Very recently, I changed jobs. Even more recently, I changed jobs again. My last long-term position I held for three and a half years and was summarily and rather unnecessarily dismissed on Halloween, 2011. I won’t get into the details of that here because I do not wish to allow that negativity to pervade here. Suffice it to say, after that length of time and whether any of us intends it or not, you build what Douglas Coupland referred to in his tome, “Generation X”, an “Air Family.” That is to say, a false sense of community experienced among coworkers in an office environment.
That being said, I have to admit that I am as guilty as anyone else and for three and a half years, I subconsciously viewed the people I worked with as members of a weird, extended family. Like any members of an extended family, there were people within it who annoyed me, and others who I simply viewed as completely meaningless and a little bit mentally challenged. Most importantly, there were people within it who, I am happy to say, continue to be part of my Air Family.
So anyway, in between that job and this one I have managed to pick up a few other members of my extended Air Family and they are as equally flawed and funny and familiar as the rest.
These revelations didn’t occur to me until I was sitting at my newest desk and one such coworker walked by my desk. They didn’t stop to talk to me, much less did they even look at me as they passed. It was simply the fact that they were there, and I got to watch them walk by with that particular tilt of the head, that particular and oh so familiar shuffle of their feet… Just the sight of them was comforting in itself. Knowing that all my previous experiences had somehow found a common ground, making me feel like a small part of my upended professional daily life was actually holding together with what little glue I had left.
So, thank you. Each of you knows who you are and I’m happy to count myself amongst your ranks once again. No matter where we all go from here, I will remember you.