Are work friends real friends?
Everyone has buddies at work. But how many of them do you count amongst your true friends? Those that will be there for you, no questions asked. Those who remember your birthday or other significant holidays without being prompted by Facebook. Those that remain friends even after they've moved on to another job or another city or another state.
Sans a single exception, in my experience, the answer is a resounding "zero."
I have one friend I worked with for four years at my first post-college job. He moved out of state and we still kept in touch. He moved back and we kept getting together for lunch or whatnot. He's the guy I go to Pitchfork with each summer. We don't see each other a lot, but we see each other and we talk semi-regularly.
Aside from him, I'd say not likely. I've had a couple other buddies at work over the years here at my current job, but something tells me that if they move on, I'd likely never hear from them again. Actually, I can confirm that with two out of three of them. One changed departments and jobs and I barely see or hear from him anymore. Another left her job last Friday for a new position in a different building but with the same employer. She never even told me about the job change. She just left. The final one who is still here, I still talk to. But the dynamic has definitely changed in the last couple of years. Of he left, I am of the opinion that I'd likely only hear from him via the occasional Facebook tagging.
Yeah, that sounds harsh. But I'm not sure it's so much a statement about them as it may be about me. If you were to ask these people, they might have work buddies who are true friends. They may think I'm full of complete crap and say it is possible and give me verifiable proof.
And then it does become about me.
Yeah, I'm a pretty terrible friend. I admit it. And I do nothing about it. By choice.
I guess that's all that really need be said, eh?