I have been working at the same company for the past 5 years. Yet and while I hear some people calling their co-workers *family*, I still feel myself stranger. No matter how much of an easy going I am, and no matter how easy my communication with my fellow co-workers, and no matter me being the most friendly guy at the company, there are still huge walls (that I respect) that co-workers build around each other to protect their own privacy and background.
It does make me wonder if this is a normal behaviour among co-workers around the globe, or is it just different in Jordan where people tend to be cautious with dealing with others while trying to maintain certain boundaries that are built mainly on oral communication because of the cultural influence of empahsizing on words and its affects.
Maybe it also has to do with people’s differences and their moral backgrounds where I find myself *unique* in an environment full of strict religious people, mainly Muslims who don’t shwy of expressing their own set of beliefs, along with some other few Christians who are no less strict with their own beliefs as well but try to avoid expressing theirs because they are a minority, while bringing it infornt of me up at times where only Chrsitians gather togather because I am technically Christian.
Me, being closer to the non-religious side, and having a passion for argueing and getting easy information through other people talk, and with a special interest in people’s believes and behaviours, find my self continuously trying to hold my urges of going further into conversations at lunch breaks so that not to offend other people.
People would argue that this is a working place and that it is not a place of socializing, but I believe that work would be much fun when people are more comfortable with dealing with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my co-workers, and actually sometimes I do enjoy chit chatting with them, but I don’t feel that I have real friends among them, I don’t feel like I am among my family. After a long break or vacation I feel that I am stranger who are forced to deal with people on a daily basis without being able to feel at home in a place that I actually spend more time in than home, and with people who I actually see more than my close friends and my family members.
I believe that I am a person who loves to have close friends and family members around, even in business. Family businesses might have some disadvantage, but it does also give work a better feeling, like being at home, supported, and secured. Not an alien, dealing with strangers…