Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Old Team

Tomorrow, I am meeting with my ex-coworker from my current job. I'm excited to see her, as she was the one person I managed to get very close to in my first three months of the job, and it would be good to make a go at being friends in earnest. But I fear what happens all too often: that the longer separated professionally, the less we will have to talk about. Ex-work relationships tend to happen that way.

I still hold a very dear place in my heart for everyone I worked at Borders with: it was, by far, my longest-lasting job, and I worked their from before the store opened till after the store closed. We had our fair share of scary-crazy types, and I had one too many run-ins with them. But overall, I felt that we forged a kind of family. Somehow, all of these years later, I still feel like that.

I wondered, the other day, what would happen if someone miraculously re-opened the store and everyone who worked their before worked their again-- like the way Nathan Fillion describes how quickly all of the actors from Firefly would go back if someone bought the rights to the show and rebooted it. Would I take the job back?

The short answer is that I couldn't possibly afford to, in the way I worked their before, and I suspect most of my co-workers on the same page. I like to think most of us are making at least a little more than we were then, though I know that's not necessarily the case for the salaried management. When I was a supervisor there, I believe I was making $10.45 an hour. When I quit management to go back to school and worked as a Bookseller, I think it got knocked down about a dollar-fifty. It's really sad to think of how many of my coworkers were making way less than that fairly miserable amount.

I make a living wage now-- nothing spectacular, but enough that I could support myself, modestly, if Dan and I were no longer together. (There's this whole rant about how frustrating it would be for me that Dan, who makes about the same amount that I do, would have it so much easier because he has no debts or bills thanks to parental intervention, but it's neither here nor there.) It probably won't be long before I begin to itch for more, but it's a decent living, or what passes for one nowadays.

If the fantasy Borders team got back together, I would definitely be on-board as a part-timer, though. At least one day a week, even if I did have to commute all the way back to Brunswick. It would honestly be so good for my social life just to be there again, with that group of people.

I had every intention of staying in contact with the old crew, and I guess I've maybe done better than most. I've gone out of my way to drop in on people like Holly and Jasmine, and stayed, albeit sparsely, in contact with Andrea and Bill on Facebook. Jim and I manage to get together for an hour or so every couple of months.

But, even still, we talk almost exclusively about the old days. How much we miss people. How great it would be to go back.  If we're still getting together a few times a year in ten years, will we still be talking about this one job we once had?

In my perfect world, Jim, Andrea and I would form a team to meet at a bar in Topsham or something for a weekly Trivia night. We'd invite everyone who worked at the old place and they'd show up whenever they could, fleshing out our team with a Tara one week and a Bill the next. A few good friends, a couple of drinks, and the weird amalgam of knowledge that one gains in working at a book store for years.

We'd be unstoppable.

Day 27. On with it.