If any of you are as blessed as I am, you have a fantastic group of people to work with.
Often times, those of us who work outside the home see our “work family” as much as or more than we see our actual biological families. Depending on what your profession is, you go through a lot with your co-workers. I happen to be in healthcare, and some of my co-workers and I have been through more together than most people can ever imagine.
When you spend that much time with someone, relationships develop.
Many of these relationships closely parallel those within our families. Below is a list of ways our work family is like our actual family.
- You see each other every day, so you really get to know each other. If you’re like me, you work 8 (or more) hours 5 days a week. When you see someone that often for that long, you get to know each other. You know who likes to do certain tasks; you know who’d rather die than do others. You know each others’ favorite foods. You can tell when someone’s in a bad mood. You know each other’s kids’ names. You’ve heard how they met/fell in love with/married their spouses. You know what pushes their buttons. Get the point?
- You’ve been through stuff together. Life happens at work, too. My co-workers love our patients as much as I do. When one passes away we all grieve together. When someone gets good news, we all celebrate together. When something happens to one of us, we stick together and support each other. It’s what families do.
- You laugh with/at each other. Funny stuff happens at work, too. If you’re lucky enough to be really close with your co-workers, you share inside jokes. If something funny happens that your co-worker didn’t get to witness, you can’t wait to share it with them. My nurses and I have a running joke that one day we’re going to write a book. We’re constantly taking note of things that are worthy of their own chapter.
- You can communicate without talking. Come on now, you know this one. A customer/patient/patron says or does something they don’t see as funny or weird, but you definitely do, and you know your co-worker sees it, too. There’s no way you can get away with laughing out loud or looking at them like they’re crazy, but you can make very brief eye contact with your co-worker and send a telepathic message. For a brief moment, you’re both laughing hysterically- in total silence.
- You get on each others’ nerves. See number one. You see each other Every. Single. Day. Just like your real family, you love them, but they can get on your ever-loving nerves. Are they doing their job too slowly? Are they rushing you? Are they being lazy? Are they just plain not doing their job to meet your satisfaction? Step away. Take a breath. You just need a break. Don’t nag them like you do your husband. Don’t punish them like they’re your children. We all go through it, even if you have the best co-workers in the world.
- You miss them when they’re gone. Strange, isn’t it? Your co-worker that’s usually there with you takes the day off. Or maybe the office is closed for a holiday. Still catch yourself thinking of something to tell them? Still text them on your day off? You see them every day and they’re not your real family, but you still miss them.
That’s because they’re more than co-workers. They’re friends. They’re your work family, and you love them. I know I love mine!