We all have fast paced lives and that take us in different directions. Work schedules change and we slowly drift away from friends who seem to live on the opposite side of the world, but they are only on the opposite side of the work week. Before you know it, years have passed and you wonder where all the time went.
I don’t normally work Monday night, but I switched work days because I gave a presentation the night before.
That night I ran into an old friend on a call that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. It was like a reunion as we gave each other a hug. We stood there happy to see each other with smiles on our faces.
For a brief moment there was no work pressure. There was no rush to fly off to the next call. It was just two friends standing in the street at a traffic collision scene. We talked briefly and then it was off to other calls. The moment was brief, but lasting.
About five hours later another old friend called to ask a question about an arrest she had just made. I never see her either because of work schedules.
There was the quick hello of two friends who hadn’t spoken to each other in a long time. It was a few work-related questions and then we were off the phone because we were busy.
Those particular people reminded me about the other great friends I’ve made over the years while working this job. People that I have shared the same crazy calls with. Friends who have seen the same gruesome sights with me. Friends who have been frustrated by the events in the world around us. Friends who have felt like no one appreciated us when we were giving it our all.
We have all shared in the same nonsense, tragedy, scary moments and frustration. We have all shared and seen the worst that man is capable of. We have all shared and seen the worst that can happen to people and their families.
All of this has created bonds that few people can understand unless you’ve been in the same boots.
The experiences at work have created friendships that will last forever. One day when we are wrinkled and have more gray hair, we will be able to look back at all the times we laughed when normal people wouldn’t have.
We will be able to smile at all the inside jokes that only we could understand from working the street. We will still be able to tell the same gross stories over dinner and not even think about it.
These are things only work friends can understand.
When I finally put my badge on for the last time, I will know this job was really about the people.