He'd been on vacation for the past month, touring with his band. (Awesome, right?) When the CEO told me, "A is no longer with us," I immediately assumed that he'd just out and quit, because this particular coworker can be a bit of a hothead. Maybe the tour had gone well and A and all his bandmates were going to quit their jobs and take to the road full-time. It could happen! He'd joked about it earlier in the summer, so it didn't seem impossible. So I sulked a little bit - what a jerk! leaving without saying good-bye! - and then went about my day.
Then the front gate guard came in and filled me in on details. Apparently, while he was on vacation the other three maintenance guys were able to do his work as well as their own with no real issues. The Board caught on to this and realized that if they let him go, a big chunk of money would be saved. They've been on a penny pinching spree for months, ever since one of them decided that we needed a new bocce ball court. Factor in A's feisty, take-no-shit attitude - he is not afraid to tell residents to their face that they're wasting his time or hang up on them if they are complaining for the sake of complaining - and they decide that his position has become redundant.
I'm bummed. A was the only person at the office close to my age, even if he's still got a decade on me. So I could talk and joke with him in a way that I can't with anyone else. But it also has made me rather paranoid about my job. Certain members of the Board are always sniffing around the office, asking me what I'm doing and whether there are any events for me to staff. I'm worried that they're going to decide that they'd rather close the office on weekends and save money then keep me employed, and then I'll be without a job for the first time in ten years.
Either way, bad day at the office. Not that the residents know; to them I just smile and nod like always.