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The Joys of the “Work Spouse”

November 21, 2008

Do you have a “work spouse”?  I was recently made aware of an article on cnn.com called “Seven Signs You Have a Work Spouse.”  Who made me aware of the article?  Why, my work husband, of course!  Here they are, in order…

1. You depend on a particular co-worker for office supplies, snacks and aspirin – rarely a day goes by when he isn’t in my office for his afternoon dose of Motrin or a handful of trail mix. 

2. There are inside jokes that you and a specific co-worker share.  Totally.  We’ve worked together for about 10 years, and we work in publishing, so you can imagine we have  few of these.

3. You can be bluntly honest with this person about his or her appearance, hygiene or hair (and vice versa). You’re comfortable enough to point out that the other’s hair is sticking up — or that someone’s fly is down.  It is true that I never hesitate to point out when he’s dressed like “Bert” to the guy across the hall’s “Ernie”, or when his hair is having a wonky, fly away kinda day.  He’s never had to do the same for me because I am always impeccably dressed with perfect model-like hair.

4. When something eventful happens at work, this co-worker is the first person you seek out for a de-briefing. Not sure on this one.  He’s not always the most in the loop, because he, like me, works from home part of the time.   It’s usually the reverse on this one.

5. At breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks, your closest co-worker knows what to order for you and how you like your coffee (and vice versa).  Other than we’ve both in marketing and we like to eat, I don’t think we pass the test of question #5.  The best I can do here is share the knowledge that he doesn’t like Chinese food, and I could eat it every day.   

6. You and your co-worker can finish each other’s sentences. It really hasn’t come to that yet, but we do talk over each other. 

7. Someone in your office knows almost as much about your personal life as your best friend or real-life spouse does.  We certainly know a lot about each other’s families, but since we’re both married with kids, that’s our personal life.  Although I feel like he may know more about my personal life than Mr IT because we converse at work peacefully, rather than at home where there are a million more distractions. 

So, most signs here point to yes.  Not a surprise, but certainly funny to see it verified. 

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