A Story About Coworker Friendships
From Forever to Never
Being a positive person, I tend to make very close relationships, very fast. In my working career of over 10 years, I have continuously jumped between companies and school, giving me the opportunity to meet some very unique people. Working with someone everyday usually turns into a rooted relation where we both share sentiments about not wanting to part ways or let go of the wonderful times we spend together. A common sentiment that often fades quickly as we each become immersed into a new journey. I never hold expectations of people as life is always changing and we all get busy. I do not like forcing fading relationships and as I grow older, I realize many people are attached to fading, if not already faded, relationships. Why? I have no idea, but I am frustrated given my recent, negative experience with an ex-coworker and now ex-friend.
I found myself in a slump, managing a dental office with owners that were uninterested in customer acquisition and overall management. On the plus side, I had the pleasure of working with a dental assistant who would spend full days with me planning, organizing, and developing training materials for staff to follow. It was amazing; we talked about everything from family, to personal relationships, to goals and future plans. We even bought each other gifts on Christmas and hung out a handful of times outside of work. The closest relationships, for me, are ones where others are able to execute actual ideas with me. It's the process of growing an idea from a baby to a full grown adult—an overall great feeling. Together, we experienced the terrible management of our bosses and went through a reorganization when they eventually sold the business off to another dentist. The details of our experiences were so special because only we will ever know what those times were like: Valuable lessons, despite it being a downtime for me.
It was not long into the new owners at the practice that I landed a position more suitable to my experience. I accepted the offer, trained the staff to the best of my ability, and left behind training materials and the flexibility to contact me if needed. I truly wanted to see the practice succeed as there were no significant circumstances opposing such goal. Upon leaving, everything slowly crumbled. Staff forgot my direction, did not follow the training materials, and were free to make up their own personal ways of operating—leaving an inconsistent and ineffective day-to-day operation. This was disappointing to hear, but the sunny side to it was that I still made an amazing relationship with the dental assistant, or so I thought.
Back to the Story
Prior to leaving, my "friend" made clear that we will not let our relationship fade. "You better not move on to better things and forget about me, make sure you keep in touch, we will have dinner together next month…and so on…" I appreciated that, and I made certain to honour my word and I did. I responded to all messages, calls, and requests for help at work and in their personal life and I always made a point to help further if they ever needed. Then they asked me for money a few times and I came through. Of course, they paid it back in a timely manner and it was never an actual issue, until all plans fell empty for more than six months. After more than six months at my new position, this "friend" would still make it a point to make empty plans. I was done entertaining this. Who has time like that?
I replied: "When are you going to come through? (with another plan to do something)" and "I'm never giving you any money again so if that's why you still keep in touch, you can forget that."
Her response? "LMFAO not even why. WTF. Okay cool."
Before I could even respond, she blocked me on all social media platforms.
My Reaction --> I could have concluded this sooner than six months of empty conversation, making plans that would never come to fruition.
I always give people a chance to prove that we are both worth the time we put aside from one another. Whether it's money, a shoulder to cry on, advice, or help with building a future project; I will be there for you. What I learned is to never be passive. The second my "friend's" empty plans and requests for money made me uncomfortable, I should have voiced it. It will save me time, energy and make my life more effective for what I want, in the future. If anyone makes you doubt your good feelings, don't bother.