Some people say that you never truly leave High school. Thankfully, that’s only partly true.
If you’re anything like a Glee kid, a band geek or a self-oppressed outcast, odds are that you had a pretty rough go of it during those four years in hell. Luckily, I came out of my High school career relatively unscathed. While I don’t wish to ever set foot in my past again, I’ve learned that High school never truly leaves you.
It’s not the nickname they stuck you with (let’s face it, being called Allergy hurts a bit), it’s the type of relationships that are formed and continue to form years and years later. I had a great group of friends in High school, they were my saviors in baggy jeans and converse. We helped each other get through the day with laughs, high-fives, copying each other’s homework and sometimes, with a little song and dance. Whether we were belting out “Hey Jude” in Spanish class or gossiping in gym class these people made up my inner circle that made me want to go to school everyday. The outfits I would coordinate with my close group of girlfriends made me excited in the morning to not walk into class in my pajamas and actually dress appropriately. When you spend almost eight hours a day with a group of people, it makes a difference between getting through it with a smile or getting a slushee thrown in your face.
The same goes for a workplace environment. Although, slushee’s are less commonplace, getting through an eight hour workday with people you don’t like could be torture. Many great companies incorporate a comfortable work environment with actually having the comforts that their employees need/want. For example, some companies instill nap times or have a brainstorm room that has a Fischer Price basketball hoop. Some have fully stocked kitchens with every kind of cereal imagainable, and others just have people that you click with both in the office and out.
To me, liking your boss is almost the same as liking your teacher. In a way you look up to them, learn from them and seek their advice and critique. Co-workers make up your classmates that you sit with on a daily basis, singing the latest Lady Gaga song on Pandora and eating lunch with them at the same table. I’ve worked at jobs where we were not encouraged to socialize and if we ever got up from our desks we were watched from the moment we did or said anything. I had one confidant at that job and she left shortly after I did. The next subsequent jobs I made friends for life, the same way I did in High school and college.
I knew a hiring manager who would ask a series of personality and problem-solving related questions to candidates whose answers would showcase their ability to think on their feet and their ability to possibly not their themselves so seriously. If they passed, they were ultimately hired. The average shelf-life of an employee there has been a minimum of three years and best friends for the rest of your life.
There are also your typical stereotypes in both settings–the Mean Girl (my group of friends at work call ourselves The Plastics), the jock (self-explanatory), the nerd (the IT guys, and the ones who you ALWAYS want to be on their good side), and the person no one wants to be stuck sitting next to (the guy who never knows how to end a conversation).
The moral of the story, kids, is that in order to make it anywhere…get by with a little help from your friends.