his sick call was slightly confused. Maybe he was taking off the whole weekend instead of just one day. Since that's "personal medical info", we couldn't know for sure. Like I said, it was just a bad feeling. Guess we should pay attention to "bad feelings". So...today, we expressed these concerns to our boss. He was already concerned as well, and it was passed up to HR. They called to ask that a county squad be sent out to J's house to check on him. An hour later, I saw our HR manager and Union pres heading towards my booth; mill manager, production manager, and department head following along not far behind.... To make a long story short, J was found dead. No signs of foul play. Not sure how long--possibly since early Saturday morning, before anybody really would have missed him. Still, we're all doing a lot of kicking ourselves--what if we'd said something yesterday, instead of waiting till today? Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference, but....maybe it would have. The rest of the day, including a short maintenance shutdown and restart, was a blur. Tears do that, I guess. Godspeed, NotQuiteRight. I'm going to miss your cheerful "hello, young lady" (even though I'm a year older than you , you old fart!). It was good knowing you, and your great twisted self-deprecating humor. I wish I had gone out for that beer Wednesday night after all.