I find it very strange we can spend 40 hours a week with people, for years, but never allow them further than the parking lot, into our lives. This is normal for American life, 5 days out of the week. Of course there are a small few who get invited to happy hours and lunches or maybe even a birthday party but for the most part they are not A-listers in our lives.
I also find it strange, when we finally leave the place where we gather daily, we are perfectly ok with never seeing these people, ever again. Oh we have the greatest of intentions and always say, “Hey, let’s meet for lunch or happy hour next week” but those plans never really come to fruition. We don’t have the desire to value those kind of commitments any longer. We instead tell them to look us up on LinkedIn or Facebook.
We have gone through adversity with these people. We laughed together, complained about the “Man” together, got angry and even sad at times. We have spent many late hours collaborating and working to achieve great goals or to put out great fires. If you think about it, some of the most challenging times when we need to depend on people the most, are sometimes with fellow employees.
Why is it ok to completely leave and put them on the social media shelf to be accessed later when we need a reference or get our resume in front of someone?
I have had the displeasure of working with people whom I would not spit on if they were on fire but those interactions are rare. What I have had is the honor of working with some of the finest, nicest and most compassionate people I will ever meet and it saddens me, at times, that we are conditioned to treat our past relationships like the past jobs we left.
I think a culture shift needs to happen where we consider relationships to be our greatest assets no matter where we cultivate them and we should value them as any other friendship.
I do miss those friends.