At my last job I became very close with my partner. I considered him one of my best friends in fact and he said the same thing to me. Let’s call him Barry…because that’s his real name.
He came into the company to replace a very well liked guy (my old partner) and I knew everybody would constantly be comparing him to the old guy so I decided to really try and make his transition easier. I did everything I possibly could do to make his job easier and we hit it off from the very beginning.
He was a great friend to me when I was pregnant with my last child. In fact, he was the only person from our office who came to visit me in the hospital after my labor. He had been out of town all day long and when he drove back in and got the message that I had had the baby he came straight to the hospital. It really meant a lot to me.
He and I had to travel together a lot and we got to know a lot about each other during those long car trips. I know a lot about his life growing up (which was awful). I know about his kids and his family (which are great). He doesn’t trust very many people because of things in his past and I felt honored that he trusted me enough to share some of those things with me.
I defended him against criticism in the office. I stood by him when I discovered he was cheating on his wife and tried to counsel him as best as I could even though I hated the situation. I was put in the middle of their marriage when she called me to ask me if I knew what was going on. I lied for him on numerous occassions with our boss when he left the office to see his fling or meet his buddies for a drink or round of golf. I carried his weight around the office because I thought he just needed some time to blow off steam every now and then.
We had some tremendous fights but we seemed to emerge from them with what I thought was a stronger friendship. People in the office used to remark that we were like an old married couple and we fought like one too.
I truly and honestly cared about and loved this person.
When I got a better offer at another company I was torn. I knew my leaving would be a hardship on him as we were the best team in the office. I told him about it before I ever discussed accepting the offer with anybody else (outside of my husband). I even considered NOT taking the new job that had a substantial salary increase because I cared about our working relationship and our friendship so much more. (Crazy, I know).
He assured me he wanted what was best for me and my career and that me being at another job wouldn’t affect our friendship. In fact, the exact quote I kept hearing over and over was," You’re leaving a job…not me. We are always going to be close and nothing will change that."
I took the new job and almost immediately we stopped communicating as much, which I knew would happen and I was fine with that. I expected it since we were no longer partners working with each other every day.
We met for lunch a couple times. We exchanged emails back and forth and talked on the phone every now and then. But we have defintely lost that closeness I thought we had.
Fast forward to 6 months later. Yesterday was his birthday. I called to tell him Happy Birthday and we talked for a few minutes. He said he missed talking to me and we should get together and have lunch sometime soon. I then said, “Why don’t you let me take you out for a birthday lunch on Friday?” I also said something about some other old co-workers going if they wanted to. He said it was a great idea and he would call me this morning to see how the day looked. He sounded excited about getting together and we talked like we did in the past for about half an hour. I was really happy to be having lunch and catching up.
He calls this morning around 10:30 and we decide to meet at 12:30 for lunch. I decided around 12:00 that I would run out and grab a birthday card for him so I called him and said that I had an errand to do and I would just head over to their office when I was done and would see them at 12:30. He said that was fine and would see me later.
I get to the office building at 12:25 and call him. I get his voicemail but he lives on the phone so that didn’t surprise me. I decide to walk on up to their floor and say hello to my old co-workers and see if he was ready to go to lunch rather than sit out in the parking lot.
I walk in and start talking to the receptionist and after a few minutes she says, “Well, what brings you over here today?”
I tell her that I’m there to take Barry out for a birthday lunch with whoever else wants to go and she looks at me very confused.
She then says, “Aries, Barry left around 12:15 going to lunch with John Doe.” (another former co-worker of mine). WTF?
I felt like such an idiot. He has my office number and my cellphone number. It would have taken him 5 seconds to call and tell me he couldn’t make it. I mumbled something to her about getting our wires crossed, left the card with her to give to him and left the office.
Sauron has tried to tell me time and time and time again that this friendship was one sided and that I was the one putting myself out there and doing all the work and Barry just used me. I never really wanted to think that but it’s true. I am such an idiot. Nobody can take advantage of you unless you let them.
I could have called him and asked what happened and listened to yet another excuse but I didn’t. I’m tired of trying. You can’t force a friendship and although I truly thought we were close he obviously doesn’t care about it so why bother?
In the midst of typing this rant I get an email from him that says:
“Hey…sorry I mised you. Had to meet with someone on an account. Thanks for the card. We’ll talk later.”
It is just common courtesy to pick up the phone and call someone if you can’t make your plans.
I have very few people I honestly consider friends. I have a lot of acquaintances but very few people I would classify as a friend. I’m a loyal, loving, good friend and I deserve better.
I don’t want his friendship anymore.
Sauron, back when we were just friends, would have never done this to me. My best friends, Sherry, Michelle and Jonathan wouldn’t do this to me. THOSE are friends.