I spend roughly 50 hours at work every week, so it’s no wonder that some of my best friends are people I work with or have worked with. I’ve developed multiple friendships over the last five years only to lose them to new opportunities and occasionally, new cities too. Oh sure we keep in touch via email/Facebook/Twitter/blogging, but my work-life is never quite the same after they’re gone.
This week, I will lose another friend to a new city and while I’m so happy for her, I’m sad for me. I won’t get to see her friendly smile beaming back at me from down the hall anymore, or have the chance to make fun of her for walking up and down two extra flights of stairs to use the bathroom on another floor just for the excercise. We won’t go out to lunch anymore and I won’t laugh because I won’t get to watch her dip her salad into her soup.
My averse reaction to all of this might make one think I’ve never lost a work friend before. But I have many times. In fact, in celebrating my friend’s last week at the office, two other former co-workers and I gathered together with her for a couple of beers and a delicious meal tonight. In seeing all three of them together, I realized how much I missed them (and others who were absent) and how much I would miss Jen too.
I’m usually not the sentimental type because sulking does not look good on me, but I couldn’t keep my lower lip from jutting out and shedding a few tears on the drive home while Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” played in the background. Well, until “Hey Ma (we gonna get it on tonight)” came on the radio. That song totally killed the mood and kind of made me wish booty calls were an option for me. Strange how quickly moods can change with the tune of a new song. Anyway…
What I’m trying to say is, to all my friends I saw tonight: I love you guys. I don’t say it often (Okay, I’ve never said it) but I do. And not because I’ve had a couple of beers tonight, though that sometimes helps with the openness of emotions. And also not because you guys laugh at all my jokes, even though that also helps with me liking you. But because you have all been true friends, not just acquaintances one makes while at work. You’ve all been there for me when I really needed you and ours is a friendship that exists outside company walls. And I hope it will continue to be that way many years from now.
When I count them all up, I realize that I don’t have many “original” work friends left – friends that I’ve had since early in my career. Work friends that I’ve now known for years. But I will say this: V, if you’re reading this, and you leave me, I will…angrily flip over someone’s desk! But not mine, b/c I just organized all my shit. And not anyone’s that could potentially fire me, b/c well, I like having a job. But I will flip over someone’s desk! Maybe an empty one! And it won’t be pretty, I can tell you that. And if that doesn’t work, I will steal your Yoda and hold him hostage. And your Darth Tater. Because they kind of go together and need to keep each other company.
Bottom line: Work friends rock, losing them sucks, especially when they move to a different city.
There. Poetic, don’t you think?