I was blessed for so many years to work with a group of people that I loved, and that loved me. There were three, sometimes four of us that would go to lunch frequently, chat daily, email funny stuff back and forth, pick on each other… nothing was ever politically correct and I’ve never laughed harder or loved a bunch of coworkers as I did those three guys.
Besides working at the same place, the only thing we have in common is that we each have two daughters, all different ages, but none of us have boys, and none have more than two children. The basis for our friendship was probably nothing more than being coworkers, but we each have a great sense of humor and we can all dish it out as well as we can take it. There is a specific quality, quirk or habit that each of us gets grief for. Alliances are created and redrawn on a regular basis. I never knew what was going to happen next. But I always knew that sooner or later, we’d laugh our fool heads off over something ridiculous, whether it was Skippy wearing a shirt that we swore was his wife's (we even called it a blouse), or making fun of Fancypants for being such a snob...
I’m trying to figure out when things changed, when we went from the laughing group of coworkers, to the four people that each sit in their own offices, not speaking, but the mood and the vibe is not good. Somedays it feels downright surly and the office has become a place that I don’t want to be.
I could think for days about when the change occurred, or why it happened. There are a few things that might have been the cause but figuring that out won’t make a damn bit of difference. There’s a smell of bitterness in the air, and an aura of indifference. I sit at my desk, alone, watching the others go off without me, wondering if they laugh that I’m left out, or if they miss my presence.
For a brief, shining moment, I got to be one of the cool kids. Having that status taken away without knowing why hurts as bad today as I thought I would in high school. Only then no one ever let me be a cool kid.