Who here loves secret Santa? Besides me, of course! There’s just something so rewarding about planning the perfect gift for a co-worker. You see, they’re not your average colleagues, nor your average friends. There’s something special about a work relationship you don’t get anywhere else, and even then it depends on the work itself!
When I used to work in retail, the things your co-workers knew were so strange. You would talk about dates you went on, insecurities, worst drinking stories, your deepest ambitions for life. They would know both the most terrible and embarrassing things, as well your hopes and dreams. Dreams! Retail co-workers are the ones to decipher with. I think it’s that off and on chatting that lends itself to building that relationship. You can tell someone something, and then suddenly there’s a customer so you have to put it on hold, so when you come back, they have something insightful to say, or their own story, and none of this ‘oh my gosh!’ and then that’s that. Things go on, and seeing as you’re always adding, more than you expect is revealed. One of my closest friends I worked with… I knew how every single date he went on was, I knew about his drug habits, how his friends masterminded their game nights. But I couldn’t for the life of me tell you anything base, like his favourite colour, or where he went to school. Or uni. And he was at uni when we met.
On the other hand, when you graduate to an office, the dynamic shifts. Professionalism takes priority, if not for a few coy comments to those you most vibe with, which can be a glinting window into another world. Your office co-workers know the minutia of your life, your hobbies and your friendships. They know who you went to dinner with last weekend, and why someone else wasn’t invited to this particular occasion. They know that you’re on episode three of whatever series, and that you can cook pasta from scratch. And then there’s the personality. Because I’ve found that in a job which requires no qualifications, like in retail, there’s a need to appear cool or at least normal. In the basic sense. But when you have a degree, and a speciality, your quirks become vital to your job performance. I write copy, which means I am very anal about grammar. That doesn’t come from a strict education though, that comes from me being incredibly particular about a lot of things. So at work, I am very particular. Suddenly everyone knows several things I am very particular about, and it becomes part of their understanding of me. Incredible. Your interpersonal skills shine through. Your curiosities.
Any who, that was entirely off topic! I love secret santa because you have the opportunity to use all of this found knowledge and insight to buy an amazing gift, and they get not only a physical gift, but the gift of being understood. Is that lame? It is a bit hard with a budget, but I usually just scour some secret santa 10 articles until inspiration strikes.
See, it can be fun! Get to know your co workers, or have a little think about what you know about them that might be more telling than you first imagined!