The events of this week, along with still being bummed about losing Jet, have made me feel lower than a fat cat's engorged belly. I slept until almost 1:30 Sunday afternoon and spent most of the rainy and overcast day noodling around the internet and watching crappy television. I was looking to be distracted, or at the very least, not think about anything for a little while.
I've spent the last few days trying to be strong and together for all my co-workers, many of whom were quite devastated about the murder. It goes without saying they were mourning the senseless loss of life, but it should come as no surprise that they also struggled to try and make sense of the fact that they had worked and spent quite a large amount of time with a young man who would do something so violent, so unexpected. Many of them reported they cried for the first time during news footage showing him being walked in handcuffs from the police station to jail. Also, many employees underwent understandable but extensive interviews from the police department, and if you've never had the pleasure it can be as much fun as my aforementioned root canal. Even if you know you're not a suspect you can end up feeling guilty.
The result was we reopened on Friday with an air of sadness and extreme tension, which I did my best to manage if not dispel. Some of the staff, particularly the bartenders who worked with "Ronnie" every day, found that they couldn't even start that first shift. So we allowed anyone who needed it to get out of work for the day, with no consequence. Most of them returned on Saturday. One bartender opted to quit.
People's reactions, and their way of dealing with the stress of all this have been a real eye-opener. One of my employees wanted to know if he would be financially compensated for the loss of income the murder had caused him. Other employees called in on Thursday wondering if there was any way, during a murder investigation, that they could pick up a paycheck or the previous weekend's tip money. It was infuriating and sad. And it's all left me quite drained, and feeling sorry for myself as I spent the day focusing on the fact that after I spent the last few days holding everyone else together, I really don't have anyone to do that for me.
Except for you, of course.