While walking the dog tonight, I suddenly got the Blog-Gag – the delayed reaction of horror in realizing that it’s quite possible the coworker who’d hurt my feelings today will read the post and damn me to hell. God, I’m so stupid. Not a savvy blogger. I should know better – my mother found my blog and wrote scathing e-mails I didn’t have the energy to read about our religious differences – and I didn’t even know she knew what “Goggle” (sic) was. I am dumb.
The thing is, if we were just friends, not work friends, I’d be able to ask her directly about her behavior, instead of just writing about it. I’d ask if she were mad at me and she’d probably say no but if she said yes then we’d hash it out and then either stay fast friends or go our merry ways.
But we work together. Closely. And we have a really good working relationship – we agree often and disagree constructively, we chat playfully, we side with each other helpfully. We get along so well, I’ve long harbored a desire for the two of us to go off into the sunset together, starting our own business, writing books together, making money and becoming famous together – having fun along the way.
But attempts to extend our work friendship haven’t gone entirely well – mostly because we’re very much alike – sensitive and opinionated and sometimes too easily hurt. We’re like sisters in that way – except we don’t have the blood relationship linking us beyond our petty differences – we have work, which doesn’t so much link us beyond differences so much as make them big and insurmountable, possibly pitting us against each other – if we let them.
I know there are women out there who make friends at work and keep them through the years, both in and out of the office. Same with the old office romance – I’ve had one (it’s still going on, sans office!). So I know it’s possible. But it’s hard. At least it’s hard for me. Friendships are hard, work makes them harder, and it’s difficult sometimes to know how to keep your distance – if you should keep it – when your cubicles are right next to each other.
I do love my coworker, by the way.
And not just because she could be reading this.