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Are you friends with your co-workers?

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
I'm a little conflicted with being pals with co-workers. I guess, mainly, I don't want my professional life tied up in my personal life. I try to keep profesional relationships to a minimum, I may go out to lunch every so often with co-workers and I've gone to one happy hour, and a few house warming parties, but I always distance myself.

Lately there has been one co-worker who seems to know, or want to know, too much about my life. Negative comments have been made about my wedding and my house. This co-worker came into work today to let me know they really like me house and when I asked how they'd seen it they replied, "I drove by your subdivision, toured the models, and even think we saw your house". :-c WHAT?!? Who does that? Our home is buried in a subdivision, I'm very tight lipped around this person because of the negative comments made to other co-workers about me, so why on earth would they seek out my house? I hope not to find any boiled bunnies.

So, on that note, what is the easiest way to nicely distance myself even more from my co-workers so they get it out of their head they'd be invited to our wedding or home. (Granted, there are some I wouldn't mind, but in an office setting feelings could get hurt.)
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I generally don't have co-workers in the same friend category as my regular friends. It always seems create conflict or worsen cliques/politics that already exist in the workplace. When we got married, I wouldn't have invited anyone from work, but one woman I worked with was in my wedding being a friend of my wife's. If you see certain co-workers outside of work, I would say it is a possibility they think they will be invited.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
ludes98 said:
...If you see certain co-workers outside of work, I would say it is a possibility they think they will be invited.
I've seen them outside of work once or twice, but that was about a year ago. I did go to another co-workers home where this person was a few weeks ago, but I just stopped by and promptly left.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Habanero said:
I'm a little conflicted with being pals with co-workers. I guess, mainly, I don't want my professional life tied up in my personal life.
I'd probably be fired if co-workers were involved in my personal life. That is if they wouldn't mind self-incrimination. However, I have gone drinking with a number of elected officials, but rarely co-workers.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Guess I've been lucky in making friends at work (e.g. Trail Nazi, Sister Celeste) who are relatively normal. But other than those rare occasions where I find a true friend, I don't actively socialize.

You seem to be handling things pretty straight-forward already. You don't need to make excuses or rationalize whom you choose to invite to those events. Your co-workers should already realize that you are not trying to be buddies with them. It may not be what they want, but that's their problem.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Zoning Goddess said:
...
You seem to be handling things pretty straight-forward already. You don't need to make excuses or rationalize whom you choose to invite to those events. Your co-workers should already realize that you are not trying to be buddies with them. It may not be what they want, but that's their problem.
But why would someone seek out my house? Should I worry she may try to crash our wedding too? Or happen to 'be in the neighborhood" and stop by?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Friends? Not in the same sense as "real friends". But there are a few that get together and toss back a few brews now and them. I find pretty mich all of my coworkers to be social out side of work settings, but not to the point of watching sports together at someones house, or going out to eat with spouses in a group setting.

Edit: I would have to say that Prudence was an exception when we worked together.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
I am, yes. But limited. The line between work and the pub tends to get easily blurred (no pun intended) when you develop good friendships at work and this can lead all sorts of professional problems.

Also, I guess some of the even bigger problems come about with those co-workers you dont become outside work friends with and end up in different office "cliques".

I try to be social with everyone to a limited extent. :)

