There’s a 50-50 chance that when you get a job you will either hate your co-workers with a burning passion or love them to death. If it’s the latter, congratulations — you’ve found your work family.
When I first started my job, I was scared out of my mind. Everything intimidated me — the people, the desks, even the complimentary sparkling water. I compensated for my anxiety by becoming mute and staying extremely parched.
It took me about a month to get the courage to sneak a peek at the person sitting to my right. He looked nice enough, probably in his 20s, did about one task every four hours, liked to stare at his reflection in his desktop monitor (you know, he seemed chill as hell).
It wasn’t until later in the summer that I learned that my co-worker had thought that I was deaf for the first few weeks I was in the office. This is not a joke, he went as far as googling American Sign Language so we could communicate.
Now that it has been clarified that I can in fact see, speak, and hear, we have created our own post-it art gallery at our desks (and yes this did happen on company time, so keep it on the down-low).
When I finally came bursting out of my silence, I realized I had gotten lucky — all my co-workers turned out to be cooler than me. Although that meant I really needed to step up my game, I loved it.
Once I got to know everyone, I realized that the job I had thought would be boring and corporate was actually wild enough to be a prime-time, reality TV show. The people were so quirky that I started to relate them to sitcom characters.
There were creepy uncles who made comments that were socially unacceptable in the year 2019, little sisters who shared a resemblance to Michelle Tanner from Full House, dads with phone holsters and custom pocket knife pouches, and awkward, lanky cousins that thought Billie Eilish EDM remixes were, “so cool dude”.
Sarcasm became our native tongue. It was one of the only ways we survived the long hours and passive-aggressive clients. Well, that and occasionally taking two-and-half-hour lunch breaks and “borrowing” the company G-Wagon.
I got so intertwined with the people I worked with that I became the therapist for the over 40-year-old crowd. I learned who hated who, which employees were useless, and who was due to be fired.
Having these connections with my co-workers was great, but it also meant that I eventually would have to pack up and fly the coop. This meant leaving behind the very people that helped me find my wings — I know, sappy, right?
It was just another chapter in my life that was closed, or maybe even bookmarked until a later date. This may seem dramatic, but I’m a Taurus. We don’t like change.
words & photo_olivia ginsberg