Unsung Heroes of The American Workplace: Coworkers Who Share Snacks

What makes a decent work environment great?  The first answers that come to my mind include good money, perks (like airline tickets or post-it notes), flexible hours, and an easy commute.

And of course the people.  Today we’re talking about co-workers, those facets of working life that make the worst of jobs bearable and the best of jobs even better.  I love a coworker who doesn’t flip out when I show up at the door crying tears of frustration, sorrow or hunger.  (Special shout out to my coworkers who fed me and gave me lots of tissues in August 2005.)

I love a coworker who has gum, a therapist, and a steamy personal life.  An extra sweater and saline solution? Coworker nirvana.

A work BFF doesn’t know all of your friends so she can be objective when you need to vent about one of them who has started acting like a Kardashian, only brattier.  It’s not a betrayal to tell your work BFF all about the dramz in your circle of friends because she’s removed from the fray.  It’s not gossip; it’s therapeutic.

And I adore that magic moment when you realize that your work BFF is someone you actually might hang out with outside of work.  When you and your co-worker take your relationship to the next level and decide to double date or do something on a Saturday night that doesn’t involve work– that’s when you know you’re dealing with that rare gem of a co-worker who’s going to be in your life even after she gets transferred to the home office or quits to write screenplays.

And there’s a special place in Heaven for those coworkers who have had to travel with me.  Good lord, taking the show on the road while wearing panty hose in an airport– those aren’t coworkers, they’re angels.

Your coworker is the only person who knows exactly what it’s like to work for your boss, just like your siblings are the only people who know what it’s like to be the child of your parents.  That’s a serious bond, people.  It’s not to be taken lightly.

In celebration of my favorite past coworkers, here are the top 5 acts of kindness that my coworkers have bestowed on me that I will never forget:

  1. Lent me breast pump tubes (holla!)
  2. Given me a sweater off her back when I could no longer deal with the sub-zero temperatures in my office
  3. Shared Cheetos and Ginger Ale when I was pregnant and working until 11:00 PM one night
  4. Accompanied me to Fogo de Chao with the douchiest interns so I wouldn’t have to talk to them by myself
  5. Married me
"Um, have you seen the McManus file?  Should we try to settle the case?"

“Um, have you seen the McManus file? Should we try to settle the case?”

So, what has your coworker done for you lately? Brag it up!


33 thoughts on “Unsung Heroes of The American Workplace: Coworkers Who Share Snacks

  1. I thoroughly enjoy your candor and ability to not take your lawyer life (former self) too seriously. Parenting is by far the toughest job, and how hard do we fight for coworkers in that profession? I thought of you (and my appreciation for your said candor) when writing tonight – Tales from the Daycare Side: Parenting Levels the Playing Field at tiredchristianworkingmom.wordpress.com.

  2. I love this line, “Your coworker is the only person who knows exactly what it’s like to work for your boss, just like your siblings are the only people who know what it’s like to be the child of your parents.” S O T R U E .

  3. Ahh, this post made me smile and think. I haven’t bonded with a “coworker” in the traditional sense of the word in years (in fact too many, it makes me a little sad), but I do have the most awesome coworker right now. She knows what it’s like to be so hard on yourself that no one else in the world can make you cry harder, she inspires me to keep at it even when things get tough, she supports me when I need a GD break to breathe. She sends me stuff that makes us think, get mad or get motivated. She acknowledges and appreciates when I do the same. She makes me a better (not perfect!!) friend, writer, wife and vulnerable human being. As a writer (which is an isolating profession) I think of my co-workers as more of friends, but you are both!

  4. My husband has been working from home lately so I’ve received some x-rated perks unlike those I received when I worked in an office. He’s noisy but he definitely shares his snacks so we have a good balance going on! Lovvvveee that someone loaned you breast tubes – that’s a workplace perk like no other!

  5. Oh… wow. The co-worker I’m thinking of was actually a supervisor, technically, but she treated me like a colleague. This was at city hall, where I worked mostly as a volunteer, but partly by way of a jobs program.

    1. I can still remember one Christmas where she made arrangements with other city workers to get me and my family some gifts, and she and her family delivered it in person.
    2. She was Cimmy’s customer on a newspaper route 🙂
    3. I called in a favor and she helped me get the Benton-Franklin Kite festival to a better location with much better promotion and press.

    She remains a dear friend and still uses materials I worked on. She stopped by our house about a year ago to help us with vermicomposting. Cimmy started telling me about a brochure on the subject, but I stopped her: “Yeah, I know what it says. I wrote it.”

  6. I have a work BFF that I have worked with for almost 20 years. She has held me up during personal challenges, laughs at my humor, and shares her altoids. She was one of the reasons I was ok returning to full-time work. I adore her and we have each other’s backs!

  7. Yes! Good points. I remember when I was a high school English teacher and people would bring some special snack for the whole department. We’d all light up and everyone was a little cheerier for the day. And we are all careful to make sure everyone had some before going back for seconds. We never worked as well together than we had we were sharing treats! (The copy machine?? Not as friendly of a corner of the department office.)

  8. The only thing I miss about my last job is my work BFF (the last F should really be removed since I haven’t seen her in the 6 months since I left). She was awesome and in the process of getting her psych degree so I got tons of free amateur therapy. And she liked Chipotle as much as I did.

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