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Our Turn: It's easy to take co-workers for granted, but not Crystal

I've seen reporters come and go during my journalism career — some are reserved, some are in it for the fame, most are incredibly gifted and, honestly, most fade into my memory.

Then there are people like my current co-worker, Crystal.

It's weird how co-workers can become friends without really noticing when it happens. I think it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the people we work closest to.

After all, when you think about it, we spend most of our waking hours together in this little cubicle space. She knows when I'm crabby, I know when she's having a good hair day, she knows when I'm "in the zone," I know when she's frustrated and just needs someone to listen.

I know she has a love-hate relationship with her elliptical exercise equipment.

She tolerates my relationship advice.

She is sooooo not a morning person.

This workplace friendship just happened and I'm grateful it did.

She has taught me to lighten up; I love that Crystal can easily laugh at herself.

She has taught me to try the "scary technology stuff;" I love that she challenges me.

And my goodness, the girl makes me laugh daily. She has this wacky, dry sense of humor that makes me laugh out loud when I least expect it!

It's pretty easy in this line of work to disconnect your emotions and just plow through the writing process, but Crystal doesn't seem to let that happen. When something ignites her spirit, she dives into the assignment and gives it her all. She has taught me that it's OK to be passionate about a topic and write about it — I love that she digs into diversity issues.

Our staff has undergone a major change in the way we write and paginate articles and it's because of Crystal's tenacity that we are where we are today with technology. She continued to push when this crusty bunch of veterans didn't want to budge.

But we budged because Crystal politely nudged. She was patient and continues to calmly answer our repeated questions. God bless her because we have a lot of questions.

Co-workers come and go. We enter and exit each other's lives, eight hours a day and good or bad, we learn from each other. We leave an impression on each other every work day. It's easy to take co-workers for granted, but there are a few out there, like Crystal, who make work a fun place to be.

I'm pretty sure she'll move on to advance her journalism career and when she does, I want her to know she'll be missed -- not only because she's our technology guru with all the answers, but because she's become a good friend.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133