Chicago, IL-On Tuesday, a tear dripped stoically down a manager’s worn cheeks, across a tranquil smile and onto the mahogany desk below. The sight of a group of coworkers tolerating each other at a mandatory birthday celebration proved overwhelming. The manager looked on in awe and reflected on the glorious culture. The faceless coworkers exchanged dull pleasantries while internally scheming the inevitable retreat to their respective desks. One coworker suggested “The weather has been nice today,” another replied “It seems cooler than usual,” to which they both agreed that there was in fact weather and that it sometimes changed.
The manager looked at how much they had grown as a testament to her leadership, growing from complete strangers into peers forced to endure each other on a daily basis. A sturdy bond, forged in the eternal flames of corporate America, bound by passive aggressive emails and incompetence. The transformation was incredible and substantiated the emotional onslaught in the barren office.
Two men stood, vacantly grinning, discussing a sporting event that neither had watched nor had any interest in. One employee asked if his voice sounded different in the morning versus the afternoon, no one could be certain or cared enough to reply. This was the mecca of growth and innovation.
Another tear dripped gently from the manager’s eye, she returned quietly to her desk and in time so did the rest of the coworkers. They always returned to their desk.