These are some of the people I spend my days with at my day job. I know their struggles. I see their growth. I feel their stagnancy when they experience it. And they share mine.
Our dear colleague Sassy has procured a new job– one in her field where she will help so many people, just like when she scraped me off the sidewalk earlier this month and stood by another work-friend’s side when she had a very severe heart attack. It’s no surprise that she’s returning to the medical profession where she can use her eagle eye, her sassy but loving mouth, and her wisdom to change people’s lives for the better.
As she changed ours.
These photos look a lot like our lunch table at work. The atmosphere was jovial and a little obnoxious, a lot like our lunch table at work.
We talk a lot about getting together outside of work for bowling or pizza or axe throwing or roller skating. But life happens and everyone has something going on so we don’t force the issue. But Sassy is leaving, and we talk a lot about tequila so this time the plans solidified.
And they involved tequila, in fancy margaritas– my first was cucumber– and Mexican food at a place that used to be a Pizza Hut decades ago (and I remember it as such) called My Tequila House. The food was amazing. The drink menu diverse. And next time, when I have more of a budget, we’re getting the duck carnitas tacos.
What amazes me about the event was how easily the conversation flowed, how different we all are as people but how we’ve all come together. We all worked together on second shift, “Midnight Society,” and moved together to the 4-day 10-hour shift “Sunday Cohort,” and now been relegated to Monday to Friday standard shift with those I lovingly refer to as “the day shift bitches.” These changes all happened with sixteen months or so, so at this point we’re all practically trauma-bonded, moving together through a world that keeps changing: new measurements, new overlords, soon new snacks. You get the idea.
The youngest among us is barely legal drinking age, the older close to retirement. There’s Southern Candy, Sassy, My Faithful Reader, and some others who I might mention from time to time but who haven’t earned full pseudonyms… like the leader who’s also a very talented photographer, the young woman who encourages everyone while she herself has not only had to rebuild her own life but care for parents with serious health issues, the woman who has a sporty, young nephew and an adorable dog, and the supervisor who returned to work too early after surgery out of stubbornness and now advocates for everyone else’s recovery.
Sassy made us small gifts, gifts she made carefully with her own hands, delicate and beautiful. And meaningful. There’s a magic that occurs when people congregate, even more magic when they quietly support one another, and even more magic when something happens and they come together.
Part of that stems from corporate culture at our employer, more comes from the attitude we had on second shift. We learned to work as a team in an environment that focused on individual metrics in very simple, specific jobs. We had a chance to be different.
And even though our backgrounds range from various fields– restaurants, personal banking, medical, communications for me– that diversity strengthens our bond because we know who on the team will support us in what area when we need it. There’s a trust and a sense of integrity.
And as much as we love Sassy, I think we were celebrating our legacy as a team.