HR Strange But True

These Coworkers Had More in Common than They Thought

They say your coworkers become like family (well, you might spend more time with them than with your own relatives.) For a woman in New York State, this axiom became very real.

When Jenny Thomas was employed at a hospital in Rochester, New York as a patient-care technician, she worked alongside Nita Valdez, a patient transporter. While the women did work well together, they only had a cordial workplace relationship and nothing more. This may have been because Thomas was outgoing and comical, and Valdez was very quiet, according to an article in The New York Post.

Thomas always knew she was adopted. Growing up, she looked into women’s faces to see if they bore a resemblance to her. When she had children herself, she always wondered what kind woman her mother was and what kind of grandmother she would have been to her children.

While Thomas had searched for her birth mother on the Internet for years, she found nothing conclusive. Then she learned on Facebook about a new TV show, Long Lost Family, and that The Learning Channel (TLC) was seeking people who had lost contact with a blood relative.

With the help of, the show researches public records and conducts DNA tests to find and reunite the subjects—if they consent to the reunion.

Thomas was selected for the program, and the show did, indeed, find her birth mother. During the filming of her episode, Thomas was shown a picture of her birth mother, and she cried out “I know her!” It was Valdez, the woman she had worked with years before!

Thomas said she was shocked because the two had developed no real connection other than performing their work tasks well. Plus, she had never noticed any similarities in their physical appearance—or their personalities.

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