It’s been a very eventful couple of weeks in the workplace for me, but it’s also provided a very interesting look into the people I work with. One of my coworkers needed to take a leave of absence. Nothing that doesn’t go on in the business world every day, but in a small office like ours, his absence, combined with the recent turnover of another position in the same department really left that department scrambling to get things covered.

I’ve often heard the expression that it’s the tough times that let you know who your friends really are, and this case was no exception. I remember too when I was first diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and major depression that I really found out who my friends were, and much to my surprise, there weren’t that many.

In this situation, my first reaction to the news that this guy was going to be off for a little while was to figure out what I could do to help him. The following thought was simply, “if he was here to tell me how I could help he’d tell me to do everything I could to help his boss get things covered”. Since he and I are good friends, that’s exactly what I set out to do, and in the process I’ve actually become much more of a friend to his boss than I was before. Luckily my skills match up with some of my friends job, so I could help her out with getting things covered, but more than that, and not to toot my own horn, but I think she was just relieved to have someone come and ask her what they could do to help, as opposed to complaining about things not getting done faster!

Anyway, my point in talking about this isn’t too brag about myself or the others who stepped up to help, nor is it to complain about the people who didn’t. It’s more to pose the challenge to you, the reader. Are you the kind of friend who responds to trouble in other’s lives with “How can I help?” or are you the kind of friend who keeps their distance from other’s troubles?

I know which choice I’ve gotten more fulfillment from the last couple of weeks. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve formed some bonds and attachments with people in my office that wouldn’t have been possible without that experience of working hard together through tough times. That’s a pretty good reward for working hard. A lot better than the reward I’d get from doing nothing.

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One Comment

  1. It’s a good thought and while I would like to believe that most businesses are like that – I know that where I work, if you were to offer up your help, they take advantage of you and then when you least expect it they stab you in the back.

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