Happy Together

Husband and I both work for separate Human Service Centers right now. His agency is in Bismarck. Mine is in our town. The magic of technology means that he only needs to go to Bismarck one day a week, and all the other days he can work out of my office building. The State calls it “Hoteling” when you set up like a squatter at another State agency building. He works in an office I occasionally use for testing, just across the hall. We spent part of yesterday scoring Rorschach Inkblot Tests together. How romatic, right?

This isn’t the first time we worked in the same building. We worked together in the same department at my current agency for 15 years before he retired the first time. I suppose it is fortunate we get along. We have spent a lot of time together over the decades. At least neither of us had to supervise the other at any time.

The people at my work tell me they think it is so “cute” when they see us at work together. I don’t quite know what they mean by that. We aren’t lovey-dovey or anything like that. I suppose it is sort of unusual to have a married couple at the same agency. I can only imagine the drama had we been at odds or openly hostile with each other.

How do you think it would have turned out if you had to work with your partner or spouse? Any stories about couples working together at the same place? Were you a Turtles fan in the 60’s?

38 thoughts on “Happy Together”

  1. We shared a single job for many years, which made childcare easier, but sometimes led to me feeling frustrated, because we couldn’t always “move things along” well together. We have different capacities and degrees of risk toleration, which sometimes led to conflict and frustration. When we divided the responsibilities in the job, rather than trying to do all of them in tandem, things worked out welll, and we continued that way for about 10 years.

    Yes, I was a Turtles fan, something that I’ve come to see in the same light as having been a Freddy and the Dreamers fan. Does anyone remember THAT act?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I saw a ‘Happy Together’ tour in the ’80’s… The turtles, the Buckingham’s, two other acts I don’t remember any more.

    Well, I grew up working with Dad, but he was definitely my supervisor for many of those years. Whether I thought I wanted him to be or not. And it took me a long time to get over thinking ‘What would dad do’. (Nothing against Dad, just learning to trust myself). Eventually he’d come out and help me, and then when he broke something he’d go back to town and leave me to fix it. 🙂 Kelly looked forward to coming home at night and hearing ‘Dad Stories’…

    Kelly and I haven’t ever shared an office, but we’ve worked together on a lot of shows. We do pretty good on home remodeling projects together. Mostly.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Poking around in the past, trying to remember the Turtles,and I am coming up with nothing. I don’t even remember them., although I dimly remember the song.

    I could not work with a spouse—any spouse, so I am not referring to Lou. It appears to me that family-based business face very unique challenges in which family dynamics affect the business, then the employees. I just can’t go there. It is hard enough to make a family or a business thrive. Combining the appears to me to be a recipe for disaster.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I couldn’t work with a spouse – too much togetherness. I did work with one couple who met on the unit, worked together on the unit for decades, and recently celebrated their 50th anniversary.
    “Happy Together” is one of my all time favorite songs. Another well remembered hit of theirs was “She’d Rather Be With Me”.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Husband and I have partnered on projects, with mixed results, but luckily haven’t had to do that for our livelihood… I shudder to think, as one of my main reactions gets to be “You’re not the boss of me!”

    We still have moments of that partnership, but some of it is lost since the stroke. Last week on a nice day, I had a cancellation, and Husband started washing windows – we spent the afternoon doing windows, mini-blinds, and getting cobwebs out of the corners. It was a wonderful day.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Working with my wife? Probably result in a double homicide. 😉

    My best friend and his wife partnered in his financial planning business for about ten years until he retired a year ago, and she took over. She had a solo career for many years before that and was a superstar. He still advises her, I’m sure. They seem to have made it work.

    On balance, it’s probably not a good idea for most couples to work together. Most successful relationships need time apart, IMO.

    Turtles fan? Yes, of course. Who wouldn’t have been? They sounded so “cutting edge” back in the 60s.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I don’t think we’ve had any spouses working together at my job. We have had at least 4 sets of parent and child; they just make sure one doesn’t report directly to the other and it seems to work out fine. Certainly those kids are better prepared for the work than some of the young employees from outside. Reminds me, my dad worked for the post office and around the time I was graduating from high school encouraged me to apply. Unfortunately I’d grown up hearing him complain about his lazy co-workers and especially about the management, so the good government benefits didn’t seem worth it!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. No, we could not work together. Could not even clean house together. 100% my fault I am told.
    Tutrles, never heard of them that I recall. See they formed in 1965. Rock music disappeared from my life in fall of 1963, which was a blessing. Then through yearbook staff I am aware of some from 1970’s.
    I had a few colleagues who were marriage partners but they worked in different departments so they did not really work together. One colleague married the supt. and became a snitch, which we taught her not to be by feedeing her misinformation.
    I knew four married couples who worked in their restaurants together, seemingly without any real issue. In each case one ran the kitchen and the other ran the front. In a few cases I have known the man ran a business such as excavation work or trucking or well drilling and the wife did all the paperwork.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Did a few side jobs with the x. Probably should have done that more often.
    Turtles, of course. But fuzzy hair guy, Mark Volman, was too clownish for my tastes.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Robin and I worked at the same company briefly but in different departments so not really together. The upside is that we could commute together and meet for lunch.

