The people you work with are not your family. Your family is your family.
Your office people are something else. Something fascinating. They are people who always have at least one thing in common- you work there.
But, then, you learn about how Zach makes a beeping sound when you surprise him. You learn Lisa’s name is actually Melissa and she may wish people called her that. You learn Rhi should have been born in 1969. You learn Ade’s sisters are always worried about Ade.
And you keep learning. And inside jokes take shape. And you all fall in love with the fact that Sarah loves bad news. And you see a tiny mushroom statuette on Zach’s desk, and you learn that Sharon made it for him. I’ve never even seen them talk, you think. And, you find yourself sincerely proud of Brenna for trying something other than a cheeseburger for lunch. Because you may have changed her, and, you’re sure she’s changed you.
And, then Gabe leaves. And you’re frozen. Because he’s not family and he can leave anytime. And, it’s been 7 years, but just a job. And it’s a good opportunity for him. And you’re happy for him. But not very happy. You’re mostly sad for you. You’re mostly sad for the all of us. For what was so good and so natural and seemed unending. But, it ended without any concern for any of that.
And, it’s no one’s fault, which makes it so hard to simplify.
But, then you overhear Rachel in a client meeting. That kid that started out of college a few years ago. And, she presents her work with more eloquence and savvy then your 42-year-old self ever has. And, you’re proud again. And it feels good. It feels good for you and for the all of us again.
And it’s not a family. But it’s like a family in the way that you didn’t choose each other. And it’s not because they leave with a two-week warning. And they do leave. And you’re happy to have known them in that time. And, you wish them the best.
And that’s it. And, you take a deep breath.
And then you all get back to work. And you do your best. But you know you don’t work just for yourself or a paycheck. Not if you’re doing it well. You do it for them too. You do it for the why you’re there in the first place. Because you can leave anytime. But, you don’t. You stay.
For now, anyway. And, we’re happy to have you. Because we chose you and you chose us. And, that’s not a family. That’s something else. It’s something like the all of us.