Pat & I have worked for the same company for over 7 years now (7.5 for me - 9 in January for him), and even though we didn't work in the same group, I've always held him in pretty high esteem and very much respected him as a colleague - not just for his knowledge of cement and concrete, but for his personality and his ability to connect and relate to customers. For its one thing to have a lot of knowledge, but its quite another to be able to communicate that knowledge effectively to various groups of people. I shouldn't speak for him, but I will, and I'm pretty sure those feelings are mutual.
People may have thought it strange when I moved to Chicago and knowingly starting working with Pat in the same sales group. There's not many wife/husband teams that can do that successfully! Its not like we work together every single day, but there are days when we spend a lot of time together - during the day when working from home or in the office, and then in the evenings at industry functions. You know what? It really works for us. In fact, I think it probably has made our relationship stronger, especially after the birth of Liam - and definitely since my return to work. For one, working together gives us a way to connect outside of our procreation activities :) And I think that's very healthy! For another - sometime during the exchange of discussion of new testing equiptment, a holiday party, or proctoring for a certification exam, being able to admire him from afar, in his natural element, reminds me of why I love him so much to begin with. His warm personality, interaction with people, wittiness, charm, oh, and in the words of Simone while describing "Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago" the fact that he's "Devistatingly Handsome".
*sigh* I married a real, live, dreamboat. I couldn't be luckier!