Finding Community at Work

Sometimes coworkers are too much with us. Even with good collegial relationships, their presence can be too much with us. But in some lines of work, people go for extended time between opportunities to converse with colleagues.

One such occupation is driving a bus. On the bus from Boca to Puerto Vallarta I noticed a gesture towards community among bus drivers. When buses passed on the narrow, winding road along the coast, drivers greeted one another with a V sign. They only offered the sign to fellow bus drivers.

A Puerto Vallarta Bus Driver

These greetings stretched their identity a bit. Our driver is wearing the yellow t-shirt that matches the yellow trim of the local bus that has a 10km run with many stops along the way. In the picture he is greeting a blue-shirted driver of an express bus that covers much longer distances.

It’s good to have a defined community at work, but it’s also important to have flexible boundaries. There is an ever-present danger of establishing a narrow clique. It is always good to keep an open mind to the larger world.


  1. Dear Dr. Leiter:

    I recognize a great sensibility in your observations about this kind of gestures that sometimes people in our country (included the members of the same collective) hardly recognize as a value.

    When relationships between employees form different companies or corporatives seems to be agressive due to a conflict or competition, we can notice the presence of the principal stakeholder’s interests tryng to win positions, and not precisely a widespread negative attitude toward other companies employees.
    Something I’ve noticed: the perception of risks at work enforces this kind of gestures among equals, apart from other kind of economical or political conflicts.

  2. Heriberto

    Thanks for your observation. I agree that a communication, such as that in the photo, may be interpreted quite differently among those within that community than by those outside of it. An open mind is a valuable asset when one hopes to understand the world around you.

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