Today is my last day at a temporary job that has lasted for nearly nine months.
Over that span of time, I have grown attachments to many of my co-workers. Attachments that are much stronger than the ones I've formed with co-workers at other, non-temporary jobs, some of whom I worked with for three or four years.
It's just hitting me today how much I'll miss my friends.
I don't know what it is about temporary assignments. But this isn't the first time it's happened to me.
Ten years ago this summer (ugh... that makes me feel old), I was awarded an internship in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Department of Education. The internship itself was fulfilling, but the best part of my summer was my off-work hours.
The internship was through Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for community colleges. That year Phi Theta Kappa sent 20 students to D.C. for internships, and we all roomed together in a handful of dorm rooms at The George Washington University (our dorm building was named Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall).
Over that span, I came to know some of those 20 students better than I know people I grew up with and went to school with my entire life. And to this day I consider some of them my very best friends. Others in the group I've lost contact with, but occasionally I'll run a web search to try and find a phone number or e-mail address, and I often think back to those days with fond memories.
This current experience is a lot like that. I've discovered lifelong friends here.
The good news is, all of my co-workers are local. During my DC internship, I was with people from Chicago, San Fransisco, New York, Florida and all points in between. So there's a much better chance that I'll be able to stay in contact with these folks.
I don't know what it is about temporary assignments.
But the quick bonds you form are often more permanent than any other relationships in your life.