I didn’t get to work with Morgan too closely. She transitioned into our department one spring and really only stayed for a full three month cycle of the program. In the end, it was for the best that her boyfriend got a job out east where they were originally from. She really hated our boss and working where we did was downright toxic. She had a hard time adjusting to the micromanaging and overall suppressive structure. I did my best to help and told her not to stress, but I know she struggled a lot. 

For her last day, she threw herself a little going away party at the local pub we always went to after work. Lots of people we knew dropped by throughout the night, buying Morgan drinks. I stayed with her the whole time.

When it was time to leave, tears flooded Morgan’s eyes as she got sentimental for the very first time since we’d met. She wrapped her arms around me fiercely, also the first time we came in physical contact with each other, and whispered in my ear, “if I had stayed, I would have made you my best friend.”

Morgan then stumbled into her idling Uber, and I never saw her again. We didn’t even keep in contact, and though I do have her on Facebook, we never really were friends to begin with. 

People pass through our lives all the time, floating in and out. Work people, especially, are some of the most disposable people in our lives, despite the fact that we spend more time with them than our own real friends or family. Old people quit, new people replace them. The workplace is fluid; most relationships temporary. But the right work friends have the potential to become real friends and even family too.  

I still think about the seriousness in Morgan’s drunken declaration that night from time to time. She would have made me her best friend. Like I’d have no say in the matter. I love the confidence she had in our friendship that never really came to be. Sometimes, I wish it had. 

2016

12 thoughts on “The Goodbye Party

  1. Excellent read! My husband was snoring like a bulldozer last night and I crawled into the other room for a few hours of sleep. It eluded me. I flipped open my Mac and landed on this. It made my night of disturbed peace worth while. Made me think of a few people who popped into my life briefly; I wonder if their staying would have changed the course of things? 🌟

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  2. Really enjoyed reading this not least because it is a true reflection of the relationships that we form and how transitory they really are. On a personal level I can number several really strong working relationships that I have had which would never have existed (and indeed don’t) outside of the workplace. Excellent.

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  3. It’s true. We spend so much time with our colleagues, but hardly stop to think about considering friendships. Maybe it is due to the system. Really enjoyed the self-reflection.

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  4. Aww… I’ve had people like that disappear out of my life before I got a chance to know them, both work related and not. Semi-related, currently in DLTDGB Character-Greg is going through an eight week internship in another state that he doesn’t particularly enjoy, and looking back, I think I was a bit unfairly harsh and judgmental in my perception of the other students in the program that inspired this part of the story. I didn’t try to stay in touch with them, but maybe I should have…

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  5. A bittersweet goodbye, indeed. I’ve also had many coworkers come in and out of my life– while I did end up adding/accepting a few on social media after we left our companies, we don’t really talk that much anymore. I hope Morgan’s doing a lot better, wherever she is now!

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  6. It was a well written account. I think a lot about the term “friend” and how it means more to some than others. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a coworker whom I’ve considered a true friend, but merely an acquaintance.

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  7. What a touching story, Alexis! I guess your efforts to help her didn’t go unnoticed, just held inside until a vulnerable moment … I think this says a lot about you that she “would have” chosen you. Keep spreading your kindness. It’s probably making a difference with more people than you know.

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