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Those memories
Old 01-26-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Those memories

Got an e-mail today from a former coworker and friend. Matt died, Dino has brain cancer and Nahi had a baby with heart problems. A lot of folks retired, some are moving up the ladder and some are moving on. So many memories of people who are becoming a distant memory but were a big part of my life not so long ago. Made me cry. I do miss those relationships with people I worked with and came to care about. The bosses and BS not so much.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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I'm with you. I miss many of the local people I worked with, but I don't miss the job or especially the Corp nonsense...
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #3
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I can relate. I found out a few weeks ago that one of the really good guys in a different crew had cancer and had a short time to live. This kind of stuff occurring with some regularity along with my wife passing away in 07 were a major factor in me pulling the plug last year.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Loved the music Purron. I always loved all three of these singers. I saw Linda Ronstadt at a solo concert at Chastain Park in Atlanta years ago. It still warms my heart to think of it. Thanks
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:42 AM   #5
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In just the last 3 years since I ERed, I have learned of the passing of a few former coworkers. One from my division ERed in 2003 at age 59 only to pass away in 2009. Another died suddenly in the lobby of the office building.

This is in addition to the many talented people I worked with over the years who retired or are retiring.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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Haven't had the misfortune of old coworkers having issues or passing, but I am finding I think of them a lot less and I have all but lost contact. I suppose its the way of things. they were all "work friends". I rarely did anything with them that wasn't tied to work. Lots of trips to Vegas with them for work and we had a blast, but without any other ties, they fade away.

As said above, I miss them sometimes but not the job. I hate to say it, but it was positive trade for me. Life is much better.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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I suppose its the way of things. they were all "work friends". I rarely did anything with them that wasn't tied to work. Lots of trips to Vegas with them for work and we had a blast, but without any other ties, they fade away.
If they were really our friends then we'd all stay together no matter who was working or retired.

Workplace friends are great, but the basis for the friendship is all too frequently "shared adversity". Not exactly an enduring basis for a lifetime relationship.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:26 PM   #8
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If they were really our friends then we'd all stay together no matter who was working or retired.

Workplace friends are great, but the basis for the friendship is all too frequently "shared adversity". Not exactly an enduring basis for a lifetime relationship.
True, but often "shared adversity" can form the basis for some meaningful relationships. The co-workers I mentioned going through hard times lived out of state and I worked with them often on team jobs when I was with the agency. When I retired, it was difficult to maintain the connection. My former co-worker and good friend who updated me on their status lives local and I've stayed close with her.

I can think of no better example of a bond based on shared adversity than my deceased father in law who was one of Merrill’s Marauders. They had yearly get togethers but rarely saw each other otherwise. When my FIL died, his buddies came in full force to pay their respects. It was truly remarkable. I still have a Merrill’s Marauders pin one of the guys gave me at the dinner we hosted after his funeral.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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I can relate. I found out a few weeks ago that one of the really good guys in a different crew had cancer and had a short time to live. This kind of stuff occurring with some regularity along with my wife passing away in 07 were a major factor in me pulling the plug last year.
Same here. I have lost a close relative and several friends to disease. A few others have come down with life changing illnesses that severely limit their ability to enjoy life. That, more than problems on the job, made me decide to retire earlier than normal.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:36 PM   #10
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When I walked away from NASA I also moved to another state. I do not keep in touch with anyone that I worked with. I didn't ever get that close with anyone when I was there - guess my "Grumpy" avatar fits. I'm not a very social person and mostly enjoy my own company.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #11
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I can think of no better example of a bond based on shared adversity than my deceased father in law who was one of Merrill’s Marauders. They had yearly get togethers but rarely saw each other otherwise. When my FIL died, his buddies came in full force to pay their respects. It was truly remarkable. I still have a Merrill’s Marauders pin one of the guys gave me at the dinner we hosted after his funeral.
That's my point, and the military reunions are the poster kids of "shared adversity".

What kind of friendship is it when they only get together once a year? I'd understand geographic separation, but how much did they stay in contact between reunions?

And WTF kind of friendship is it when you show up at the funeral? Hopefully people are there to pay their respects, but couldn't they find the time to visit at a more suitable event before the finale?

I'm just sayin' that a friendship based on shared adversity will end when the adversity ends. A true friendship forms new common schedules, new common interests, new types of communications that transcend the old situation. E-mail, phone calls, discussion boards, the same surf break, even a monthly Friday lunch together.

