Approximately 54 hours ago, there was an active shooter at my work.
I spent a lot of time trying to think of a better introduction than that, but may as well just get straight into the reason for today. An upset customer left the store angry and turned around and fired six shots into the front doors. The few of us stocking supplies, only five of us, were towards the back so we could run and bring customers with us to the back room. Some of management and maintenance crews were up near the door, along with the customers at the checkout lane. Somehow, amazingly, no one was physically injured in any way and the shooter was followed and arrested.
We’re all screwed up now. Those of us that were just working our shifts that night, the ones that weren’t there and had to find out later, the management that were off that night that feel responsible for their associates, even our store manager couldn’t have a discussion about that night with us without crying.
I know myself, mostly. PTSD is imminent I feel. Working Saturday night I was skiddish, spying on every single customer that got within 20 feet of me, jumpy and hyper yet I felt like I was trying too hard to be my typical happy self. My Good Mornings and Good Evenings to everyone were there but I know I was missing some enthusiasm. It’s my tradition, every coworker of mine has to be greeted when I see them once or twice per shift. Several people asked if I was there, followed by being asked if I’m alright and saying that I’m good several times a shift was tiring.
Along with myself, I saw the stress in my crew in completing our night after being shot at. The custodians that were by the door were stressed, one stopped to pray randomly a few times in the night for simple peace. The supervisors and assistant managers were stressed and uneasy. These symptoms were the result of the immediate event as everyone seemed better, but no one will actually know if they’re over the event. The Manager had resource people come in to talk and give supplies to whoever needed it Saturday night and I know they will be present for a few days to help people cope with the event. The people kept reminding us that we are survivors, a concept that’s a lot heavier than it seems on the outside.
My first set of thoughts when I returned home after work were not good thoughts to be having. I looked at the number of mass shootings in the USA in just 2019, and then how many in only the first half month of 2020. I concluded that this was bound to happen because people misusing guns is just so common in this day and age, in one country at least. And then there’s everything else going on in this country but also everything in every other country. Just a string of “Look where this world is going” thoughts.
I’ve gotta counter these thoughts and get back to a lighter view. So far it’s been alright, going to church and helped, I was considering meditating in the cemetery but it’s almost dangerous freezing temperatures outside, so it will have to be inside. I’ll see my counselors this week to assist. With more police presence at our store and the possibility of no longer being 24/7, maybe this can be a better week. This is gonna take a ton of spiritual healing to get over and I will say no more of it for a while.