Last Friday, there were lay-offs here at Channel 11, including some affecting people with whom I’d worked closely for years. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling or what a punch in the stomach it must be. It’s more than painful to see their now-empty offices with their name plates still on the doors. But the heaviness of the hearts of those of us who miss them is nothing compared to what they’re going through.
Work friendships are largely thrust upon us. Most of us don’t pick our colleagues — the bosses do that. But being in close physical proximity and working on projects together five days a week with smart, funny, and engaging people creates a bond that may not qualify as love, exactly, but can come close to it. You learn about your co-workers’ personal lives, their families, and you can start to care deeply for them…even if you seldom, if ever, see each other outside the workplace.
Sure, it’s primarily a work/business relationship, but the human component is what makes it meaningful, strong, and gratifying. We all want to be part of something larger than ourselves—so the saying goes—and when we lose someone we value from the group, we are all a little smaller. It sure feels that way to me.