ER is exactly one of those life-changing situations that separates the shared-adversity co-workers from the real friends.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:26 PM   #12
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I haven't been back to the workplace since retiring.
Went to one retirement lunch about a year after mine.
Have run into one former coworker a few times.
Really have/had nothing in common with most of them.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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I keep in touch with a few people, but it is infrequent. Although one guy calls every month or two to talk about investment and retirement issues. He's still working. He came by for a few drinks recently, and I'm always glad to talk to him. Closest friends from my past are those I grew up with, three actually. Always glad to see them. I occasionally bump into people from work in town, and it is always good to see them and chat. Many are still grinding away at work with their bodies wearing down from the daily grind. Glad I'm out of that.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:02 PM   #14
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ER is exactly one of those life-changing situations that separates the shared-adversity co-workers from the real friends.
I've made some friends here based on shared adversity. Folks I've never met and will likely never meet. Still, these relationships are precious.


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Old 01-28-2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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I remain good friends with several of the people from my former work place. We meet monthly for retiree luncheons that last a couple of hours. I have went on several cruises with 5 of them. I am going on an overnight trip with 4 of them in April. We send emails and phone each other. We go to our kids' weddings and baby showers. We also attend the funerals of parents and husbands. They are definitely an extended family and have my back. I have known most of them since 05/80 when I transferred to the Morgantown office. We know all about each other's kids, spouses and ex-spouses and grandchildren. It will be extremely hard when we have to attend one of our funerals.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:57 PM   #16
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I am still very close to some of my army aviation friends. I retired from the army in 1993. I retired from my second career working as an orthopedic nurse in a local hospital in 2009. I have little contact with coworkers from there and have only been back to visit once. I liked working with people in the hospital and especially liked being the go to guy when things went wrong and people needed help but those relationships, at least for me are nothing like the relationships with army friends.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:49 AM   #17
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If they were really our friends then we'd all stay together no matter who was working or retired.

Workplace friends are great, but the basis for the friendship is all too frequently "shared adversity". Not exactly an enduring basis for a lifetime relationship.
Sure a work place friendship can grow into a more substantial relationship, but you're right. I hung out with those guys because we worked on projects together. I continued to hang out with them because we made sure we worked on the same projects through the years. I genuinely like those guys, but beyond work, we have little in common.

On the other hand, my best friend and I have been friends since junior high. He moved to Phoenix, but came back. Still friends. We ended up both working at the state. I got my mom to hire him and we ended up at the DOT. He was dissatisfied and left. Still friends. Now I'm retired and he was on track to be about three years behind me. Now it looks like he won't retire for 15 years. Still friends.

Those other guys? Well I don't call them and they don't call me. It's a mutual drift. They moved on and so have I. I see them twice a year. Fantasy football draft and a golf tourney we all play in. It's like old times, but that's enough. Not saying I would turn down an invite to do something with them, but I'm not wait by the phone either. Without anything in common except work, that's how it is.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:06 PM   #18
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It's a mutual drift.
That's the perfect metaphor. Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:26 PM   #19
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Interesting topic - friends versus colleagues.....one that I am grappling with right now. We've moved back to the USA - are living with family until our house is built far away from where we are now. So we are in a long transition - I've lived in the city we are building our house before and have notified some of my friends from before....and hope to be friends again, but it might not be so. In the meantime, some of the people we socialized with in Germany we've drifted away from (military, so also a few moves by others and us causing the drift as well).

I have several friends I've met through my different work environments that I consider true friends.....and I do keep in touch with some of my high school friends, but frankly there is little I have in common with them except the memories. Heck, I probably have more in common with a lot of you here and would consider you closer friends, in that respect.

I like having friends and socializing, but not too much. Work is work, but sometimes you meet someone that can cross the threshold to friend - I hope that I can continue to be friends with some former colleagues...some of the others - drift away.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #20
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During our years at MegaCorp, DH and I made many friends. We still get together with ex co-workers for drinks every two months or so. They are still working and expand upon the goings on of other people we know that are still trudging away.

I met my best bud during my first works days...in 1990. He and I became best of friends and continue to keep in touch and see each other every once in a while even though we live in different states. He'll be able to retire in three years at the age of 50.

Ahhhh...all those young people we met many years ago are now grandparents, getting ready to retire or are retired.

Where does the time go....
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