- 4 weeks ago
Reg Bee going anon because I feel like this could cop some hate
I’ve ben feeling a bit shit lately about a work friend I had and I both want to vent and want an outsider’s perspective. Let’s call him Bob.
In my last job Bob and I worked in the same team. He was a team lead, so sort of my boss, but not really. We got pretty close. To the point we would grab coffee or cheeky afternoon beers at work (it was definitely that kind of workplace) with some of the other lads. Went to beer festivals. Generally just had a laugh with a group of people. Every now and then it was just the two of us grabbing a takeaway coffee downstairs, but usually there was a group.
I was the only female in this group but it didn’t seem to bother anyone. We all got on like a house on fire. Of all the things I miss about that job, seeing that group of people every day is probably the thing I miss most.
Anyway. A female colleague who I was also really close to made an offhand comment one day: “I think Bob kind of has a thing for you”. I completely dismissed it. He was married with kids (kids who he constantly raved about) – 12 years older – and he knew everything about my relationship and my Fiance. Fiance knows him well – we had all gone out together a bunch of times – like it was all good.
But it was like a poison and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It became all I could think about and I started questioning everything, every conversation, every motive. Was that flirting? Or was it just banter? I was totally confident that this person didn’t know what she was talking about so I tried to just put it out of my head. But, i resolved to measure my involvement in this group from then out.
Anyway, I was leaving the company to cut my teeth elsewhere with the intention to come back 12 months later in a more advanced role. So I’ve made a point to keep a heap of relationships – both professional and personal – going so the transition back is seamless. But this last weekend, I just realised that my relationship with Bob has vanished.
I think it comes down to the last time I saw the team. There was a company-wide sundowner a week after I left the company which I was still invited to. I definitely had too much wine, so once I realised that I jumped in a taxi with (the same female colleague as we lived close by) and went home. I remember everything, like, so I know exactly what was said between Bob and I. And I know that he started to get a little suggestive. But again, I kind of just saw it as banter – we took the piss all the time. An example: he made comment about the size of my chest. But look I have referenced it before – I’m a 12G and If i don’t laugh about it I’ll just spend my whole life crying about my back pain. As I’m typing this I’m kind of putting the pieces together in my head though…but I swear to God I never encouraged anything, I didn’t treat him any different to anyone else, male or female.
Anyway the next morning I woke up to some text messages from him – how he didn’t remember much – but made a point of referencing how the conversation kind of went downhill. I though it was his way of kind of like…apologising for it because I sure as shit didn’t start it….but now looking back, it could also have been him continuing it. I don’t bloody know!
I then got text messages from my female work colleague, making comment that he got a bit inappropriate towards me the night before. She prefaced it with “I know what you’re like and I know you would never want to encourage it…” but I worry that because I am bubbly and friendly and can take a joke, that he might have seen that as something else.
Like I said before, I have kept a heap of relationships going, just naturally through social media. But just this weekend, about 6 months after leaving this job, and 6 months before I look to return, I see that Bob has unfollowed and/or blocked me on all social media and turned everything to private. I guess it’s a testiment to my lack of involvement that I never even noticed until now. Last time we spoke was 4 months ago.
Now I feel like total shit, that I’ve somehow accidentally been a stupid harlot and enticed a married man to act inappropriately. And I find myself missing all the fun we had – both with Bob and the group of friends – because it was the best I have ever felt at a job before. Now, I feel like if I were to return in a few months it would be awkward and I can’t help but feel like it’s the universe punishing me for having friends that are of the opposite sex.
I don’t know – I know being friends with married people of the opposite sex is always complicated, but it’s just never been an issue before. It wasn’t an issue with anyone else at work, nor has it ever been an issue before. I don’t want to change who I am. I’m about to be married myself, and I love my Fiance more than life itself. But still, he has work friends both male and female – I don’t care if he spends time with them. In fact I encourage it.
Now I’m questioning if I even should go back, even though it’s the right thing to do for my career. Would you?
Pls be kind as I know we have a tendancy to be blunt and judgemental online. Nothing I ever did towards Bob was meant to be lascivious. I never treated him any differently to anyone else.