Fantastic Friday - it is fantastic to find the good in the end of a friendship at work.
This is the fourth of four Fantastic Friday posts dealing with using what seems to be a bad thing for a good purpose. This post is about finding the good in losing a friend at work. Most people spend more time at work than with their families. The relationships we develop with friends at work are important and precious. In many cases, the fact that we are at work five or more days each week means that we do not lose touch with our work friends like we do with friends made outside the workplace.
By this point, almost everyone has heard the expression, "friends come for a reason, a season or a lifetime." It is a cute expression to talk about with our friends when everything is going well. However, it is hard to remember these words when a friendship is lost. Putting on our big girl panties and dealing with stuff means we have to realize some friends are ones we stick with for life and some are not. I met my husband at work when I was a pretty, young, nineteen year old. We developed a friendship and knew that no matter what,we would see each other four days a week at the community college where we both worked. Twenty-six years have gone by and I am now a 45 year old cutie with a few gray hairs. Darren is still hanging in here. I think it is safe to qualify him as one of those lifetime friends. He is a friend that I never would have made outside the workplace and ours is a happy ending sort of friend.
However, there are other friends, we make at work that become lost to us after a time. I had a friend who I worked with for several years. We met at work and never would have met outside the workplace. She helped me build my law practice and I helped her build hers. We shared good times and bad times. At one point I looked at her like a sister. Then suddenly and without warning, she turned on me, betrayed me in a horrible way and destroyed our friendship. Her betrayal caused me grave and serious professional consequences. This is an example of the fact that when friendships are created at work, when the friendship ends, sometimes the work gets effected.
If you lose a friend at work and still have to work together it can be difficult. If you discover your former friend is a liar or a thief, it will be difficult for you to work together productively. It will be natural for you to second guess everything she says. You will not be able to believe her estimations of abilities to meet deadlines. The possibility exists that you will not trust her assessment of people and situations. If the friend becomes your supervisor or someone you must report to, resentment may build up that makes it impossible for you to do your job or to even keep your job. Should you become her supervisor or someone she must report to, you may be harsher on her than situations require.
When a friendship at work is over, we can cry about it and mourn it, but we will have to move on. You must do as I say, put on your big girl panties, sit at your desk and get the work done. This is not to say you pretend the loss did not occur, but you must find a way not to be debilitated by the loss. Work has to be done and if you want to continue to earn your paycheck, you must find a way to get the work done. The loss of my friend at work those many years ago freed up some hours that I was able to spend on new friends at work. They have not taken the place of that lost friend yet, but I am spending time, getting to know them and am enjoying getting to know them better. For me, the loss of a friend who committed a horrible professional betrayal against me, has given me the opportunity to make new friendships. So, the question for you this Fantastic Friday is how do you find something good in the loss of a friend at work?