The workplace is a funny thing. You spend most of your waking hours there. You see your co-workers more than your own family most days – even most of the week. You spend all week with these people counting the days until your weekend when you don’t have to see your co-workers anymore, and then you only get 48 free hours to be with whoever you want and do whatever you want. But what about your co-workers? What do you actually know about them? How much time do you actually spend talking to them? How much time do you spend sitting in a chair while staring at your computer screen? In a slightly less than perfect world (because, lets face it, in a perfect world we wouldn’t work), our co-workers should be like family.
I watch TV shows about co-workers where the characters are one big urban family. They work long hours, talk about their lives, disagree, and spend time together after work, because they don’t have time for outside connections. These shows fascinate me because I love thinking about the workplace/friendship dynamic. This is also why I love my grad program so much, because we talk about this in class sometimes. Do you know there are actual studies that prove every person needs a “work best friend” (aka “Work BFF”) to help motivate someone to come to work and that person becomes more productive and enjoys the job more? I think this theory is really true. I have a work BFF also.
Tonight I was watching a show called “Sports Night” created by Aaron Sorkin, who also created “The West Wing” and is the genius behind “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” I also just “IMBD-ed” him and learned he wrote the script for “The American President” too! His shows are all about the workplace dynamic and all the characters become like family. I swear every time I watch “Studio 60” I wish I worked there. People say I’m crazy when I say that because the characters have no social lives, are workaholics, and never sleep, but I feel like in real life it would be worth it if you legitimately loved your job and loved the people you work with.
I think Aaron Sorkin is right about one thing for sure, that the main reason a person will love their job and stay at it is because they enjoy their co-workers and view them as more than just co-workers. And if you think about it, if you’re spending most of your waking hours at work, don’t you want to like who you work with?