Back at my desk after the regular status meeting our team has each week, my eyes fell on an innocuous looking email titled “Monday”. I opened it to find my friend saying that Monday would be his last day with our team. I was shocked in some sense because it was too sudden. There was nothing to indicate he was looking to change. More than all that I think it was because I felt a connection to him. A good friend. That was what he was. The person that bought me a milkshake when I felt down. He stood for friendliness where I had come to expect standard small talk.
By the time the day was over, the team had put together a plan for a farewell lunch, gift and a card. Like we do when people leave the group. I left work wondering how much our personal interactions define how happy we are at work. Some of the best workplaces I have been in have always been defined by the people in it. The work has always been secondary for me. I have gladly worked for peanuts when I found rich friendships at work. Each time something like this happens, I mourn the loss of good times and I wish the other all the very best. I hope they will be in touch.
Goodbyes are hard.