Goodbye, Eappen

While I was in Johore, I have received bad news that one of the technicians in my ex-company has passed away, just a day after he took MC (Medical Leave). Although I do not know him much but we did some service calls together and I was the one who drove him to Assunta Hospital when he sort of collapsed due to breathing difficulties. Luckily, both of us had credit cards at that time or he would have suffered more than just blue lips. Anyway, that was more than ten years ago when he joined us when the Malaysian economy was taking a downturn.

I remember him as the only technician with a large beard. At one time, I think he shaved it off but it looked so weird. Anyway, I can tell that he had a lot of health problems. Still, at that time, whatever help we could get to clear the daily service calls, we were thankful for that. When he first joined us, he was a very determined fellow and angry who spoke his mind. But I think due to his past history, he could not accept his downgraded role as a service technician, falling down from a Management role. And by the time I resigned, he sort of mellowed, smiled more and followed the rules.

Still, when I think back, I sort of pity him. For he is among a group of seniors whom the department has regarded them as “dinosaurs” when the new Toshiba PABX came into the market after the Millennium. The new system requires people with computer skills especially in the Networking area. And unfortunately, for these seniors, the department has concluded that it is too costly and time consuming to retrain them. And so, they were “encouraged” to leave the company. I have heard of this story for a long time and even his widow confirmed it. She mentioned that although he was not trained to service the PABX, he was ordered to and when he did, there were repercussions.

Anyway, he is gone now, and hopefully, to a better place. His widow mentioned that he had chest pains for the past few days. And on that fateful night, within an hour of her driving him to the Hospital, the Doctors have pronounced that his heart had stopped beating. I felt sad because I did not get to see him for the last time as I was late by ten minutes as I got lost searching for his house due to the wrong information given. Anyway, goodbye, Eappen, sorry for anything I did that might have offended you in the past. And you always greet me with a smile.

And as I drove home, I helped a lady (with five children) changed her tyres in a busy petrol station where no one bothered to help, not even the taxi drive who parked next to her. Nor other taxi drivers filling up their cars a few feet away. Strange thing was, I did not feel any anger towards them, nor the sense of happiness when she drove away after thanking me profusely.

I just felt numb.

Maybe its because I could not say anything to his widow or maybe I just did not get the chance to see and say goodbye to him for the last time.