In the course of a lifetime you will meet, greet, seat and basically entertain many types of people. Some are family, extended family. Some are childhood friends, high school friends, college/university friends. Others are from congregations like those from houses of worship. Then there are the sports colleagues/friends. The most unique friendships are those that are begun at workplaces. Are they friends or acquaintances or can you be lucky to find a kindred spirit?
I truly believe that the universe brought me and Bob the Builder together. I had just started a new position and was requisitioned to find a new maintenance person for our building. This was Head Office. Sort of like the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz. I had posted a job opening on several websites and waited for the resumes to come flooding in. After a few days there were numerous resumes and I sifted through them to find someone who would meet our needs. I emailed Bob for an interview and thus began our future work/crazy-fellow-cohort relationship.
Bob was hired. Bob….a.k.a. Long Bob (as his license plate read) was ready to rock ‘n’ roll and get our workplace up to snuff. This meant making sure everything was up to code and in working order. YIKES! He meant business! There were sooooooo many things wrong and poor Bob was told “it was always like this”. That didn’t make it any better for Bob. He knew about codes and what fire departments would say and he tried hard to make sure everyone understood the importance of safety. Poor Bob. His first few months were difficult, challenging, almost impossible. Luckily for everyone…Bob survived.
Suddenly there were emergency exits. No one could park there. There were new lights in the parking lot so everyone could feel safe going to their cars at night or early mornings. The snow was cleared early in the morning so that there were no more slip injuries. Bob listened. Bob reacted. Bob worked hard to get everyone happy and safe.
When I left where Bob and I worked, I knew Bob and I could remain friends. Facebook is my place where I only allowed family and a few close friends to peruse, but Bob had become a close non-family member. We had joked a lot. We had laughed a lot. I did want to keep in contact with him because he lived life like I did…with smiles and laughter.
Bob and I did keep in touch. He would send me messages via Facebook and I loved his humour. After 5 months I came to the same company but at a different location and with a different position. I love my job. I love being in Customer Care. I talk to customers. I talk to my technicians. I am basically a “yadda yadda” person all day long. My gift. haha! I am no longer at the Head Office. I am now at a branch location and loving every day. Too true. I love working with the people in this office. The camaraderie, the jokes, the helpfulness. Yeah…it actually does exist and I am living it. Boo-yah!
So imagine my surprise when one day Bob (the Builder) shows up at this wonderful new building. Well, not truly new…more like.. “new-to-you” building. I know this used to sound like a dirty word, but I will totally disagree on this point. This building is beautiful! The colours are neutrals that I love. There are rubber floor tiles. The kitchen a.k.a. lunchroom is packed full of cupboards. There is a new fridge and by-gosh-golly a dishwasher! There was nothing like that at H.O. Also our work spaces are not the usual quarantined receptacles. I can actually look at my colleagues and ask questions. The partitions are not that high. It really is like working in a dreamscape. This is true until Bob the Builder comes around.
Bob is big on safety. The first week there he ensured that all the emergency stuff was up to par. Stuff like lights that go on after you have lost power. There was a list of stuff and Bob the Builder was ready to tackle all challenges. However, there was one challenge he did not expect. Me.
Being part of a new main office, everyone was being assigned a name badge that would be assigned to their desk. Super cool! Bob the Builder came to our location to facilitate the labeling of each person’s locale. I seriously thought he was joking when he said he had no name plate for me. It was true. So, I cajoled, bickered, laughed, and dared him to get me my name plate. At the end of the day, he had hung up my name plate holder perfectly. However, it was empty. The two other options I had were: “CONFERENCE ROOM 2” or “PARTS CAGE”. You can probably guess which one I chose. However, I got none.
Today, Bob came in for some other work and I kindly inquired about my name plate. Dear Bob said he had it in the truck. He came back and slid my name plate into the empty slot. I was so happy…until I read…STORAGE. hahahahaha! Good ol’ Long Bob! Not only did he find something shorter than PARTS CAGE he explained that it was pronounced in French: Sto-raw-zh. I feel special and we are laughing about it at work . Salut! Bob the Builder. You have brought joy and indiscretion and total chaos at work. I salute you!