Today marked Christian’s last day. I affectionately considered him my work husband at Bose. He had all the qualities of the ideal work husband: tall, smart and handsome.
I suppose everyone who works in an office 8 hours a day, five days a week sharing lunches, bathroom traumas, gossip, corporate-speak and stress are bound to form some sort of kinship with one another. If you’re lucky and depending on the situation, I imagine it’s not uncommon for work relationships to bleed into one’s personal life. Maybe it’s as simple as going out for a drink after work, enjoying a sporting event together, having dinner or simply having a buddy you can go out shopping with during lunch. But every once in a while, you meet someone truly special who makes all those things seem so effortless. It’s doubtful I’ll ever find anyone of such high quality who was so in synch with what made me tick at the office. He got me.
I can’t recall exactly at what point in time I realized he was more than just a co-worker. I suppose the timing doesn’t really matter. What is important to know about Christian is he made me look forward to going into work every day-especially on Monday’s when I could catch him up on my weekend adventures. He was a great listener and I considered it a high compliment whenever I got him to just laugh out loud and roll his eyes at me.
I’d like to use the remainder of this post to detail very specific memories or thoughts about Christian. I would like to think that these are solid examples of what I would have wanted to write if he asked me to sign his High School Year book.
- He was influential because he introduced me to such things as Tenacious D, Tim & Eric Awesome Show-Great Job!, Brule’s Rules with Dr Steve Brule, the Bone comic book series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Batman, Star War, Lost, Rescue Me, Flight of the Conchords and South Park.
- He taught me that no matter how hard I tried to change his desk habits it would never work because he was in charge of his work area. He stubbornly left up his South Park Cartman Christmas ornament all year round. He thanked me for printing out a nice clean color-version of the Bose store listings and proceeded to toss it into one of his plastic desk trays and continued to use his original which was working for him just fine thank you very much.
- He ate the same lunch every single day: turkey sandwich, granola bar, store-branded yogurt and an apple. When our group would go out to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday, he almost always ordered the chicken with a glass of water. He never ate birthday cake and was very choosy about sweets. He liked Pez, orange Tic-Tacs and this yucky tin of breath mints that I had sitting in my office for what seemed like six months.
- We travelled together on business to Columbia, South Carolina and he came down with Mono. I have never seen a person so sick who complained so little. He dragged himself through a day-long manufacturing plant tour in miserable throat pain, indulged me by going to visit a Zoo and then drove himself to the hospital across the street from our hotel to get medication later that night. He lost his cell phone on the flight back and managed to retrieve it with minutes to spare before our flight took off. Did I mention he had MONO?
- He convinced me to put up my pink Christmas tree and decorate it with Hello Kitty ornaments when I wavered a little thinking it wasn’t a very professional thing to do.
- Christian is a seasoned weekend drinker. But you’d never know it by the way he carried himself at work. I never once witnessed him coming into work wrecked or in a bad mood due to a hang over. He was a good boy during the week eating healthy and exercising, but let loose on the weekend.
- He hated my Maxine page-a-day calendar and indulged me on all things Justin Timberlake. I am the only person in his circle of acquaintances that is (a) a member of the Justin Timberlake fan club and (b) has a Justin Timberlake email addy.
- He bested me on pop culture more times than I could count.
- He shamed me on his depth of knowledge using the safety stock analyzer and had the patience of a saint trying to make me understand Intermediate Eschelons.
- He had excellent customer service skills and owned the right to call “Eye of the Tiger” his personal theme song.
- He had a propensity to turn quickly in his chair and smash his knee into the desk.
- I think he also loved to throw his stress ball at me to get my attention when I was wearing my Quiet Comfort 3 headphones.
- We had a great time doing last minute Christmas shopping in 2007 at The Wrentham Outlets. I got him to appreciate the coolness of Restoration Hardware.
- Christian was a good son. He kept in touch with his brother, sister, mom and dad regularly and was never ashamed to say he was going home to the Cape for the weekend to spend it with his family.
Seriously…this list could go on and on. I need to wrap this up and tie the bow. My work husband has left. He has boldly traded in his life in a cubicle farm for a full-time shift in a liquor store on Cape Cod. He’s spending the summer in the place he calls home and who knows what will happen come the end of Summer. He is the proverbial Leaf on the Wind.
It’s special and deeply meaningful to me that I can call Christian my friend rather than my co-worker. I’ve promised to keep in touch and I don’t make a habit of breaking my promises. Even though I could quite possibly never see him again, somehow I just know that my name will make the invite list when he gets married and I’ll be around when my boy turns thirty – whichever comes first.
Did I mention I have his cell phone number?