My resume is Be With You full. I’m at the stage where I have to sum up my previous jobs with one line.
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No detail, a passing mention at best Friends .
I’m proud of my employment history. Though some say it’s too long, I wouldn’t be where I am now without the experience I have. Each job has added to me and taught me not to mess things up for the next job.
But this extensive working:
History has meant that I’ve met a lot of people along the way. When I took on my third job at the local cinema, I was one of 100 staff members at that location alone. I moved to three different locations during my time there, meetings hundreds of people.
Thinking about how many people have come and gone in my working life makes me sweat.
Every time I’ve left a job, the people I’ve left behind shed a metaphorical tear. They tell me how they’re going to miss me, how we’re going to keep in touch, and how much they want to keep me in their life. Touching, right?
But for most, after my last day has come and gone, I rarely hear from them. Our connection seemingly goes out the window as I leave with my box of desk knick-knacks. And when I reach out, I’m not met with the same love and admiration shown during our working days. Some pretend we weren’t even close.
You could say it’s a me thing. But I’m not alone. Every person I know has an experience similar to mine.
Here’s something I’ve learned you need to know — your work friends are not your friends.
The workplace ulterior motive Be With You
When we’re in the workplace, we’re all faking it. Ok, not to the extent that we’re being nice purely to keep the peace at work, and we aren’t being ourselves. But there is this undertone of being nice because we have to.
Being friendly and making friends is an unsaid part of our job.
With your boss looking over your shoulder, with promotions on the line, with the idea that working together helps you in the long run, friendships aren’t built on friendship.
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They’re built on this weird working survival.
It’s a reason why a lot of people don’t stay friends with you once you’ve left. They have new people to keep happy, and they don’t need you anymore. Sad, but damn true.
I do have a story about when this happened to me, but I would be here all day if I told it. That one is for another time with an entire bottle of vodka at the ready.
You’re out of sight, so out of mind Be With You
Sometimes your friendship fizzles because you aren’t there anymore. When someone leaves the workplace, it’s like they’ve died. They aren’t there in their usual spot in the office, and we can’t hear their voice anymore; they aren’t a part of our daily life. Gone.
But life still has to go on, despite this. And as life continues, your ex-work buddies find ways to be happy without you. Once this becomes the new routine, it’s hard to bring you back into it.
It’s a shame to think you could become forgotten. I know it’s not what I want to have happen to me. Yet, I’ve done this to people I’ve worked with over the years. I see photos of them on Facebook and struggle to recall their name.
If I can forget them, so can people forget me.
People say things to make goodbyes easy
It might seem strange when someone stops being friends with you after you leave the job, especially after your last day. What happened after your emotional farewell rinks where the person hugged you tight and wept for you?
Or when someone says they won’t stay in the job if you don’t, showing their solidarity to your friendship?
Then it happens, you’ve gone, and you realise it was a lie.
Perhaps not as strong as a lie, but it turns out to be something said in the intensity of the farewell they couldn’t honor in the long run. We say things to make each other feel better. We do this during breakups, promising to still be friends. Often we have no intention of keeping the promise. Other times we do, but then life happens.
If they wanted to be friends, they would maintain a friendship
There is always an exception to the rule.
We all know friends of friends who have work buddies from years ago or who have a strong social life with their colleagues now. It’s obvious their friendship is real, and my warning wouldn’t apply to them.
I envy these people, finding real connections in the work environment. But, unfortunately, it hasn’t happened for me or most of us.
If those friendships I made were real, they would still be alive today. We both would have held onto the connection, no matter the fact we no longer work together.