A retired company president; business development executive; CFO; HR executive; technical operations executive; and me (public servant). That's what we are now -- but 16 years ago we were work colleagues on a management team in the same cable TV company.
The work was challenging, the hours long but it is the fun we had that I remember most. Whether dressed in gorilla suits or as a drag queen (that was the president - and I have the pix to prove it!, lip synching to Frank Sinatra at the national convention or serving up tacos to the staff - every day brought something to look forward to and laughter was guaranteed. And isn't that how it should be?
We were bonded by genuine mutual affection and admiration ... but that doesn't mean we tiptoed around one another. Heated debate and strong opinions bounced around our management meetings, voices would get excited and louder - and as it is with friends, it usually culminated with us all going out for lunch. The teasing was relentless -- starting with the president who I thought was a dead ringer for Gandhi ... and told him so. Then we had Master Baker Bob (say it as fast as you can - 3 times) whose homemade muffins earned him his nickname.
I could go on and on. And I did - last night when we all met for dinner. It's been 16 years since we've all worked together - the hair is a little greyer and there's a little less of it, our features are fuller and softened with the few added pounds (not everyone), and we are a little mellowed with time. Yet a few times a year we still meet to retell the same stories, tease and chide each other and catch up. (Ever see the movie Same Time Next Year?)
How many grandkids is that now?
Still married? Still single?
What's this Twitter?
Your son is how old?? Played any golf? Kids still living at home?
How many cats does that make now?
But most of all, the sentences start with " Remember when ...."
I swear my sides hurt from laughing so much. If laughter is therapeutic - then I'm cured! Over the years I have come to appreciate that this work environment with these special people was unique, a twinkle in time - a gift. Thank you.
We care about one another -- we did then - and we still do.