Friends/colleagues/allies (HLD 352)

10 March 2021

A photo popped up in my Facebook memories thingy this morning – of a group of women on a coffee date.

Nothing new in that issue. I have coffee dates on a regular basis. At least weekly, but often on multiple occasions across a week.

It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. We can’t all sit and talk to Oprah about our issues for three hours. Some of us have to do it without cameras.

Television cameras, that is. There’s a fairly good chance I might whip out the phone and take photos to commemorate the occasion 🙂

This bunch of women are work friends. We have all worked together off and on at some stage seeking school uniforms. We have never all worked at the same time, but our relationships individually have been strengthened over many shared experiences.

We shared memories such as trying to convince a fashionable young lady that her proposed hem length is not conducive to school regulations, like trying to explain to parents that – as in every other shop in the world – you aren’t allowed to try socks on. You simply have to know your child’s shoe size. Shared memories of trying to convince parents that buying a larger size piece of uniform is simply good economy, and has nothing to do with the fact that you are running desperately short of the smaller size that is actually perfect for their child. Shared horror stories about stocktakes, desperately needed deliveries that haven’t arrived, and feet so sore that you’d hand over your kidney, or simply the contents of your bank account, for a foot massage.

They are war stories from the front. They are things we share. They are memories we will not forget. (Until we are old, maybe. We aren’t old yet. Kind of.)

Work friends are really good friends – at work. You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, you know how to relate to each other to get the job done. You share stories from your life outside work, and feel as if you know each other very well.

Some work friends are outside friends as well. But mostly not.

Do your work friends know you better that your outside friends? There’s a good chance they might know your weaknesses better than your outside friends, because they probably spend more time with you, and in more pressure situations than your regular coffee crew.

Friends are friends. I had coffee this week with a friend I hadn’t seen for a long time. She lives on the other side of the country now, and our lives have gone on without regular contact. She is still a good friend. I loved spending time with her catching up on our families and chatting about people we both know. We don’t need to have regular contact to maintain the relationship.

I’ve sent a message to my group of work friends, suggesting that it’s time we catch up again. It’s been a long time, and there has been a lot of water under a lot of bridges since we last gathered as a group.

It’s time to remind ourselves of our friendship. A friendship formed haggling over sock sizes, but a friendship still.

Cheers, girls.

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