I work with a bunch of neat people....friendly, helpful and considerate most of the time....but then just as it looks all nice and peachy and too good to be true, I get hit on my head which wakes me up from my little reverie and tells me that it IS INDEED too good to be true.
There's someone I work with whom I used to hold in high regard...someone I used to call a friend...I am never really someone who makes friends easily, but once the bond is made, it remains...I was still getting used to having these new comers on block and this one guy stood out...we shared a taste for movies, cracking puzzles, sense of humor and practical jokes. I thought I could trust him enough to be a good friend (making an exception to the rule of "Never trust them too soon") and I told him so...
This was a year back...I had seen the minor flaws and chosen to either ignore it or make excuses in my mind..."No big deal, every one has their little vices..", I told myself every time I noticed the small things... calls missed if it wasn't about something he was interested in, the work conveniently pushed off to me on some pretext, forgetting to save me a seat for lunch in cafeteria, forgetting to even ask me if I'd care to join as long as he had some one to go for lunch with, asking for help with the nitty gritties that he didn't want to get his hands dirty with...the small every day things...! But the blow came when I realized that he had taken the idea I was working on, my pet project, and worked on the same thing and submitted it for approval...right after I had submitted my rough draft. He said he was inspired and didn't look me in the eyes...I knew I hated him and didn't look either...
The silent lamenter I am (read that as door mat), I did not react to what had happened and took the passive aggressive stand on it...Now that I look back, I realize I was too shocked to react even if I wanted to. Big B thought that it would be a great idea to have both of us work on the project which I resented...I would have happily jumped off the cliff if they would have given me that option...Any time the talk of the particular project came up, I happened to be secretive, defensive or too busy to talk about it...Every time he came up to discuss about it, I had the red neon light which read "Traitor" blinking in my head, my mind switching itself off to anything he had to say.
When the project failed to move any further, it was decided to break it into pieces and divided between us so that work would move faster. I felt relieved. Facing him, talking to him, even sitting in the same room as him became insufferable...This went on until one day, he cornered me and told me he knew that I was mad at him... I had practiced the right retort for when it happened (I was hoping it would happen since I was too much of a chicken to confront him) but couldn't remember the words when the time came...and so shrugged it off and said "It was alright"...!?!
He told me his excuse but never apologized...He said he was glad to have had the talk but didn't look sorry...I was in fool's paradise...I thought things were back to normal...it was alright...until it hit me that it wasn't enough...it'd never be enough...The next time I saw his part of the project, I realized that I didn't resent it so much but I couldn't accept it either...It was my idea, my efforts, my days of working and re working on it that was lost. Every time I hear some one talking about it, it takes an effort to not walk away...
I felt tricked and used and I knew that this meant the end of the friendship. All those little incidents I had stashed away came rushing to the forefront. I know that things will never be the same again...my trust has been broken and I wonder if it would ever mend itself. We still work together, and we do have our occasional chats and laughs when everything look almost normal...But then I know that I have lost a friend for ever.
I don't know why I wrote this post but then having said it out loud makes me feel better. I feel a slight tinge of guilt for talking about it here...I know that if one of my friends at work read this, they'd be able to identify him easily, I know that I'm being mean but don't feel apologetic about it. I hope that with time, I would be able to forgive him completely and look at the whole episode as just another page in my life. I hope that some day I'd even be able to forget about it... But for now, the wound is still raw and it hurts.
And so now I know what a frenemy really means and can say I've got one...!!! It's neither a nice feeling nor as easy as portrayed in those chicklits and chick flicks...but then, since I really can't do much about it, I think I'm going to just take it in my stride and emerge stronger...heck, at least, I'll have my 'patience to crap' levels improved!!!
What about you? Have you ever had a frenemy? And what did you do to help make the situation better? Enlighten me coz I'm all ears....!!!