Thursday, June 19, 2008

Awkward Goodbyes

Today I met up with some former colleagues for lunch. It is always a pleasure to see those I used to see every day, catch up on the latest gossip, and share some laughs as we remember the silly moments of work.

We went to a pleasant Greek restaurant, and enjoyed some good Greek food.

In many ways, meeting up with former co-workers is like going on a first date. No, I didn’t bring flowers, chocolates, a teddy bear, or some other cute first date type of gift. But some of those awkward moments on a first date also happen when meeting up with former colleagues.

When we first met up, we weren’t sure whether to shake hands or hug – everyone in the group was female except for me. If it was all guys, we’d probably shake hands, or maybe just nod. That’s just one of those double-standards I suppose. But hugging another man is one of those things men just don’t typically do. Must have something to do with male bonding, or just being masculine in today’s society.

We started talking the usual small talk which begins many social situations – how are you, how’s the family, do you still workout? What about that weather?

As we became more acquainted, and realized we were all old friends, the conversation become more familiar and comfortable. We began to fill each other in on our current events, news, and that old favourite of water coolers everywhere – gossip.

We ate, joked and talked about everything. We had re-established that old bond between us and were enjoying catching up.

We talked about vacations people took and where they would like to go on their next one. How much work there still was, as always, piling up.

Then came the end – that awkward moment like on a first date. On a first date, you often wonder, do you go in for the kiss, a hug, or just a handshake?

No kissing here – these were former co-workers. But again we weren’t sure whether or not to hug, shake hands, or what. In many ways it resembled a first date – as you don’t know quite what to do.

In the end we all hugged each other good-bye, and said we’d have to do this again sometime soon.

Hopefully we will – but just as a first date, you never really know. People move from job to job, from company to company. Some even move from country to country these days, with the global economy being what it is.

It would be nice to stay connected, and keep in touch. Not just for the office gossip, but to keep some good friends close. Though one never really knows if that will happen . . . just like on a first date.

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