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Everyone has one. If you don’t, you’re either anti-social or you have a shitty job. While you may or may not be friends outside of work, this person makes work more tolerable, always has your back, and will let you hide in his or her office for a much needed break in the name of “technical assistance.”
I have a work best friend. His name is Jimmy. He’s an IT jack-of-all-trades type, and is the leader of computer wizards that wear jeans, Vans, and have every button buttoned-up on their St. John’s Bay shirts. I often find myself shooting the shit in his Star Wars and Bill Murray adorned office.
You have to foster the relationship. Jimmy was one of the first people that reached out to me. Most of the people I work with have children my age, so there wasn’t really a connection. In his late thirties, Jimmy is not married and lives a casual, carefree life. These things also happen to be my interests, so there was a natural chemistry. Be yourself and you won’t end up a work-friendless loser. Think I Love You, Man at work.
You also have to be a true friend, and not just some kind of work acquaintance. Every time he needs to get away from fixing whatever computer virus a baby boomer gave themselves that day, or the hordes of people that track him down to “ask him a question” that turns out to be a 30-minute dialogue, Jimmy comes to visit me. A man of choice, he’s well versed in music, nerd culture, guns, cars, etc. I also don’t squeal on him when he uses his e-cigarette in our strictly “non-smoking” work environment.
Jimmy has helped me out of plenty of tight spots. He keeps me in the know about computer use audits and makes sure I am never on that list. One time when I was drunk, I slammed my mouse in my laptop. A trip to Best Buy to fix this would run around $250. For a 12 pack of beer, I purchased a new screen and he had it working again in 10 minutes.
We’re always there for each other. I walk to work, which is about a mile walk with varying inclines and declines. On one particular day, the perfect storm hit without warning: everyone was on vacation, I forgot my keys and had some serious deadlines. Our “office administrator” acts as if I’m asking a monumental task for her to help a guy out and let me into my cubicle forest. Being the great guy he is, he saved me from a guilt ridden lecture about the importance of “workplace professionalism” and “remembering to bring my mind to work” by opening the door with his master key. Jimmy always has my back.
This thing is going to the next level. Originally, our relationship was solely a “work” friendship: a friendly face to make boring small talk to avoid having nothing in common with anyone. In our small college town, there are some pretty decent bands that play. On one particular Friday night of $3 fireball and $10 buckets, I spied Jimmy across the bar with some younger piece. While not the best looking guy, his personality is absolutely great. The guy is a party animal. A quick hobnob, me putting in some good words, buying a few rounds of shots and beers, and he and first date younger woman were “going back to her place” for what I knew to be a one way ticket to pound town. That’s how I imagined it, anyway. On Monday, while walking through the hallway, Jimmy passed me with our mutual boss. A simple nod of approval was all I needed.
Work sucks, but having a work best friend can make even the worst job more bearable. Again, while this friendship may be professional, never discount the fact that your work best friend may be wearing the same façade as you. Rage on Jimmy.
Please feel free to share any work best friend stories in the comments section..
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