Following on from my post about personality type and work, I started to think about what other forces could bring together the motley collections of people I often find myself thrown together with at work.
It seems that once you realise you are going to be stuck with people for any length of time, you start to try to get on with them, and part of this process involves looking for connections between you; reasons why you all find yourselves in the same place at the same time, every day. It’s hard to believe that things are completely random, so when something seems too much of a coincidence to be true, we start to think that it was Meant To Be.
Jung called this tendency to look for patterns and meaning in the world around us sychronicity. It seems to begin early in life, so I am going to begin with the connections my 11-year-old found on her first day at high school:
1)’Listen to this AMAZING coincidence!’ she said ‘My new BFF has a surname that begins with the SAME LETTER as mine, we both have a birthday in April, AND we’re in the SAME FORM!! How amazing is that?!!!’
(Hmm, is it such a coincidence to be in the same form as someone whose surname begins with the same letter as yours? I wondered. But, knowing I try to impose patterns on my life in the same way, I let this pass).
Here are some of the connections I have found:
2) Star signs and birthdays are always a good one so I’ll begin with the bar job I had where all three bar maids (myself included) turned out to be Aquarians. Our birthdays were clustered together, within 3 days of one another. This obviously meant that we were destined to be friends and have one big birthday party.
3) Being left-handed is another. Every now and again, I meet another person who is also left-handed. Apparently this is more prevalent in social care and medical workers, but it still seemed unusual that the whole of the social work team I was part of – again, a group of 3 women – were ‘lefties’.
‘We’d all have been burned as witches up on Pendle Hill over there, give or take a few hundred years,’ said one of us, looking out of the window in the general direction of the hill, which was not far away. We bonded over this near miss.
4) Another time when I met a fellow leftie, I moved into a house-share with her and two of her friends. The friends were right-handed, but by incredible chance, we discovered that all four of us had been born in Africa, where our parents had been working at the time.
‘It’s not that unusual, people just went to Africa in the ’70s,’ said the most pragmatic of us, but it still seemed like an extraordinary coincidence.
5) At my current job, someone observed at the monthly ‘ward secretary’ meeting
‘Wow, we all wear glasses. What a strange coincidence,’
This is an example of a completely un-noteworthy coincidence. Surely anyone who stares at a screen all day is bound to need glasses sooner or later? If this is all we can find in common, no wonder none of us can muster any enthusiasm for work’s Christmas Do…
What do you think? Have you ever found striking similarities with people you have met, and wondered at the coincidence, or thought that your meeting was Meant To Be?