When  looking at my own satisfaction with my current job and jobs in the  past, workplace friends play a big role. I think most people can relate  to the feeling of starting a new job and not knowing any of the other  workers there. It’s isolating, awkward and slightly nerve wracking  wondering whether or not you’ll like anyone or if it will remain that  uncomfortable for as long as you work there. So, once you do start to  find your place at a job and people become more friendly, you feel like a  weight has been lifted from your shoulders. As Vernon (2010) stated,  friends at work provide a sense of belonging (p. 17). However, for the  most part, it doesn’t go much deeper than that.

Personally, I have mostly only experienced work friends that stay  work friends. There is usually no actual intimacy or deeper meaning  behind the friendship. I am even guilty of the avoidance of coworkers in  public areas that Vernon (2010) talks about (p. 20) and have made many  excuses as to why I can’t hang out after work. However, I have made a  few friends from the various jobs I have had. Usually, there’s something  different right from the jump though. We have almost always had very  similar interests or personalities before becoming friends that helped  our friendship develop. For example, I am a big Alabama football fan.  When I was working at my current job, a girl came in for her first day  back after returning from college and I didn’t have the best feeling  about her. But our first day working together I was trying to make small  talk and asked her where she graduated from. She told me that she went  to the University of Alabama and even had Roll Tide tattooed on her  inner lip. At that moment, I knew we would be friends and still are to  this day. I think the result from this event had something to do with  her openness and willingness to share something so personal but  humorous. This reminds me of Adam’s Smith idea that people who were  courageous, open, comical and distinctive would have friendship come  their way (Vernon, p. 34). So, although I think it is hard to extend  friendships from the workplace out into the real world, I don’t believe  it’s impossible-it just takes certain people to do it.

Vernon, M. (2010). The meaning of friendship. Basingstoke (England): Palgrave Macmillan.


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