Scarcely did my future supervisor send out an office-wide email introducing me to my future colleagues, when I received a personalized reply from one Andie Moody. A Chicagoan by way of Texas, my new colleague offered to give me the lay of Illinois over a phone call. She and her husband had resided in the Windy City for nearly six years and as a young, bright, female employee at my future employee, she could offer me advice specifically in that vein. Several weeks later, unprompted, she opened her network to help me find potential roommates and threw out neighborhood and commute suggestions as I sat on the steps of the New York City public library. In true Texan fashion, she also insisted I attended her birthday party, which coincidentally turned out to be the first day I’d arrive on Fulton St. Of course I showed up.
In the year or so that I called Andie my coworker, I inherited more than an office neighbor with a gift of interior design. I found a woman who lived on purpose: what collage of festivities would make her sister’s bachelorette party most memorable? How could she hold the line during the bleakness of winter? What would be a gender inclusive version of Tie Tuesday? How could she coax her colleagues into spending a work day in Chicago? What might be a better way to on-board new young colleagues? Could she up her running ante? Could she bike to work? Was there a career option that allowed for grad school–and a more sustainable commute?
In our time together, Andie found answers to her questions, including the last one.
Will our friendship outlive the confines of 465 Gunderson Dr.?
Will I find another career co-conspirator who injects such friction and mirth into my office life?