I was not prepared for the reaction & affect my illness and absence has had on the people I would see every day. Several people whom I consider “work acquaintances” had tears in their eyes as they talked with me. I have received a lot of HUGS from all kinds of people. The overall reaction was compassion for what I had experienced & genuine concern for how I am doing. I was taken back by this & I’ll put it to you this way … when was the last time you hugged ANY Coworkers? I guess it shows the “humanness” (if that’s a word) in everyone. It was emotional at times for me.
And then there’s Gretchen. A former employee of mine originally from North Carolina. She came to my office & started talking. All of a sudden, she started to CRY. And I don’t mean a couple of tears. I had to replenish her stock of tissues & tell her it was going to be OK. She was apologetic for crying but expressed her LOVE & Concern over the hell I had been thru … these were her words. I comforted her and she fussed about that too. Needless to say, WE had a good CRY together as I couldn’t keep my composure once she let loose!