Sunday, November 11, 2007

Work Friends

Last night, my husband and I went to the MN Rollergirls bout, which is our favorite winter date. Our teams, the Rockits and the Atomic Bombshells unfortunately lost to the Duke City Derby's Muñecas Muertas and the Denver Roller Dolls' Mile High Club respectively. But it was still fun.

While we were waiting in line before the game, we bumped into an old friend of mine from my Pier 1 Days. I probably had not seen him in 6 months at least and we had seen each other maybe two or three times since I quit the job two years ago. However, as we talked, it wasn't awkward or weird -- it was just fun. It was as if we had just gotten off of a night shift and were hanging out afterwards. It made me realize that I missed his friendship, but at the same time when we parted ways, I didn't ask for contact info.

I think that's the nature of some work friendships. I've had a lot of really close, good work friendships that have gone by the wayside since I've left the job. For instance, there’s the guy who made me dance on a box at a gay night club because I lost a bet or the other guy who predicted that I would marry my husband, when I only had been dating him for a year, or the girl who lent me all the episodes of Carnivale on video, so that we could talk about it during our shared shifts. I could go on.

With work friendships most of the contact revolves around the job -- hating it, loving it, trying to escape from it, or just talking about it. Certainly, when I saw my friend last night we spent a lot of time catching up with each other about the job. It makes me a little sad to think about it, but work is the common denominator, and once you've left that specific workplace, you've lost your tie to that person. It makes me feel a little cold to look at it this way, but it seems to be true from my experience. When work friendships extend outside of the job, which I've also had happen, it normally means that you have something else in common.

As my friend and I were talking, I realized how much my life has changed since I left that job. It seems like each job I've had contributes a little piece to my personality and my personality shifts slightly when I move on to a new job. Maybe that's why it's hard to maintain work friendships after the work isn't around. You have to change and develop new qualities, and the old qualities that make the friendship work need to atrophy.

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