To the corporate newbie, the working world can be a real jungle, with cryptic industrial terminology (“vertical” doesn’t mean up and down, right?) and the occasional office beast ready to snap you up for breakfast. Does your boss’s poker face hide a smouldering rage within, or is that creepy dude sitting across you the cause of those stains that appeared mysteriously on your chair after you took the day off? (read: temporary foot rest)
For the lucky few, we have our Work BFFS, people whom we love dearly and happen to work with (BuzzFeed, 2013). Here are 5 ways to tell your co-worker has become your Work BFF.
1. There are no boundaries.
It starts out with you being desk partners or cubicle neighbours. Nothing beyond the cursory good mornings and small talk in this I-don’t-know-you-before-9am-and-after-6pm, semi-obligatory relationship. Then, out of the blue, you become lunch buddies, sharing hilarious nuggets and intimate details from your weekend escapades.
Eventually, you let each other in on your lives, giving each other invaluable advice and help while expecting nothing in return. He/she becomes the exception to the golden rule of “leaving your personal life at home”. There are no professional facades to be kept around the Work BFF, certainly not for your office selfies! #workbffsftw #asiangirlsatwork #breakfastbuddiesforeverxxx
You know you’re Work BFFs when: you give up on sauntering ever so primly into her work space; instead, you dash unglamorously towards her like a lost puppy, anxiously whispering, “Woman, can you spare me a tampon?!”
2. Inside jokes
And I don’t mean cryptic industrial terms that no one outside your company would come close to understanding (yawn). I’m talking about the deep stuff made possible by #1. Stuff that calls for looking over your divider and giving each other that knowing look (open to interpretation).
But hey, no one said that high school ever ends. In fact, high school never ends, and it definitely doesn’t between you and the Work BFF (again, open to interpretation).
You know you’re Work BFFs when: office hours and Skype “discussions” are punctuated by you simultaneously bursting into laughter at your computer screens (and sometimes heaving like an epileptic seal), and one else quite knows why. True story.
3. Overtime doesn’t feel like overtime anymore.
Oh, the glorious days in college when we would stay up all night, desperately trying to squeeze out that last bit of information for our term projects and examinations. Thank goodness for the pillars of sanity that were our course mates and study buddies (and of course, that live-saving Espresso from said study buddy).
Remember that warm camaraderie you felt at “seeing the rest of the class there too”, as Avenue Q so rightly put it? Great news! Late nights spent rushing that dreaded report or tying up the loose ends of a trying project don’t seem that tedious with your favourite work buddy around with a Cup A Noodle. OT Party, anyone?
You know you’re Work BFFs when: you’re free to go, but spend about half an hour (or more!) glued to your desk, swapping about a gazillion hilarious stories and soundbites from the day.
4. “I know that feel, bro.”
You know how they say that happiness, when shared, is doubled? Well, it’s times a gazillion billion infinity between you too. You’re abuzz with excitement when it comes to hearing news about your Work BFF, and it’s not because you want to get up to speed with the office gossip.
You know you’re Work BFFs when: You excitedly turn to him/ her (or text, depending on the situation) and say, “Guess what? Today marks the one week anniversary since you (insert respective situation)!” True story.
5. You can’t imagine life without each other.
Ever. Calling in sick would be like the ultimate cardinal sin, because that would mean depriving your Work BFF his or her default lunch buddy. Your paths would never have crossed had you not worked in the same office, and having them leave forever would be like losing an arm or a leg.
Because your Work BFF isn’t just someone you can go to on a busy work day to ask your mundane, work-related question,s your Work BFF is a daily dose of sunshine that peeks through this otherwise brutal, cubicled and oftentimes windowless terrain.
You know you’re Work BFFs when: you look forward to returning to work after a long, luxurious vacation because it means doing all of 1 to 4. ‘Nuff said.
So here’s to all the Work BFFs, the ones who make early mornings (or erratic shift hours) that much more tolerable. Because without them, our nine to five would just be that: a nine to five of number-crunchin’ and counting down the hours without the things that make every day worth it: friendship, joy and laughter.