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An Odd Sort of Family

May 17, 2007

By JP 

1997 was a big year for me.  I had a baby, got married and started a job with the same company I work for today.  In that order.  And in a time span of less than four months.  It’s like my life was patterned after that top 10 list of most stressful moments of your life.  Oh…and I was also 19 at the time. 

For better or for worse, those events very much shaped the life I lead today.  That baby turns 10 in August.  I will celebrate my 10th Anniversary November 1st.  And November also marks my 10th year with my company.  What a decade!

When I started with this company, I was the 25th employee…the lowest paid employee, and the baby of the company.  With the company still being very new, it had quite a family feel to it.  There were a few people who took me under their respective wings and showed me the ropes…I learned so much under their direction and teaching.  I worked hard and as the company grew, so did my opportunities.  There are now over 100 employees at this company and I have promoted about six steps from where I started.  When I say to people that I’ve grown up in this company, I’m not kidding.  The company – the office has been my home away from home…and my second family.

My first family (the family I was born into) is completely wonderful.  I am close to my mom and dad and to my four siblings.  Our umbilical cord is long enough that we can live in different counties – different states even – and we still an incredibly tight family.  What’s nice, though, is that my second family (my work family) is almost as cool and wonderful as the first family is.

Almost. 

Over the past ten years, I have spent a lot of time at work.  If you multiply 40 hours by, let’s say, 50+ weeks a year (I do take some time off occasionally) you get a couple thousand hours spent in a cubicle/office.  That’s a bunch.  And that’s not counting days like Tuesday when I worked a 14 hour day meeting a deadline.  When you spend that many hours in such close proximity to other people, you become close to them.  In my case, I have been blessed to work with many amazing people.  Especially folks that work on the same floor/department as I do

I really do mean “Second Family”.  I have made some of the best friends I’ll ever have at my place of business.  Friends that have even moved on to other jobs, etc and are still a special part of my life.  I have a network of loved ones that I consider part of my extended family…and when you do the math you realize that we spend more time together than we do with our families at home.  And yes, of course, I realize that’s backwards…and I wish that statistic was different, but it’s the truth.  However, let’s not get into that right now…sensitive issue…sensitive issue!

The bottom line is this: at this moment in time, I am putting my husband through school and I have to work.  There will come a day when I probably won’t have to.  But for right now, I find that I can focus on the good job that I have, the flexibility I have…and the work family that makes it all that more enjoyable and even fun sometimes.  We’re a dysfunctional, loving, welcoming, friendly bunch, this work family of mine…quite the bonus to the paycheck, if you ask me.

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One comment

  1. Listen … I don’t believe there is a family that is better than the one that I was born into, however, my siblings all have their own families now and their own responsibilities to their new families. To me there is nothing more beautiful than developing another layer of family among my very close and dear friends, and I may be naive, but I believe in my heart of hearts that my family, especially my parents, finds comfort in the relationships and communities I’ve built.



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