About six years ago, I had the best work wife. Her name is Jenny English. She is still my friend to this day.
When we worked together, we had a job doing triage phone nursing for a local hospice in our town. We had the evening shift, working 12–8:30pm. At 5pm, everyone left the office and we had the whole place to ourselves, (not counting the supervisor and the security guard who’d wander through the office every couple hours.)
During our couple years working together, we became a team of two. The dynamic duo. We got along so well, that we started commuting to work together (we happened to live close to each other) and we also started going to the gym together after work to swim laps, then head to the steam room. It was a great way to end the night after an evening of work. Plus we had quite a few stories about people who visit the steam room at 10pm.
Jenny is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. During the time I worked with her was when my husband left me, and I was going through a bitter divorce. I was at my lowest and most vulnerable state. But I had to work, I had to get up and get into the office every day, and be there for families of people who were dying, as I experienced my own death of my marriage. I wouldn’t have been able to do it unless I knew I was able to go in and spend my evening working with Jenny, my work wife.
She’s a nurse too, so her caring manner shone through in her caretaking of me during our work shifts. Sometimes I would lay under the desk in between calls, with a terrible migraine and getting up in between to answer the phone. She would let me do my thing without judgment.
I’m sure the relationship wasn’t as one-sided as I’m writing it to be, but honestly, she was the best work wife I’ve ever had. When she moved to day shift (her life couldn’t take the evenings anymore) my job was never the same. Now that we don’t work together, I am still friends with her and her husband, and always will be.
In each job, I’ve always had a best friend, a bff, or what I usually call a “work wife.” (although in one job, it was a work husband). I can tell you, it makes work a thousand times more enjoyable. Not just through the traumatic personal times in life, but on a normal daily basis.
Work is stressful enough, and in my job as a registered nurse, there’s an emotional aspect involved, all of which can make for a crazy day, everyday. It wasn’t helpful to come home and unload my day onto my family either. They wouldn’t understand, and it was unfair to put my rigors of work onto them.
With a confidant/friend/work wife, we have a mutual exchange of understanding and helping each other out. We know about each other’s day and empathize with the hard times, rejoice in the work wins. We speak up for each other. Cover for each other if needed. And I don’t have to spend my lunches alone.
If you have a best work friend, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It makes the difference between work being a necessary evil, to creating a whole different level of enjoyment of having a job. It can be the one and only reason why you may enjoy work that day.
A work wife is someone at work who cares about you, when you sometimes feel that nobody cares at all. She does. And you care about her too. It puts a human element into your life where you may feel like another cog in the wheel.
A work wife will be there for you, ask you how you’re doing during the day. She will understand when you complain about the dumb meeting where you both just wasted an hour. She’ll listen when you talk about things outside of work, and she’ll tell you about her life too. She will speak up for you when people are disagreeing with you about something. The two of you can even ban together to create positive change in the workplace.
I hope all of you have the benefit of having a work wife in your lives.
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