**Of course, there are exeptions (both ways) to this rule, as people naturally have more in common with certain people and nothing in common with others. :)
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,917
Points
36
I guess it all depends on circumstances. I've made a few "good" friends through various places I've worked. I don't mind socializing with co-workers outside of work - obviously dependent on how well I get along with them at work and if there are any shared interests. I used to play golf once a week with a bunch of guys from the office, and now it's hockey. I've helped co-workers move/renovate/etc. too. I only say yes if it's someone I really value and get along with.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,509
Points
38
At my first job the entire department of 5 was pretty tight. We all got along great, got together socially on occassion and turned out some really good work as well. I think we were unique because we could all give and take criticism and never take it personally and no one took advantage of the friendship either. I still keep in touch with all of them and one in particular is one of my best friends. I realize now how much of a rarity that is. The people I've worked with the last two jobs are co-workers only to me. I don't consider any of them friends in the traditional sense of the word. In my current job the director is way too familiar with our secretary. Not a romance or anything more of a father/daughter kind of thing but the point is that the secretary is allowed to come and go as she pleases without ever having to take any time but yet the rest of us are watched like hawks. I don't go out of my way to be friends with my co-workers. If it happens great, but I don't push for it.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
Habanero said:
But why would someone seek out my house? Should I worry she may try to crash our wedding too? Or happen to 'be in the neighborhood" and stop by?
You can learn a lot about a person based upon their house. They've probably discovered that your not quite put together; a work in progress :p
(rimshot)
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
This whole building seems very asocial. Not hostile, just very few people who socialize after hours or even for lunch. Partly the demographics (older folks) and partly the work environment. I get along with people but never anything beyond that.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,443
Points
34
I am not friends with any of them, probably because I am the boss.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Hab - I agree with ZG, I think you're doing what you can already. This woman sounds scary. Don't give her any encouragement!

I have an 'interesting' situation at the moment. I am friends with a guy at work who is around the same age as me. His girlfriend moved here about 2.5 years ago and her and I have become good friends. She has been wanting to break up with him for a while and finally got round to it on Sunday and I have been supporting her. I would not share anything either of them said to me with the other person (he and I don't talk about personal stuff anyway). It's just a little strange knowing so much about his home life and seeing him at work, and being friends with both of them.

I have made one other really good friend here but she has moved away. We keep in contact and I have visited a couple of times. Apart from those two, I don't have much in common with the rest of the employees and when we have social functions I go along but make sure I don't drink too much, and then make an earlyish exit.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I don't hang out with work people outside of work at all. I will have lunch or go to the driving range with the public works director but that is about it. The one guy (a former infamous poster on here) who I did hang out with left for greener pastures and now most of the people I work with are 10-20 years older so that probably has something to do with it. In the past I have had jobs where I hung out with co-workers outside of work and I kind of like having "friends" at work. Sometimes a good happy hour every now an again will do more for workplace cohesiveness than any phony “team building” exercise.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Repo Man said:
Sometimes a good happy hour every now an again will do more for workplace cohesiveness than any phony “team building” exercise.
I'll second that! :b: :b: :b:
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,693
Points
71
The vets among us know that this is one area of civilian life that is very different. Active duty military personnel experience a lot more bleed-over from personal time into work time. As a non-rate or NCO you usually live in the same barracks with the folks you work with - lots of togetherness. Even as a Staff NCO you still have some off duty interaction with your troops (usually at 1 a.m. bailing their drunken butts out of jail).
Because of my service experience I am not unconfortable with after hours interaction with coworkers. I learned long ago to identify the back stabbers, save-asses and personal agenda pursuers and don't see any of this in the current crop of coworkers that hang out with me on occasion after work.
 

sisterceleste

Cyburbian
Messages
1,519
Points
22
Zoning Goddess said:
Guess I've been lucky in making friends at work (e.g. Trail Nazi, Sister Celeste) who are relatively normal.
Hey TN,
Can you believe she called us "normal"????????????????
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
I don't associate with my co-workers outside the office. Who would want to hang around with a bunch of geeky planners if you didn't have to? (Sorry planners) ;)
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
RichmondJake said:
I don't associate with my co-workers outside the office. Who would want to hang around with a bunch of geeky planners if you didn't have to? (Sorry planners) ;)
And that's why I hate going home to the ranch. It's all planner talk at that house between me, my mother, and her fiance. :-#

I think I'm just going to have to not hang out with anyone that hangs out with her on a regular basis, her, or really anyone from work. It's not that I'm anti-social, but damn, this is too close for comfort. I've been skeeved all day long and I don't want to confront her on it because obviously she doesn't see anything wierd about what she did and I don't want to push this and make it worse.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Habanero said:
But why would someone seek out my house? Should I worry she may try to crash our wedding too? Or happen to 'be in the neighborhood" and stop by?
I admit that sounds a bit like stalking. But maybe she's just Little Miss Office Gossip and was hoping to catch you building a Habitat for Humanity house for yourself. But as I recall, Trail Nazi once scoped out the home of a manager in our dept who was a real witch (not that I am implying in any way that you are like that) and just happened to live in the same teeny town as TN, and was able to report back on the totally decrepit state of the home, much to our amusement. It was just the gossip factor (not that TN is a gossip).

