Saturday, September 11, 2010

Community in Coworkers

A year ago I admonished against spending too much time with your coworkers. I still stand by this advice, particularly as I've realized recently just how much time I spend with some of my coworkers.

After graduating from college I looked for a new community made of what each person needs: friends, acquaintances, an enemy or two. Family was spread out and though I had a few good friends in the city they didn't necessarily make a cohesive group. Over time I found a fairly reliable community at work. Put people of the same same age and interests (frankly sometimes age is enough) in a building for several hours each day and a few friendships are bound to develop. But sure, we found common grounds in our approach to work, namely through our varying degrees of bright eyes and bushy tails.

Perhaps if I would've listened to myself more I would've realized that I needed to put more effort in developing community outside work. For one thing, the line between friends and coworkers may be fairly fine. If you have a fallout with your friend but still need to see her 40 hours a week it's painful. Putting these more extreme situations aside, befriending your coworkers means 10 additional hours a week involve discussions about work, rants about coworkers, and complaints about how you don't want to talk about work (but did you see when---). Then something like your coworker friend coughing reminds you of something your client Lilly said or worse, some task you need to do with Lilly.

I do have friends outside Empoder but I want to nurture and expand this part of my life. Would be Interesting to revisit this in a year.

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