There’s no such thing as just work friends. I have always thought this. And I believe it even more now.
Recently, I started a new job. Truly though it isn’t really a new job. It is the job I had before I left for Florida. I was (after a long wait and an even longer period of being without a job) finally welcomed back home to the hospital where I believe I truly belong.
I have worked here on two separate occasions before. Each time after I left, I missed it. I missed it very much. I didn’t miss the actual building, per se. I missed feeling like I belonged someplace. A place that I have come to realize I really do truly belong. I missed the people. I missed feeling familiar in a situation, in a setting. I missed walking through hallways and seeing many faces I knew. I also missed the friendships.
My marriage blew up one summer while I was an employee here. I tried and succeeded to not tell any of my family and certain friends the details. I felt as though they were just too close to the situation. During this time, I leaned on my coworkers. I was a Patient Transporter then. We were a very close group. They kept me sane, they kept me as happy as I could be. They were there to listen, and they were also there to take my mind off my troubles. It was then that I realized I just wasn’t protecting my outside “people,” these were the people I wanted to confide in. They were the ones I turned to for help, even if I didn’t ask for it in so many words.
There are people here who are coworkers. These are the people I recognize in the cafeteria. The ones we laugh together with on the Employee Shuttle. The people we gripe to each other about the odd choices in the cafeteria. But, the immediate people I work close to, for hours every day – they are not just coworkers. They are friends. I spend more time with them than with my family (Jeff and my cats, not to mention my kids). These are the people I share silly little inside jokes with. The people with the faces that make you smile during your shift when you’d really rather be home. Or anywhere else. Having the friends I have here almost makes coming to work not really a job. For that, I am beyond thankful.
This is my third go-round here, as they say. It’s going to be my last. I will never leave again. It took me a while to get back where I belong, and now that I’m here I won’t be leaving. I realize what I have. The grass is not greener on the other side. It’s plenty green right where I am right now.