When I worked at Hoerner-Waldorf, our work conditions were pretty loose. Everyone was salaried, and our work conditions were similar, in a lot of ways, to that of a family business. A part of it was the times perhaps, or maybe the fact that Hoerner-Waldorf wasn't as large of a company as Champion International. We would joke around about a lot of things. I don't think anyone went out of their way to try to offend someone, but neither did we have to be particularly careful about it because people weren't so easily offended. When Champion took over the operations of Hoerner Waldorf, after a proxy fight, everything changed. We brought the union in so we made a lot more money and got more time off of work, but the work itself wasn't much fun anymore. When Champion closed its bag plants and I went to Duro, conditions were even worse. As a supervisor, I found it easier not to have any kind of personal relationship (and I'm not talking about sexual) with anyone else who worked there. Work was work, and my life was elsewhere. I didn't like it. When I went to work with the City of Los Fresnos, a city the size of a small town, things were more informal, particularly among the EMS and fire department. As an EMS instructor, I came to know most of the people who worked in EMS and quite a few of those in fire and police services, since most of them became either a student of a coworker at one point or another. Teaching through Texas Southmost College, I mostly taught off-campus courses so I wasn't a part of any of the growing political correctness that may have, even then, been finding its way into the educational system. Catalina Ambulance was a great place to work, and most everyone who worked there still looks back on Catalina as being among their best experiences in EMS. At Texas State Technical College, since I taught on-campus courses, I was careful about what I said or did as far as my students were concerned but I only had a couple of full-time instructors under me, as well as quite a few part-time instructors, so we mostly had a good time of it. When I bought into the ownership of ACT, a private ambulance company, that was also a good experience, for the most part. There were employee problems from time to time, but most of us were on pretty good terms. As a supervisor, director, program chairman, or as a part owner of the company, I mostly tried for an informal relationship. I was, of course, mindful that relationships could change, and was careful about sharing information, but we pretty much had a good time at work. From time to time, someone would get offended over something. It might be something I had said, something they might have heard or misheard second-hand, or something else entirely. Since I didn't make a habit of offending people intentionally, I was sometimes confused by it. If it was something that I could understand or that I could reasonably feel responsible for, of course, I'd apologize but sometimes it didn't make any sense to me so it wasn't something that I could fix. Once that happened, I was very careful about anything that I would say to or in the presence of that person. There was no more joking around, and I'd pretty much only talk to them when I needed to. Nothing would change as far as their job was concerned, but there was no more joking around or unnecessary conversation. Maybe that's what some people prefer.