09 August, 2007

Farewells...

I have worked for this company for eight years. Each thyme someone leaves, we have a party of sorts. Today we toasted a man that I have worked with since transferring to this office.

Let me say, first and foremost, that I work with interesting people. These are not your normal lot, we are all a bit... different.

At one point, our then female manager, determined that men under the age of 26 were immature so, as a result, we hired women. Lots of young women. The department had a reputation in the company for employing many quite attractive young women as juniors while the more senior staff were older men.

The trend truly has not changed. I work with many attractive young women. They are now far more of the over achiever variety than they once were, but... attractive all the same.

The man we toasted today was a bit more eccentric than the rest of us. A great guy, in every aspect of the word... he was just... different.

Super bright when it comes to technical matters. A bit different in other ways. He literally had two dates (one after the other) at a company holiday party. Another time he was reported to HR and management for wearing a Halloween costume into the building - security was on the ball that day. They were afraid that he posed a threat to the security of the building. It was, truly, Halloween!

Another time he traveled to a state and bought a Geiger counter... and some material to prove it worked.
"You are going to stop by the office and have that sent back for you, right?"
"No. I will take it as carry on luggage."
Needless to say, there was a delay at the security line that day.

In the six years I have worked out of this office, I have met interesting people. Most are everyday people. The kind that fit into any situation, any circumstance, and get along in every crowd. I work with assertive women, laid back men, the ego centric, and lazy, and those that can make work where there is no work to be made. Just like any office.

And then there are the few... the few that stand out and give character to the office.

The guy with the southern drawl that gives me a run for my money when it comes to banter - but can turn around and demonstrate pure brilliance when it comes to the details regarding the subject matter with which we work.

The guy that knew he was too selfish to have kids. After playing the field, quite aggressively, for 20 years, he settled down and now raises Scottish Terriers.

The woman who seems to have it all - rising through the ranks with great speed and knows how to play politics with the best of them. However, the only people who enjoy working with her are those she has charmed for promotions. Just a bit too selfish for a team player.

There are the men who have mathematic equations on their white boards and spend their free time working through them to find the proof. There are those, like myself, who are more about words than numbers, and who can debate the importance of each word in a paper for hours on end.

There are the women who change their hair color depending on assignment and desired perception. The young women who are biding their time while the obtain other degrees, put their spouse through school, or find their own confidence and skill sets outside of their relationships with men.

It takes all kinds of people to build an office - the crazy, the political, the ordinary, and the exceptional...

And this is one "different" guy that it took me a long time to like, but... now that I have worked with him a bit... I will miss him greatly.

13 comments:

Wombat said...

You're quite the observer of people, Exceptional One.

JustRun said...

It's funny how our coworkers, who aren't necessarily our friends, have an affect on our world.

The Exception said...

Wombat - That is part of the job description. I hope I do it fairly well!

Just Run - It is especially odd when we realize their part in our world only after they leave. And kind of sad. He moved on to a great job but I feel like an ally is no longer just down the hall.

AaroN said...

Yeah, it takes plenty of people to build an office and I can think of about 6-7 this office of 400-500 would be better off without.

brookem said...

coworkers are so interesting. i think it's good to be able to work with people that you wouldn't necessarily "choose" as a friend. makes one practice patience and acceptance and all that stuff.
im sure you'll miss your buddy!

Croaker said...

Sounds like I'd do well there younger women and older guys :). It is really nice when an office becomes more like a group of friends. most people don't takethe time. I've been in a few offices where a strong personality brings us all together.
It's nice.

Have the T-Shirt said...

I kinda like the 'different' ones. Maybe cause I am one of them?

Bre said...

Aren't coworkers a fascinating phenomenon?!

The Exception said...

Aaron - Yes, we have a few of those too. One was roasted yesterday for turning a "short" project into something that literally lasted at least two years.

Brookem - I agree - I like the mix, usually. It allows for the change of different ideas etc. It also increases ones ability to work with different personality types (that is the hope at least!).

Crocker - Ah, we definitely have that ratio, still, despite that manager leaving a few years ago. Currently, most of our staff are young women in their 20s and men in their mid 40s and older. There are less than ten of us in our 30s! It is a strange set up.

(But every man in the company probably wanted to work on this floor at one time)


T-Shirt - I like the different ones too. Some of the idiosyncrasies make for difficult situations, but you will find groupings of like individuals. I tend to hang out with the passionate, word play guys!

Bre - Coworkers provide great entertainment... and wow could I share some stories! ;)

Ryan said...

I can't be sure about this, but do we work at the same place?

I'm one of the 'different' ones...

I always feel bad when people decide to better themselves and go elsewhere - even if I don't care for them.

I'm not sure exactly why.

Scotty said...

::Sigh:: I kinda miss farewells..

And you need to introduce me to all of these attractive young women. Of course, only if they might be good enough :)

The Exception said...

Ryan - You are definitely welcome here as I am one of the different as well.

And, I would think of a more clever response, but my head is killing me this morning - something to do with an overload of humidity, but I am glad you are back!

Scotty - Only the best for you - and they are all married or over 30! (Still attractive though!)

Croaker - sorry about the name thing above. Yesterday was one of "those" days!

Croaker said...

Hehe np