The Work ‘Family’



I have a ‘slight’ issue and its called ‘colleagues’, well its not an issue per-say more of an observation.  I have worked for more than half my life, and have met many weird and wonderful people, we have laughed together, fought together (and against), gotten drunk at christmas doo’s and partaken in a bit of backstabbing ,  the list is endless.  However why is it we barely acknowledge one another after 5 ‘clock?

I mean surely the fact we spend up to 8 hrs a day,  (if not more) in each others presence should warrant some kind of relationship?  In one of my fledgeling careers after Uni, I joined a mundane office.  Everyone more or less got on well there were a few spats but nothing to write home about,  you would often hear the conversations about last nights television decorating the air “One big happy Family”.

One middle aged woman, whom smoked something like four packs a day and barely uttered a word to anyone took my interest.  ‘Peg’ was miserable and hated anyone under the age of 30.  She especially hated her colleagues and could often be heard saying ” I do not make friends with colleagues, I come in and go home”

Well I found her amazing!, at any opportunity I tried to befriend her which drove her absolutely crazy.  As she took out her 11am packet of Salt and Vinegar crisps I made it a point to ask her about her life, her son, what she did yesterday, I told her I liked her hairstyle ( I didn’t), asked if  I could help her with anything,  asked what she thought about the British weather, I did anything  just so she would talk to me.



8hrs is a long time to spend with anyone, but we spend it day in and day out with colleagues, this is more than we spend with our own families! I feel its time to really embrace our workmates.

You think I’m mad right? Im not, im just seeing things differently, I cant tell you the numerous times I have walked into the female toilets and overheard women pouring out their hearts to people they don’t even know or men having meaningful chats over a pint of beer, at a work doo that no one actually wants to be at.

Trust me I have been there, we try so hard not to be close to these people  that we spend all our working life telling them “you are just a colleague, I come here to work and go home” . Its fair to say we can have some of the most meaningful conversations and dare I say it relationships with our colleagues.  These  people are whom we turn to when the home life is in absolute turmoil, and we need to hear a kind word.

Many of you wont agree, maybe even deny that it has ever happened to you,  it’s OK I understand I  know you don’t want to betray your real family and friends.  All  I am saying is we shouldn’t treat our work ‘family’ with contempt, there will  always be office politics,  people will be people however,  you are allowed to like them.    Im not saying to be everyone’s friend, I mean both you and I know there are some shady people in the corporate world but really think about what I am saying is it that hard?.

 On a sidenote I have met and made some really good friends through the world of work and have kept many from the early years.  I am just  glad I made an effort after 5.oclock…just a thought.


What do you think colleague friend or foe?

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