I've been enjoying work much more lately, even despite the rodent that died in my office vent, forcing my evacuation to less noxious space. This new enjoyment is ironic, given that I may be at long last extricated from this job in the near future. Why do I enjoy it more? Is the work better? Is it the new title I received in February? The raise? No, it's that I at last have a good friend at work.
Now, I have many work friends, but that's different. Then I have some people-I-like-to-hang-out-with-outside-work, but we are too busy to talk at work and not that close, in a sense. And I have three or so people at work whom I once would have called "friends," no qualification, but I've realized something: It is not a friendship when I am the "therapist". I spend all our time together either 1. listening to their problems, or 2. enjoying a shared activity, but there's no, "How are you today, kStyle?" Granted, these three or so people are truly having hard times in their lives, but it makes a person feel used after a while, to be the sounding board and therapist, but receive little care back.
But I've become actual, real friends with one coworker. We catch up each morning, unless it's very busy. We take a daily afternoon tea/snack break together. We converse with each other--mutually--about both work and our lives. I referred her to my super-gentle dentist, because she has panic attacks at the mere thought of visiting the dentist, and she called me from the parking lot after her first tooth cleaning in 6 years to tell me how it went. (It went so well she gave the dentist a hug! Ha!) Now, in case this sounds creepy and seventh-grade, I hasten to add that we don't often take our lunch breaks together and we do talk to other coworkers. But we have clicked in a way that I was missing, and that I didn't know that I was missing. I haven't had a true friend at work, I would say, since C. left 5 years ago.
Do you have a real friend at work?
6 months ago