Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Work Tales

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 comments:

Ann said...

I have a plant...

kStyle said...

It's a start!

Narya said...

I don't, yet, but I've only been there <6 months. I'm acquiring one, sort of--the Aging Queen has taken a liking to me, has nicknamed me "Butch," because I'm the most butch person in the office, grabs me for visits to the lanai, pops into my office daily for a chat. He's in his late 60s.

I have made friends at work--I still have contact with three people I worked with in Philadelphia 25 years ago, and with two people from the substance abuse place, and several people from grad school, and Friend is from the last workplace, and Bossman continues to contact me occasionally. It makes all the difference in the world. p.s. if you told me offline, would I know who it is?

kStyle said...

Your new pre-friend sounds very cool.

No, she's not someone you know. She's not in production.

Larry Jones said...

I have an office wife. We nag each other, help each other, cover for each other, get on each other's nerves, hug before one of us goes on vacation -- just in case. We've gone to lunch, visited each other's homes. Our real spouses know each other.

But our chaste love, though real, exists only at the office, and if it were not for these damnable jobs, we would never see each other.

kStyle said...

Larry, that's very sweet.

Your last comment, But our chaste love, though real, exists only at the office, and if it were not for these damnable jobs, we would never see each other, reminds me of the episode of MASH when Radar goes home. And that's making me weepy.