Hey, if the co-worker stops by, remember Dear Abby, people can only take advantage of you with your permission. Tell her at the door that you are busy, and say goodbye.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,792
Points
61
When I was working part-time in Denver, CO, I frequently hung out with a few people from work, made feel like I belonged even though I was a grad student.
Even helped a supervisor move.

But current job - no, mainly because I don't drink any more.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,414
Points
34
I work with a bunch of ladies that are 20-30 years older than me. Other than our contracted building inspector, who I don't see very often, I am the only male on the city staff. Since all of these ladies are older than me, they sometimes treat me like one of their kids (which has gotten me some tasty homemade cookies). We all get along pretty well, but we're not close friends like my other friends. I guess it's partly because we want to leave work at the office and hanging out with coworkers naturally leads to office talk. I did start a bit of a tradition though since the staff now goes to the little bar & grill down the street after work on Fridays.

The coworker you're talking about Hab sounds a little screwy though.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
I have not read the whole thread but, Hab, the line you quoted does not outright indicate to me, personally, that this woman went by the subdivision specifically to find your house. She may have had other reasons for touring it. Maybe the way she said it in context of the conversation sounded more like she was scouting out your house. But it may not be like that.

Sometimes people sound weird because they aren't giving the whole story and they have legitimate reasons for not wanting to. For example, I called my mom for mother's day and somewhere in the conversation I mentioned that, due to a mildew problem, I threw out my bed. My mom doesn't know that I plan to get divorced and I don't want to discuss it yet with my family. So, I didn't want to tell my mom that the single bed I am sleeping in is permanent, as far as I am concerned. I just said "You know, he was gone for 4 months when I had to throw the bed away and he just returned home recently. We haven't had time to deal with it." I tried to make light of it and say "Hey, it is a long story. don't worry about it." I am sure I sounded uncomfortable and weird about the whole thing. (So she calls me today and says she is sending me an early birthday present: money towards a down payment on a new bed. Sigh.)

But my point is that sometimes people have private stuff going on and they don't want to tell you that "I am house hunting myself due to an impending divorce" (or maybe she was meeting the realtor cuz they are having an affair, or who knows what? :-} ).

I don't know. I wasn't there. Maybe she outright said "I went cruising in order to search out YOUR subdivision so I could see YOUR house for myself, <smirk>." But if she said what you said, maybe she just happened to be there for some other reason?
 
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H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
RichmondJake said:
I don't associate with my co-workers outside the office. Who would want to hang around with a bunch of geeky planners if you didn't have to? (Sorry planners) ;)
LOL!!!!!!!! :-D This reminds me of a recent funny story...

Let me preface this statement by saying I am a 'geeky planner', but....

I try to mitigate that by having many friends that are not 'geeky planners' and who do other things and have other interests... and it is funny becuase the other day I met up with some non-planner friends right after work in my "friday casual" "planner uniform" and the first thing one of them asked me was "where have you been?...shopping at the dork store?".........:(

My wife was with me and thought it was sooooooo funny so now she asks me this everytime she see me :-S

(in fairness, just the very fact that that my shirt was tucked in made me look like a dork to said friend who spent most of his youth following the Dead)

So naturally I followed through by explaining the planning model to him for the next 3 hours.........only kidding :-D
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,174
Points
51
Maister said:
Because of my service experience I am not unconfortable with after hours interaction with coworkers. I learned long ago to identify the back stabbers, save-asses and personal agenda pursuers and don't see any of this in the current crop of coworkers that hang out with me on occasion after work.
* Yet tonight a bunch of us are getting together to watch SJ v Cal hockey game, drink a few chilled beverages, some recreational (and not so recreational) pool game. Yet Maister will not be there... he has other commitments. What could be more important than Beer, Hockey, and Pool at a locally owned business with friendly and diverse group of co-workers?


