I was looking at the asphalt walking slowly to my car, thinking, “This is it. This is the end.”
I’m not dying. But, it’s true. I’m moving to a different company. Starting Monday morning I’ll be sipping coffee, about 15 minutes across town from the people I’ve worked with the last 3 1/2 years.
Office life is an odd thing. After sitting next to the same group of people for most of your waking hours everyday, you become part of a community. Inside jokes, office enemies, team victories, Internet Explorer bugs; over time these experiences build a micro-culture. Different rooms have different auras. Each personality adds a unique flavor to the mix. No office is exactly the same.
Only those in the region around your desk belong to your tribe.
Outsiders are received with cynical squinted eyes. Sales people are watched with ninja laser beams. Only your eyes move, following them as they stroll gingerly past. Your heart sinks as they pause at your comrades desk.
“Be strong, my friend!”
But it’s too late. You can only watch in horror as they learn how the feature being requested has already been sold to the client. Your fellow warrior is bleeding from the face.
You quickly send instant messages mocking the situation to ease their pain.
“… yeah, we’re gonna need this by the end of the day. Thanks! See ya later.”
You resort to some hilarious tweets.
Your friend smirks.
With a screech and a clank the gears of productivity jerk back on task.
Its battles like these that create soldier-like bonds between office mates.
Now I face the challenge of becoming part of a new tribe. Are they ninjas? Robots? Ninja-bots?
Whatever they are… I’m ready to fight.