    Most of our working together is on domestic projects of one sort or another. We have differing priorities, naturally, and for the projects like plumbing or electrical work or carpentry that require particular experience I am pretty much on my own.

    With gardening projects and general yardwork, Robin seems to have clearer, more specific objectives so I let her take the lead and I serve as the crew—the muscle, as it were. The same is true when it comes to decorating decisions like paint colors, etc. It matters more to her and sometimes that’s an issue because I don’t have a clear opinion.

    When we worked together on something that clearly was in her domain but in mine as well, like when we worked to fabricate costumes for theatrical productions at my daughter’s high school for several years, we just divided up the work however it made sense.

    I remember the Turtles and their songs mentioned here but they made no impression on me otherwise.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I’ve obviously heard “Happy Together,” but if you had asked me who the group was, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. Not my cup of tea.

    Husband and I have never worked together except for on some major home-improvement projects, and for that I’m grateful. Husband doesn’t understand or respect other people’s boundaries, and is forever inserting himself where he has no business doing so. Most people tolerate it, but there have been some who have told him where to get off. I’m a firm believer that you pick your battles, but I know working with him would be a constant skirmish. You need to trust and respect each other’s expertise and integrity to pull it off.

    I know husband and wives who have worked successfully and harmoniously together, several in the restaurant business. At the law firm, we had a couple of father/son partnerships that were tense and visibly uncomfortable and strained.

    The dynamics between husband’s oldest brother (Peter) and their late father, and most recently between Peter and his oldest son, Lars, have always been very tense and competitive. In a city the size of Aalborg, when a family has established and run several successful restaurants for years, it becomes a matter of family pride to maintain that image of successful businessmen. Four years ago they celebrated, with much fanfare and publicity, the 100th anniversary of the family Mouritzen’s legacy in the restaurant business. Two years later, in part due to COVID, Lars had to declare bankruptcy, walk away from his long-term contract as the lessee of the largest convention center and restaurant in Denmark, and sell his boutique hotel on the west coast of Jutland. So far, two jobs managing hotels of former competitors have not worked out.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Sandy and I did meet on the job but we worked in different buildings. She did ordering for my boss through me. But when we got married I quit to go back to college.
    At my first school in October they were desperate for a school secretary, so we did work together but seldom even talked to each other, but we could drive to work together. On her third day in response to a comment I made about a form she had a normally very quiet girl made a loud comment about the stupid new woman in the office. I tried not to laugh but I could not keep a straight face. The kids were whispering to her that she was my wife. Sandy had checked a wrong box on a silly form. The poor girl almost died until I laughed.
    Later when she worked at the public library, we coordinated many things. Not quite working working together.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I loved my spouse and knew enough that whether it was in-the-office kinds of work or yard work, we mostly did not have work styles that were compatible. Just nope. I loved him, therefore I knew enough to leave the “together” time for other things. Raking leaves was about the only thing that we did well together – painting he left to me, dishes were his domain, weeding was mostly him, windows were me… it all came down to what we considered “good enough” and we knew where those differed. And had we worked for the same company, it probably would not have ended well either… lovely man with many fine qualities, one of them being knowing when we should both stay in our own domains.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Confession to Baboons. I put too much of my life deceived that work was to provide for wife and kids. It was an excuse to get out from under her control. I did nothing to put her in my work life except delivery of a check. Not a good relationship. Had I involved her more in that part of my life in an honest way we would still have been together. There were brief times of closeness with work as the catalyst that I should have recognized and encouraged. Moving on.

    Liked by 7 people

  15. Husband left later than usual tonight for Bismarck. He spends Tuesday night there, and works at his agency on Wednesday and drives back home Wednesday night. I always worry about him hitting a deer this time of year.

    Liked by 5 people

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