As for me, I will be there, but I am not as close to this group of people as I was when I lived in PA... mainly because here, I am almost 10 years younger than any other employee and almost everyone else is married. So I have a few core groups of friends outside of the office that I interact with on a more regular basis. When I lived in PA, I hung out with a few of the other non-married guys in city hall. At least once a week we would be at a local bar for wings, beer, food, and sports. (Or the Victoria Secret Swimsuit Runway Show)
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Hab - I agree with TZ and JNL - keep on keepin' on keeping your distance. You're doing all you can, but if she crashes the wedding, its time to have a talk with the boss.

As for friends with co-workers - at my last job at the consulting firm, there was a large contingency of singletons/dinks, and we were all pretty tight and involved with each others lives. In my new office, we're all married with kids and who has the time to hang out? We all really like each other, and share a lot with each other what's going on in our personal lives, but there is very very minimal off hours contact.
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
At my last job, all of the planners were social friends. We all went through the local grad school at more or less the same time, active in APA, etc. We were a pretty tight-knit group that worked extremely well together - BEK can vouch for that. We even established a "Planners Night Out" where we would go out to celebrate b-days, promotions, or just anything that called for boozing and food. We then got the boss from hell that pretty much disbanded our group when we all left the city for better jobs. We're still close, but not as tight-knit as in the past.

Now, my current job is completely different. Small firm, mostly engineers, family members and friends who have known each other for years, suburbanites that never leave their nest. I have nothing in common with any of them and wouldn't want to spend 5 mins with them past 5:00 p.m., with the exception of one person whom I can call a friend in the truest sense. The rest of them can go fly a kite.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
At my first planning job, where I worked for a small department on an Alaska island, the coworkers were friends. After all, they were mostly the only people I had contact with and with only 12,000 on the whole island, the friend pool was pretty shallow. When I got married, they closed the department for the afternoon, everyone went to our wedding and they even threw us a reception.

At my current job, we are much less chummy. We have a Xmas party, which is fun. One of the fellows I work wit has had us over for Thanksgiving twice and is a good friend. He has helped us move twice! Some of my coworkers I would like to be closer to, but there are others I see too much (at work).
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
Planderella said:
At my last job, all of the planners were social friends. We all went through the local grad school at more or less the same time, active in APA, etc. We were a pretty tight-knit group that worked extremely well together - BEK can vouch for that. We even established a "Planners Night Out" where we would go out to celebrate b-days, promotions, or just anything that called for boozing and food. We then got the boss from hell that pretty much disbanded our group when we all left the city for better jobs. We're still close, but not as tight-knit as in the past.
That's certainly the case.

It's a different situation with my current job. My-co-workers, most of whom are much older than me, are pleasant but boring people. I'm not interested in forming away-from-the-office friendships with any of them, with exception of one co-worker who's my age and has some similar interests.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Yes and no. There are a couple of people at work who I consider "my friends," partly because of a shared interest (bicycling, for example). I've traded dinner parties with my supervisor. It doesn't seem to create a problem.

There are other people in the Department I've never even seen their home or know really where they live.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Interesting topic.....

The founder of my company, now retired, was always a firm believer in that no management-level person should ever socialize with employees. Many people in my age bracket.....baby-boomers.....practice that.

I'm one (1) of a small group of management owners of the company now....and I have absolutely no problem with socializing with anybody.....management, not management, janitor, etc.

A group of us play basketball every week. Most of the same group also hit Frogtown Johnny's Bar & Grill (Toledo) every Friday night. Etc.....

Sometimes we discuss work.....but mostly we just "slam" each other and drink.

Bear In The Air
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
sisterceleste said:
Hey TN,
Can you believe she called us "normal"????????????????

There is a first for everything. "Normal" tee hee, that is funny.

As for stalkers, I am surprised that ZG has not rolled her former boss' house since they live around the corner from each other. Then SC lives in the same neighborhood with several other planners from the jurisdiction. I think for me, knowing where the others live makes me 1) understand why/who they are; 2) know how to avoid them when living in the same town.
 
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