Social Question

bookish1's avatar

Do you like to socialize with your co-workers?

Asked by bookish1 (13040 points ) February 3rd, 2013

There are good folks in my department, and I have some great friends there, but I find it really hard to deal with them all at once, at happy hour. I’ve managed to avoid it all year until this weekend, when a huge contingent from my department showed up at my regular bar! I guess I’d prefer to spend time with people because we want to, rather than because we all happen to work at the same place and it is assumed that we have no way to make friends outside of work.

Do you socialize regularly with coworkers? Or even your boss? What do you do together? Do you feel obligated to be sociable, or do you genuinely enjoy it?

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20 Answers

Shippy's avatar

I always despised it. After all in my mind, I was forced to be with these people for longer times than people I wanted to be with. Then on top of it all I had to spend my spare time with them too. It’s a pet hate of mine. We often went on so called team building efforts. Eh Gad! Save me. Where is that team I spent swimming in rivers with, doing boot camps and flying around the world with? No where of course.

Sorry my answer is not very helpful. All one can do is turn up, make polite superficial conversation, like how are your kids, like you care. Have a drink, laugh at some jokes and then go home.

bookish1's avatar

@Shippy: Thanks for your response. Don’t worry, I’m not looking for answers here, just opinions! I didn’t want to make my Q a rant, but I was pretty angry that I couldn’t escape making small talk with a bunch of coworkers for two hours, the one night I was able to go out this weekend.

Shippy's avatar

@bookish1 Consider this a great time management exercise. Go for a short while, have a drink then move on to your friends. Say I’d love to stay but have friends waiting for me. Besides makes you look popular. yes I was ranting, as I say, it’s a pet hate of mine, I am fussy who I spend my time with!

or work it to your best advantage and have sex with a Professor in the toilet

ucme's avatar

We shoot some pool & have a few beers, one or two have called at our home & I theirs…it’s all good.

marinelife's avatar

I have socialized with co-workers in the past. Some I make friends with and some stay just co-workers.

cookieman's avatar

My instinct is to say ‘No’, but the truth is, I’ve made a few really good friends through different jobs over the years.

I am generally social within the confines of the job (coffee, lunch), but rarely outside of work – until I no longer work there.

After the fact, I have kept in touch with certain folks and a few, as I said, have become friends.

Coloma's avatar

Only the times I have worked with someone who was already a friend outside of work, either/or getting the other a job at the same place.
My old boss invited himself to dinner here a couple of summers ago, OMG! He was just as bad at MY home as he was at work. lol
Ordering me around, determining how I should cook, bringing his stupid dog with him and disregarding my wishes that he not let the dog in my house. Never again, never!

Pachy's avatar

Used to, even as a manager, but nowadays I pretty much keep my work and personal lives separated. I’m just not interested in staff and co-workers knowing my business. I rarely even go to lunch with others, preferring to spend that time each day not talking about work, which those lunches generally entail.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I generally just find one or two people amongst many shitty co-workers and become good friends with them. Thankfully the restaurant I’m working at now has a really great staff so we all get along pretty well. Its utter chaos the whole night(super small kitchen) but we’re constantly joking about various things to relieve all the stress of the place. Most weekend nights we end up going out to a bar after and playin a bit of pool and having a few drinks.

I used to work at this same restaurant when I was 15–18. During my first run there I became really good friends with the bartender and I consider him my best friend still to this day.

gailcalled's avatar

In the school community where I worked, there was so much colleageality that every day was a social event. What I liked best was having lunch or an informal coffee with one or two teachers so we could talk in depth.

And when I was not busy with a student or parents, I left my office door open for drop-ins, which was also fun.

The formal parties, picnics, musicales, concerts, etc, were too crowded to do more than chitchat in a superficial manner, something I am not good at.

dabbler's avatar

Boy, it sure depends.
It depends on my state in life, single or in a relationship or married…
And it depends on the work group, some are fun but most are not so interesting for hours on end.

Paradox25's avatar

At work I generally try to be a ‘friend’ to most, but when the day ends I tend to forget about them, with very rare exceptions of course. Unfortunately most people at places that I’ve worked at generally hate each other’s guts, so I try to avoid getting sucked into the trouble trap by being close, but yet keeping my distance (if you can get that, lol).

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve made and kept a few friends that I met in the workplace, but for the most part, any socializing outside regular working hours (and most especially all-hands group events such as picnics and dinners) always felt to me like mandatory unpaid work time. I already spent more waking hours with them on a daily basis than I did with anyone else in my life. Enough was enough.

wundayatta's avatar

I generally keep work and private life separate. I’ve clued a few people at work into what I do in my private life, and they generally think it is cool, but never seem willing to try it. So it remains separate because no one is really into what I’m into.

There are nice people at work. But my friends at work are professors and they all love to talk, and I am a good listener, but it is a pain listening all the time. I have a hard time competing for air space these days. I don’t know what happened. So if I don’t have a turn, I don’t talk. I’m not going to fight for the chance.

In the past, there was one woman who I became friends with. Now I work where her husband works and he and I chat when we run into each other, but we don’t socialize any more. It just seems too hard.

Or maybe it’s just because I didn’t have the energy.

I don’t have anything in particular against socializing with my colleagues. But I won’t actively work to make anything happen. So nothing happens. And I don’t mind.

rojo's avatar

Not really, Only when absolutely unavoidable; such as christmas parties and such.

muppetish's avatar

When I worked as a tutor, I was, and still am, genuinely friends with some of my co-workers, while others I would hold polite conversation with while we were there, but was thankful to not have to see on a regular basis when I left. In my current position, I get along quite well with most of my co-workers (though one was a co-worker at my previous job while the other I had known for a couple years). My mentor is a joy. Our personalities meshed immediately and I know that I have found a friend-for-life in her.

As an introverted, extremely private, not-into-small-talk kind of person, I find it difficult to make myself socialize with anyone—whether in a work situation or not—unless I genuinely desire to do so. I’m thankful that I have found friends in a few of my co-workers, pleasant acquaintances in others, and just…glad to be rid of the ones who I was forced to exchange pleasantries with.

bookish1's avatar

Thank you to all for these responses. This has helped convince me that I’m not a Negative Creep simply because I don’t necessarily want to spend 2 hours making small talk with coworkers, the one night I have to go out every weekend!!

@wundayatta: It is a mixed blessing to be a good listener, eh?

wundayatta's avatar

@bookish1 Some of the people I listen to the most are the ones I love more than any other person. I hunger for their words and attention and they revel in it. It is a gift and I do not begrudge them one bit. Still, there are times when I do want to get a word in edgwise, and it’s hard. Harder than I want it to be. But then I have to get zen about it. It will happen if it really wants to happen. I can’t be so attached to my own thoughts. Hell, I’ve got fluther for that. No one (except Augustlan) can stop me here.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I learned a long time ago that it’s not smart to socialize with coworkers outside of work much. Some, but not much.

We all have our own friends and it just gets complicated in the office sometimes.

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