Work relationships are always interesting. Really, we spend most of our time with people we wouldn't otherwise know. There have been times in my life when I spent more time with my co-workers than I did with the people I loved. These are people we don't choose to meet, a selection of job skills is what bring us together. I've worked with many people and made some terrific friendships along the way. But one situation sticks in my brain as remarkable.
When I moved to New York City, I didn't know many people here. I was a bit overwhelmed with my new life, new home and new job. In the most unlikely of places (an investment bank) I found some of my favorite people. I remember the first time I met Sue, Michael and Chris individually; I remember how I liked each of them instantly. They continue to be fantastic friends, but also shaped how I first interacted with the city itself. I made other friends through them, saw new parts of the city and had new experiences because of them. And I'm so glad it was them I met first.
We were tasked to build and grow a department, not knowing how this new media would explode. Stuck in a sub-level basement we worked as a team, finding each others' strengths. It was an amazing symbiotic relationship. As the months progressed, still in our sublevel basement (some days never seeing daylight) we created a safe haven. We worked hard, but we also played, created and shared. We all went through times of celebration and drama. We each moved, started and ended relationships, made important life decision, and dreamt about the future with each other. We created life-lasting bonds. When life seemed to be the hardest, I always knew that the people at work would support and nurture me. We all did.
We were part of a creative department, yet separated from the group. As we built our little lab, people from the department would come and visit. They came down to eat lunch, to take a break between stressful meetings, just to say hello. Every one told us how lucky we were to have our own space. Really, we were lucky to have each other. The space became what it was because of the four of us. Changing one person would have changed the dynamic completely. We helped each other move, went to each other's homes, spent time with each other outside of work. And although we did spend time discussing work (as you do) we spend so much time together because we spent the majority of time not talking about work. Even when we were on the job, we took time to speak about the other things in our lives. Not only did we work well together, but we genuinely liked each other.
As time went on, our little group needed to split up. It was time to leave the nest. Slowly, we all found new, wonderful opportunities. Because of the bonds we built we remain very close friends. As our lives take shape we don't speak to each other as frequently, but when we get together its magical.
Sue's in town for her art opening - go to The Screamers site, it's awesome. So the four of us were able to get together. Once again we shared our experiences, talked about the future, our recent accomplishment and frustrations. We hung out. And it was awesome.