Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hello, Bye Bye

When I started working, I realised that how most friendships in the workplace don't really last very long.

While you are working together, you eat together, suffer together, get angry with one another. You enter the office and sit around people who might or might not talk to you for days or even weeks. Some of them you might have lunch with. Others, they are just acquaintances.

Then people come and go. Some quit. Some retire. And eventually, it comes to your turn and you leave too.

And you realise that the people whom you spent huge amounts of time with previously just suddenly disappear from your life. You see them around on facebook but that is it. You hardly meet up with them anymore.

It is truly amazing how we can spend so much time with colleagues but once somebody moves on, it is usually the "end" of the relationship as we know it. Amazing ...


  1. Unless you and your retired or ex-colleagues have common interests e.g. like stock investing or trading.

    Some of my retired or ex-colleagues, we still emailing each other on stock ideas and sometime we have lunch together for market talk or attend market outlook seminars.

    Activities like stocks investing/trading can last a long, long time.

  2. I share your reflections. Before working, how much time we have shared with our schoolmates? How many we can call our "friend" today? Facebook kind don't count.

    And whatever happended to the "brothers-in-arms" we met during NS?

    Ah! But the wonderful thing is that when we find our soul mates (I include some family members here), we recognise them instantly.

    The problem is not taking them for granted, or treating them like our "normal" friends.

    I now "discriminate" between my soul mates and "friends". No more mister political correct :)

  3. "人 情 薄 过 纸。"
    "A friend in need, is a friend indeed."
    Sad, but we don't live in "kampong" any more, in Singapore.

  4. That is because your friendship with them is not strong enough. If your friendship is strong, both of you will continue to keep in contact.

  5. Hi Market Strategist,
    Friendship to go on must have common interests
    like what CW8888 said. There is no meaning otherwise. When common interests die, so is the friendship. But of course if we happen to meet out of the blue we may catch-up with each other.
    We are still friends but not in the same way as before where we meet almost every day.
    We are not staying in kampung where people get together just to pass time talking silly about nothing serious. We are all now very busy people staying in HDB flats, working to make ends meet. We may only say, Hi to our neighbours when we meet at the common corridors. Time has changed , that's what I mean.
    May I know what you mean?

  6. In life we will meet different friends at different points in time. Its not about how much time you spend together but the impact they made in your life and you in theirs. Its about the path that you have walked together in this life that makes the difference. Friends help us to shape who we are today. =)

  7. Yes,
    Well put.
    We may meet every day but everyone of us still form different "levels" of frienship with each other. Just like in a office. But I believe you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your kins; "kar ki lang, pak si boh siang kang."
    "Dogs bite dogs' bones."

  8. This is true. We spend too much time to communicate with colleagues, with whom will never meet again after dismissal. How to say Russian, friendship is friendship, but money apart! Your true friends are those people with whom you are interested to communicate not only at work but also outside it, who is interested in you as an individual, and to whom you are interesting just as a person. :)

  9. Hi Andrew,

    What you said is true. We need to take interest in others outside of work. But the workplace is sometimes a harsh environment and I think many people prefer to just stay as acquaintances.


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