“You are both at polar ends of the spectrum,” the business coach explained after pulling out my last remaining hair.
I was a super organised, control freak; he was SO laid back he’d fall off his chair if he ever sat down long enough to concentrate.
Attempting to instil some semblance of order was a futile exercise. I inherited THE most annoying, frustrating boss I’ve had out of hundreds.
It turned out to be a good thing. He was a total idiot, but he was fun. He made each day a smile so much that I looked forward to the 9-5 drudge.
And I miss him.
When you sit up close with anyone for 12 months, it’s hard not to get personal – me with my daily vegemite toast at 10, him with his coffee-stained board papers strewn all over the desk.
Usually, when you bond with someone in the workplace, you take them outside of said office to nurture the relationship – inviting them to a coffee, a lunch date, a walk in the park – to elevate them to BFF status.
NOT so appropriate in this case.
There were unspoken professional boundaries at play besides the cliched but entirely unfounded rumours that would start (both of us were happily married to long-suffering partners).
We were the same-ish age, but he was infinitely more powerful in his role than I was as his minion.
Although God love him, we were equals in his eyes, and that was refreshing. None of the chest-puffing BS found with many a female boss exerting her dominance pitifully.
Sadly, our paths diverted abruptly with his rude promotion to CEO and subsequent relocation, and I was relegated downstairs before going my own way.
And there ended our marriage of convenience.
And that’s when I realised that no matter how much of your heart and soul you invest in a friendship, some of them are not destined to be forever.
Some friendships brought together through circumstance come to their natural conclusions, and sometimes that’s sad.
The bond that once tethered us was severed and we lived different lives. I hermit down each weekend on the west coast; him on the east coast, reachable only by boat. He lives to incinerate meat on the barbie, and I’m a gluten intolerant vegan.
Besides, he’s still an idiot, and that ain’t ever going to change.
For me, he was a friend for a reason – to remind me how to find joy in the mundane, and a season – a year’s contract to enable the purchase of a self-cleaning pool (check!)
But always a lifetime in my thoughts and smiles.
p.s. Want to find friends for more fun, laughter and happiness in your life? Download the Quick Start Guide to finding fabulous friends in your 50s for meaningful connections that will bring you joy. It’s FREE!