Let's admit it, no one ever really likes going to work. I may enjoy my job, but after awhile I start to wish I was in bed watching Dexter with a pint of Ben & Jerry's. The one thing that never fails to get me through a shift, though, is my work family.
If you walk into my work, you know right off the bat we're all like family. In fact, a lot of our staff is actual family. Brothers, sisters, parents, you name it. You're considered "weird" if you aren't related to another person that works here. Even though I'm not related to anyone there (yeah, I'm one of the weird ones), I still feel like I am. Some of them treat me like their daughter, and I know I can go to them for advice just like I would with my own mom.
Honestly, I feel bad for the people who don't work in a family-owned business or don't have the same coworkers for a long period of time. I've been at my job since I was 17, and in that time, we've probably kept 75% of the same staff. I've seen the same faces for the past three and a half years, and others can say they've seen the same faces for over ten years. Not many chain restaurants can say that. Other perks include a slim turn-over rate, stricter hiring criteria and awesome benefits.
But one of the most unique aspects? We truly treat each other like family. We laugh and make fun of one another whenever the situation presents itself. Everyone has a nickname (mine is Sherp in case you were wondering). When it's slow we goof off, but when it's busy, we're all making sure each other is on top of our game. I've seen some of my coworkers at their lowest and highest points, just as they've seen me at mine. I've seen their children grow up, I've seen them fall in love and I've seen them excel in their lives outside of work. We're all pretty comfortable around each other; maybe even too comfortable, depending on who you ask. Sometimes, seeing each other 30-40 hours out of the week isn't enough. We even hangout outside of work, whether we're throwing a beach party, going to a concert or meeting up for breakfast.
My favorite part (and probably everyone else's as well) is that we are all the reason we stay. Serving is serving. There are tons of restaurants in the area that any of us could go to. Except it would never be the same. The reason we have so many regular customers and the same consistent staff is because of the relationships we've built with one another. We're such a tight-knit bunch, and that's rare to see in a lot of other establishments.Yes, every once in awhile we may get the urge to rip someone's head off, but who doesn't have those thoughts about their blood family? We get over it, just like real family does.
Basically, if you're fortunate enough to work in an open and comfortable atmosphere with some badass coworkers that double as friends, don't take it for granted. Your work family is just as important and necessary as your real one.