Earlier in my career, I worked as a Regional HR Manager. I was sitting at my desk, probably buying shoes, and the phone rang with bad news. A Vice President of a division — located in Connecticut — died from a heart attack at work while running to a meeting.
Holy crap, Suckers. Let me give you this hard core punk rock lesson in life:
- Nothing at work is so important that you have to run.
Now that being said, there’s no reason to believe this guy wouldn’t have died at some point had he not run to the meeting; however, I’m not kidding about my no-running-rule. It’s a job, dudes, and there’s no reason to embody stress and lose your identity in the chaos & upheaval of the work environment.
The meeting isn’t going anywhere.
I moved quickly after I heard the news that the VP died. I called the family, called honchos at work, and coordinated grief counselors. Then I got my butt on a plane and flew to Connecticut. This all happened quickly, but I didn’t run.
Moving with speed means moving deliberately and thoughtfully. I operated in the moment as a woman who was conscious of my surroundings. It was a stressful experience, yes, but it was yet another reminder for me that stress kills. So don’t mess with stress on the job, yo. Get a handle on it.
- Call Centers: Stressful Call Center Allegedly Kills Verizon Employee: “She was sitting at her desk and all of a sudden, ‘bam,’ her head hit the keyboard on the computer and she was gone,” another former co-worker said. Young’s daughters said they believe job stress caused their mother to have a fatal heart attack at the call center last year. “She said every day, that she was going to drop dead at her desk, it was so stressful,” Beth Young said. “She did. That’s exactly what happened.”