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November 23, 2011

Are You Spending Thanksgiving with Your Coworkers??

Filed under: Engagement,General HR Buzz,Work/Life Balance — Joyce Marsh, HR Consultant, SPHR @ 10:31 am

Many years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of having a minor accident shortly before Thanksgiving.  I escaped unharmed, but my car had to go to the shop and parts had to be ordered to fix the damage.  The loaner car the body shop gave me was a four-door Comet, brown in color.  My friends and I affectionately named it “Crash Comet.”  It was one of those cars with a personality which appeared at unexpected times, such as the back door flying open while driving down the street.  However, it served its purpose of getting me to my college classes and to work at the bank.

As Thanksgiving Day approached, I was told my car’s repairs were not going to be complete.  My family lived 200 miles away and obviously Crash Comet was not in any condition to make a roundtrip of 400 miles.  My budget was tight so renting a car was not an option.   A coworker came to my rescue and insisted I spend Thanksgiving Day with her family.  It was a wonderful memory I will never forget.  I was thankful to have a coworker, and friend, to welcome me to their table on Thanksgiving Day.

However, that may not be the case of many individuals.  A recent survey by Careebuilder.com reports nearly one in five workers said they plan to celebrate the holiday with coworkers.  When coworkers were asked who they would rather spend Thanksgiving with, only 1% answered coworkers with 90% stating family, and the remaining 9% answered neither.  I’m assuming this survey’s responses are referring to those individuals who are spending the day with their coworkers because they have to, not because they are generously sharing their Thanksgiving table with them.  It is sometimes easy to forget the many occupations that never have a chance to have a day off, such as our hospital workers, policemen, and even cable television providers.  Heaven forbid our cable would go out during a Thanksgiving Day football game!

During the years, I have been fortunate to have coworkers that have become my very best friends.  I would welcome any of them to my Thanksgiving dinner table.  While my vote would still be with the 90% who prefer to spend Thanksgiving with family, I have also been in the 1% population spending Thanksgiving with a coworker.  I discovered there are reasons to give thanks, no matter who you are sharing this special day with.

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