I have to say, although I love working for myself, having the freedom to set my own schedule and make my own decisions, sometimes I really miss having a work family.
Working from home and taking care of my mother keep me very busy during the week, and my Golden Time on the weekends with my husband is always a welcome break in the routine. But I used to have a wonderful group of people that I worked with for a very long time and we really were a family. We went through everything together over the years – births, deaths, marriages, divorces…you name it….and all of it always brought us closer together.
There was a time when I was part of an amazing division of the Capitol/EMI that was headed up by an remarkable man named Eli who treated us all with the utmost kindness and respect. He had his priorities straight….family first, work second. He created such a fun, productive environment that we were all proud to work for him and we all worked hard….and we played hard. Eli took us on business trips to Maui – incredible experiences that none of us will ever forget.
And there was always a party for every special occasion – after a while it was actually written into my job description that I was the office party-planner, so birthdays and holidays were always celebrated, big time! Then there were Happy Hour Friday’s in Frank’s office…no one left without a shot of tequila to start the weekend right! And my daily experience was always a happy and enjoyable one because I had the best boss ever – Adam. He is still a close friend, confidant, advisor and cheerleader. And I am proud to say that I believe he considers me the same. We were all so blessed to have been brought together by our work situation.
This week, one of my special girlfriends from my former work family, Kate, is moving to Nashville so I HAD to go to her going away party last weekend. Even though that meant leaving my husband and mother to baby-sit each other…I couldn't miss my last opportunity to see the lovely and hilarious Miss Kate. We were cube-mates – we sat right next to each other for a few years at Capitol and we had so many great times…Im-ing each other, four feet apart about the stupid office dramas as they played out in front of our desks…a weekend trip to Vegas to see Zumanity and visit our friend Joey Arias backstage… a girls’ trip to Maui…(thanks, Kate, for holding me up after too much rum in the limo after that 16 HOUR TRIP TO GET TO THERE!!!)
I was so happy to be able to give Kate a big hug and wish her luck in her new adventure (and find out how the heck this all happened since we haven’t had time to chat for months…both too busy for phone calls or lengthy IM’s…sad…) And at this party I was so happy to see a lot of my old work friends like Susan, who is one of my very best friends that I have had so many adventures with - too many to mention here. Everyone at the party made me feel so loved as they welcomed me with big hugs and some screaming (Woo Richard and Shirley ;)
I realized how much I missed all these people, seeing them every day and having fun and crazy times with them. And this small group is just a very tiny aspect of the large work family I accumulated over the years. Multiply these events by twenty years and countless other people and you may have an inkling of the magnitude of my memories and feelings toward this other family of mine.
But – life changes, we have to move on. I know I’m doing the work I am supposed to be doing and I love it, but I do miss having that group of people that you know you’ll see every day – some you may dread seeing, some you get used to but - some become your best friends, and some you don’t realize how important they are until they’re gone from your experience. My goal is to one day have my own business and create another work family, ala Eli, so yet another group of people can know how joyful and fulfilling a working experience can be. (Oh yes, business trips to Maui are definitely part of the plan :)
Make the most of your work family – you spend more time with them than anyone else in your life. It can be a positive, life-changing experience if you choose to make it so.
I am so grateful for each and every member of this family and I will always treasure the memories and most of all, the relationships that will always be there, no matter where any of us spend our work days.
Bon voyage, Kate!
To the rest of my Capitol/EMI family – I love you!
Living Peacefully in a Big City available at www.barnesandnoble.com or www.amazon.com