Sorry to bait and switch you but this is about the job, or what I refer to as the mistress. I say this because, as with many of you, the job seems to get the better parts of me sometimes. It calls in the middle of the night to say there is a problem, or “I need your help”, or I just miss you (i.e. oh man I forgot to do whatever, you fill in the blank).
The rougher side of this is when an attempt to involve your significant other is made. In the workplace a shirt and tie, wingtips, neat and pressed appearance are my mandate. There is always a sense of respect towards others with a return on that investment being of the utmost importance. For years, when I did drink, a work event in a social setting meant one and done. Enough to blend but not enough to be misconstrued. Let’s face it I am another person who has obligations to be the professional, hardworking, loyal, standup guy they have always seen. When I was younger I lacked the ability to laugh at myself. Sure I made fun of my foibles but did not readily point them out to those whose respect I garnered. This is more about how I got over myself so the two people I am can live with the two loves of my life.
My wife attended an event with me many years ago where I was going to be with some people who were influential and in whom I could develop my career (or could signal my demise), so I was apprehensive. It was a big deal to me. It was in my mind a signal that I was coming up in the world. We both got dressed to the nines and made our way to the party. When I arrived I introduced my wife around said hello to a few people and then sought out my host. She said hello and then asked me to tend the bar.
I wasn’t invited to be a guest, I was there to work. I only remember being crushed because I was seen as a great worker with little else in the way of social graces to fall back on. More importantly my wife was to witness it all. I apologized to her and said I was there to work but would leave her with some of my coworkers who were very nice people. They stayed near the bar all night so she could be near me. My wife was polished and is as friendly a person as you would want to meet. She was spoken of highly in my work place many times after the party because she just has a way of making you feel like the most important person in the room.
After the majority of the guests were done drinking and the party was obviously winding down I excused myself and we left. All the way home I was having one of those internal dialogues much like Milton from office space mumbling something about burning the place down. My wife sensed my frustration and hurt and reached over to hold my hand. She then told me how proud she was of me.
My outlook on my whole working being changed that night; now I include my wife in every chance I get to mingle with work. She keeps me centered and reminds me of who I really am and why I do what I do. For those who are lucky enough to have their own cheering section I say bring them with you all the time and happily introduce your wife to your girlfriend! Who knows the two just might hit is off.