Thursday, June 24, 2010

More than just a number

Just another number
(by R.P.Edwards)

Just another number
Another slot to fill
A body for the business
A little time…to kill
But now with widow’s weeping
  And crying of the kin
We’ll find another number
To fill the slot…again

It was a business decision.  A money decision.  A squeeze the penny, and squeeze the neck decision.  It was Father’s Day and, I suppose like all fathers, number 4204 wanted to be off work for perhaps a “come here” or “go to” gathering.  There was a problem, however, for, being a steelworker--where the sacrifice of schedule is a given--well, he and his crew were working the dayshift, but, because of a “no new hires yet” attitude, the "number" was forced to work another eight.  Yes, his Father’s Day, from dawn to midnight’s call, was married to the boiling hot steel.  And, since the dayshift on the following day was also mandatory, it was a hurry up and sleep kind of thing.  Later on Monday, after the twenty-four hour bake, he decided to cut the lawn.  And there, as the merciless blade sheered the tender shoots, his life, too, was cut off.  He, number 4204, crumpled to earth…and died of a massive heart attack.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the “forced” overtime contributed to his death.  That’s for doctors and lawyers to decide.  But I do know this; because of the love of money…his family will evermore remember that his last Father’s Day was spent not by their side and in their arms; but in the firm grasp…of greed.  Yes, forevermore they’ll associate the Day…with the dead.  And, dear reader, in the distilled and unfiltered essence of what is right…and what is wrong; this deliberate act, without quibbling or question; this deliberate, thoughtless, heartless act, finds its place firmly…in the house of the latter.

By-the-way, number 4204 had a name.  His name was...Oland. 

Comments welcome


jeftex said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Having recently lost a friend/co-worker I know your pain. My prayers are with you and with Oland's family.

R.P. Edwards said...

Thanks Jeff,
I wasn't particularly close to Oland. Just another likable co-worker you talk to from time to time. It's his family I feel for, and the whole father's day thing. And, as far as the "forced" overtime issue; guess what, it is no more. One week too late.
All the best.