Coworkers can make or break a job. Even the worst job in the world can be bearable with great coworkers! I'm super fortunate because I work with a really fun group of people. Despite the fact that I work at a hospital, where things can get busy and intense, I spend an inordinate amount of time laughing. My coworkers are definitely one of the best parts of my job.
Part of the greatness of coworkers at the hospital is that I have a whole bunch (honestly I think the hospital has 3,000 employees!) of them from many departments. There are people from some departments that I see frequently, but never really interact with. I sometimes make up stories about them.
Specifically, I make up stories about the staff members of the Inpatient Psych Unit (IPU). In my mind, if the hospital was high school, they'd totally be the cool click. They're all attractive and cool and always look like they just stepped out of an Anthropologie catalog. When someone from the IPU gets on the elevator, one glance at their cute little outfit and their amazing accessories tells you where they work. The fact that they work on a locked unit really adds to their air of mystery and coolness. It's like they're all members of an exclusive club from which I am excluded.
An IPU charge nurse getting ready to round on patients.
The whole IPU gang.
Just kidding! Although many of the people who work on the IPU seriously dress like this - at work - the above captions are totally made up and all images are in fact from Anthropologie. In reality, there is not some hipster version of Grey's Anatomy happening in the super-exclusive IPU. Actually, they do some amazing work with tough patients and every time I talk to any of them on the phone, they are lovely and kind.
My own unique brand of whimsical thinking extends past the end of the work day. A good example of this is occurred when Roomy and I first moved into our apartment. I kept seeing a small shadow out of the corner of my eye. Naturally, I decided we had a ghost cat. Roomy sort of humored me and it was sort of a peripheral inside joke for a while. Then, late one night, I noticed some smudges on our sliding glass door that looked like someone had written us a note. I squinted and turned my head and I thought I read "LET ME OUT."
I looked at Roomy, who was getting ready to go to work and leave me home alone for the night and said "I think something is trying to get out of our apartment." I began that statement with a casual flippancy, but by the end, I realized that it was a statement that really belonged in a horror movie. I started to freak myself out. Then I thought about the spectral shadows that I had seen and I really started to freak myself out. Of course, as a grown woman, I do not believe there is really a ghost cat in our apartment, but what grown woman doesn't have a small remnant of a little girl lingering inside, and Little Nicole is terrified of ghosts! "Roomy," I said. "You CAN'T leave me home alone all night with Ghost Cat!"
We all know that hysteria is catchy, so within a microsecond, Roomy, our friend, Christina, and I all went from casually hanging out to genuinely scared. I was about to beg Christina to stay the night so that I didn't have to be alone, but decided to suck it up and investigate the lettering on the sliding glass door more carefully.
It turned out that it actually said "LET ME IN," which scared me significantly less. It is much less scary to have a creepy thing lurking outside the apartment than inside. Then Grown-Up Nicole started thinking about how words might have been written on the outside of our third-story apartment. I thought back to a few months before, when we had a party and some of the boys locked another boy on the deck. I suddenly recalled that he had breathed on the door and written LET ME IN and made a sad, puppy dog face until they unlocked the door.
Mystery solved. But Roomy and I decided it was much more fun to imagine that we had a Ghost Cat than to own up to the reality that we do not clean our sliding glass door very often. Since then, Ghost Cat is the official third member of our household. He's the destructive, messy one. He's constantly doing naughty things, like spilling bleach on the carpet, eating the last cookie and bending the tips of my expensive knives. He's a jerk. He's also a whimsical figment of my imagination.