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Being Friends with Your Co-Workers

APK

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I'm finishing up an internship this month at a newspaper where the entire staff of reporters has this unusually tight bond that extends past working hours. They drink together. They hang out after work or on the weekends. A few of them are even in a bowling league together. They're basically Michael Scott's dream come true: the staff of workers who view themselves as a big family.

Our co-op is this high school senior that tends to hound me via Facebook messages. She sent me one yesterday saying she was talking to one of my co-workers about how everyone loves it at this place...except for me. They agreed that this was the case. This is far from my dream job, but I don't dislike it. I do my work, talk to others about work and non-work topics, etc. The only thing I can pin the perception that I don't like it there is that when it's time to clock out, I'm gone.

I want to note that my commute is an hour round-trip and that I keep a pretty busy schedule outside of work. Most of my co-workers (who are twentysomethings like me) all live within walking distance of the newsroom and don't seem to have much going on after work other than hanging out with one another. So it's not uncommon to see them staying around in the newsroom long after they're off the clock. That's not really something I can afford (money-wise or time-wise) to do, so I don't. They're nice enough people, but I have no interest in cultivating a friendship outside of work with any of them. Is this wrong?

This is my third internship at a newspaper, but this is the first time I've witnessed a staff that behaved like this. I understand it helps to have everyone get along to a degree, but should it be expected that you're friends with them away from the job?

I probably sound anti-social, but it boils down to not living close to the workplace and having a plenty to do after I'm off the clock. How many of you are legitimate friends with your co-workers?
 

EMY

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Your co-workers are not your friends.
 

jarude

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IME people who are legitimately friends with their co-workers are either

a) students who like to party together - this is legitimate if you're at a nowhere student job, like a restaraunt or mall retail. nothing wrong with smoking a bowl with some bro-skis from work

b) people who were friends before they started being co-workers

c) creepy losers with no friends
 

randomkoreandude

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Originally Posted by APK
How many of you are legitimate friends with your co-workers?

legitimate friends? maybe 1 or 2. but its def hard cuz you have a life outside of work. i actually dont want friends at work cuz mixing it up can end badly and often does.

but as you said its peculiar to this one internship. maybe they have all worked there a long time or know each other from somewhere else. but its hard to get in to a clicky group like that even if you wanted to so better to cut your losses unless you wanna end up working there long term
 

APK

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Originally Posted by jarude
IME people who are legitimately friends with their co-workers are either

c) creepy losers with no friends


This one is the most accurate description. They're fine people, but none of them seem to have many friends that aren't co-workers. Granted, several of them are from other areas of the state, but it still seems like in that case, you should find people elsewhere to be your friends.

My weekdays usually look like: work, gym, dinner, eBay work, StyleForum lurking, bed. To stay alert during the workday, I don't go out with friends during the week, unless it's a special occasion. So when the weekend rolls around, I'm ready to spend time to my friends. Not my co-workers.
 

APK

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Originally Posted by randomkoreandude
but as you said its peculiar to this one internship. maybe they have all worked there a long time or know each other from somewhere else. but its hard to get in to a clicky group like that even if you wanted to so better to cut your losses unless you wanna end up working there long term

This paper and all of its sister papers went through a huge turnover in June 2009, when most of the vets who were making big money (relative to journalism) were bought out and replaced with recent college graduates. So the majority of these people started work here at that time.

But I interned at one of those sister papers during the winter and the dynamic was still nothing like this one. People were friendly, but they went their separate ways after they left the newsroom.

It's strange, because even our editor cultivates this dynamic. I remember him telling me during the interview that these people were friends who spend time together outside of work and that I should probably embrace that.
 

Da Luis Vuitton Don

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im friends with a few co workers and we hang out from time to time at bars but other the that i have my family and friends to worry about that are not related to my work.
 

MetroStyles

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Totally normal to be close friends with co-workers but it isn't something that is ever expected of you. It is more common in professions that have large "classes" of new hires come in each year (e.g. banking, consulting). It is a lot less common at jobs where you join rather independently and are immediately thrust into a workplace hierarchy / work with a small vertical team.
 

WallStPeon

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At the moment, I work with a few financial advisors...I'm a portfolio manager, basically, for a couple guys. Not technically my job description, but it's what I do and I'll join the team as a financial advisor sometime next year. Anyway, there's three others in my office that have the same job as I...somewhat friends with two of them, and we all have drinks now and then, but we're not friends per se. I'm friends with some of their friends I've met, but we rarely get together. However, I do go out for drinks, sailing, and go golfing and what not with the advisors I work with...which is good.

I think it really depends WHAT your job is and the type of job you have. I need to get along well and know what's going on with certain co-workers in their lives outside of work, but others I just need to stay close enough to that we have something more than just a working relationship.

I think it's odd and an unhealthy work environment to be close friends with everyone you work with...can only lead to trouble.
 

JayJay

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My co-workers are colleagues and close acquaintances, not friends.
 

RSS

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Anytime I have socialized with co-workers ... we talk too much about work. When I leave the office to go our for a drink, a night on the town, and ultimately home ... I am not leaving to work.
 

word

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None of my co workers are my friends, with one exception. Most of the other employees are over 40 anyways, me being mid 20s.

This company has very low worker turnover and around 50 employees so it's difficult to be a stranger. I just don't look at them as friends. There's a number of people there who are friends of my family though. So I've known them most of my life. That exception is a girl my age who I met a couple times in the past, before work. Our social circles have a little overlap so we do end up out at the same places once in a while.

If there were more employees in their mid 20s and if they were cool I wouldn't turn down an opportunity to chill with them after hours.
 

BP348

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when I took my job several years ago I moved 1500 miles to take it so I became friends with several of my co-workers. I guess it helped that we could be at work and not see each other.

When I transfered to my new office I doubled my commute and the majority of my co-workers like as far away as I do just in the opposite direction so I don't see or hang with them.

With kids and a family I don't have the time to drive 100+ miles one way just to hang out with some people from work. Plus I'm the opposite as most everyone here I'm in my 40's and many of my co-workers are in their 20's.
 

ratboycom

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At work I talk about work and nonwork shit with my coworkers and boss. When we go drinking after work or to a restaurant when someone leaves or has a birthday we usually cut loose, ignore the fact that we all work together and have a good time. I see no problem with this. I mean we all have other friends from outside of work and all, but do enjoy getting trashed after a long day.
 

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