My Work WifePosted: June 11, 2008
I have two wives, but by no means am I a polygamist.
You know about Renee. She’s the love of my life. The mother of my children. The world’s greatest math teacher. The planner, check-book-balancer and trip navigator. She’s my real wife. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What she’s not, however, is my work wife. That’s Sara.
(And, before I tell you more about this whole thing, you should check Sara out here. She’s a new blogger, and her concept is a good one. Check her out.)
That wikipedia even defines work wife is a pretty interesting thing. But again, they define everything.
I’ve been surrounded by women in basically every job I’ve ever had. I find it much easier to work for a woman than a man. Not sure why, just do. Three of my four closest friends from college are women. What can I say, I’m a chick magnet. 😉 But then again, most of you reading this are female, so you already know this, don’t you?!
And this is one of the reasons why Renee is so great — because she understands this. Well, I’m not sure if she totally understands it, but she deals with it — incredibly well, I might add.
I’m also the type that tends not to bring work home with me. I have a 30-minute commute, and I use that time to unwind and let go of all the stuff I just went through during the day. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to Renee about work, I don’t want to talk to anyone about work — when I’m not at work.
I love my job, and I love where I do it. However, there are moments. There are always moments. And it’s an important thing to have a bond with someone that you can gripe with and be frustrated with. Someone that you know gets it and understands the nuances. Someone that is usually going through the same type of situation, just in a different department. Someone who you can gossip with and discuss all the latest rumors with. And, quite honestly, someone you can just completely let go with.
That’s Sara. And it has been for a few years.
I tell her things about work I don’t tell anyone else, and she does the same. We can talk about anyone or anything. We have a secret handshake, and quite frankly, if it’s noon, we’re doin’ it.
We came up with that one planning a lunch. We try to go to lunch every couple of weeks. It helps keep us sane. And I’m a bit OCD about lunch. If I don’t eat at noon, I don’t do well the rest of the day. I’m a little regimented.
So one day, we were setting up lunch and the conversation was like, “so what are we doing for lunch?”
“Oh, we’re doin’ it.”
“Yeah, I mean, if it’s noon, we’re doin’ it.”
You might not find that funny, but we think it’s hysterical. And I suppose that’s all that matters. Lunch with Sara is always a great time. We’ve talked funny stuff, serious stuff and funny and serious stuff. Either way, it’s always fun.
The last lunch we had was a perfect example of how we know each other at work. I was having a relatively bad day. I was being questioned about something by the president. And I was right, but in order to appease him, it was going to take me about four to five hours of (unnecessary) work.
I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t frustrated. I wasn’t ticked off. I was pissed. Borderline livid.
Sara sensed it immediately, realizing what state I was in. She’s seen me in all of the above moods, but she knew this one had really set me off. And she was right. She then made it her mission to cheer me up. And it worked. She did it. And she did it well.
Sara and I call a really great lunch a ‘classic’ — for one reason or another. This was definitely a classic. It had a ton of emotion in it, particularly when, after building me up, she broke the news that she was taking another job. Not a promotion or swith here. Another job. As in another place.
My work wife was leaving me. Oh the drama.
Not so. More happiness. She’s getting a promotion, a significant salary increase and a much shorter commute. She wrestled with this, and it was important for her to talk about it with me. That’s what the relationship is about. We went from me being pissed, to us laughing and making fun of our incompetent waitress to the seriousness of a job change.
Our lunches have touched on everything over time. Discussions about life, death and everything in between. A job change was just another topic for us to tackle.
Sara wanted my opinion and I gave it to her. First and foremost, you look out for number one. She did. Do I wish that she was staying? Of course I do. But she’s doing the best for her. That’s what matters. To me. And, most importantly, to her.
And we’ll be fine. The beauty of this relationship is that while it’s steeped in work, it’s gone beyond that.
I may be losing my work wife, but I am forever keeping a friend.