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After all is said and after all is done / God only knows which of them I'll become - MrPutter: doing things the hard way, because it is there.
June 5th, 2014
01:37 am
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After all is said and after all is done / God only knows which of them I'll become
Compartmentalization. It can be a strange thing sometimes.


So a little while (6 weeks or so) back, I helped a friend get a job at AWA.

That’s. A bit of a strange thing, in and of itself. For multiple reasons. But is also not the point of this post.

The point is... I don’t know, entirely.

It’s interesting, the way in which we (“We?” Or just “I?” Maybe this is just me?) compartmentalize things. And, uh, people. Without intending to; without even realizing it, until the fact is thrust in our faces.

And so as I’ve discovered, I apparently have a mental compartment for “friends,” and another for “coworkers,” and the boundary between them is not nearly so permeable as I might have previously anticipated.

And so now my erstwhile friend sits in this weird neither-here-nor-there purgatorial zone of being both but also being neither. And I suddenly have no idea how to relate to her. It’s not deliberate of course. Indeed I would entirely rather this not be an issue. But ahhh if only I could just will my brain to work in a certain way...

Instead her desk is right there beside my office, and I spend almost the entire day ignoring? her. And I notice it. I notice how I treat her different from all my other coworkers. And I’m angry at myself for it. And I wish I knew how to change that; how to deal with her either as with my other coworkers, or as a friend like she used to be.

But in the meantime, every interaction feels forced. Because every interaction is something I have to force myself into. Because I’m just apparently incapable of dealing with this sudden abutment of “friend” into the workplace.

Uh, help?

Current Location: T2M 4E6
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: Fleet Foxes -- Someone You’d Admire
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From:chu_hi
Date:June 5th, 2014 08:28 am (UTC)
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Don't beat yourself up too badly; people get awkward, people get weird, people do things that don't make sense even to themselves. I've had to own up to a lot of things. Honesty is usually appreciated; if you have trouble finding words in person, maybe try writing it down. Copy and paste from here, if that's easier. I can't speak for all women, but I prefer to know where I stand than to be in the dark, even if the standing isn't the one I prefer. And if you're confused, it's okay to say you're confused, if that's the truth.

Hope it works out, cool guy. *hug*
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From:mrputter
Date:June 5th, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
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> can't speak for all women, but

Ok let me hasten to clarify, just so there's no confusion (and this may not have been how you meant that, but well anyway) :

“Friend” in this case is literally just “friend”. She being a “she” is purely coincidental — could have just as easily been a guy and I don't imagine anything would’ve changed. (At least I hope not? If so that would be a whole other kettle of fish and I don’t even want to think about that.)
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From:chu_hi
Date:June 5th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
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It's just a generalization, but I meant that women prefer communication over an absence of it.

I did read "hook up with a friend," though. Oops.
From:reluctance
Date:June 6th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
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I made that read-o as well.
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From:mrputter
Date:June 6th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
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*ahem*

Thanks for the heads up on that. I’ve tweaked the wording a bit to lessen the chance of that particular confusion.

(To anyone confused, the clause “I helped a friend get a job at AWA.” used to read “I hooked up a friend with a job at AWA.” That wording was a tad unfortunate.)
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From:frandroid
Date:June 5th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
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So yeah, talking about it will help. You don't need to write a long apology, you can write a short one with an invitation to continue face to face.
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From:mrputter
Date:June 5th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
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Ha.

Actually the apology in my other post was about something quite different. Totally unrelated to this. That’s... another story. Sigh.
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From:hsifyppah
Date:June 5th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
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That's pretty normal. I've dealt with it in the past by addressing people differently. When I worked for my dad, I called him Perry at work and Dad at home. When joe's mum stops by my store, I call her Dr. Lunderville when we're speaking about patients and Peg when we're talking about babysitting. This is maybe not something you can do with a friend, but maybe mentally creating two different user profiles - I'm talking to WorkJane right now, I'm talking to FriendJane later - would help? I'm sure it's a bit weird for the friend too - the odd "It feels so weird not to chat with you when you're right there! We'll have to catch up at the pub later." or something can clear the air.
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From:frandroid
Date:June 5th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Your professional voice was so WEIRD the first time I heard it. Who is this?? :)
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