There’s a lot of truth in being forgotten as soon as the new coat of paint is dry.
Haven’t heard that expression? Hubby and I are familiar with it, knowing that no matter how close our friendships were, not being in the immediate line of sight soon led to invisibility, dismissal and eventual extinction.
But we’ve all heard it haven’t we, when we leave a job or move away, everyone says
‘Keep in touch’, ‘Don’t be a stranger’, or ‘Don’t forget to write’.
Paint the barn door and ‘your colour’ is passed into Neverland, that afterlife of what was, faded and then totally forgotten.
There are times though when I feel like a mushroom, forever being kept in the dark and fed on the sh1t people throw at me expecting me to thrive.
Like a dog with a favourite bone, I will lick it clean, and continue to do so in the hope of finding that little bit of juiciness still left that I may have overlooked, or that had miraculously appeared just when I was about to discard it.
At school, especially Grammar, my ‘friends’ were fickle and only interested in me when it benefitted them. Then I grew to know that, so it didn’t have much of an effect on me in the end, and I have no idea (and don’t care) what any of my classmates are doing today.
In my working life, I interacted with a lot of people during office hours, attended the firm’s Christmas Party, business celebrations and the Fourth of July Picnic, and occasionally, socialize with a few of my colleagues on a more personal basis.
One of the single and younger girls I worked with before I was made redundant had a series of problems at home, and turned to me often for sympathy and support. I always tried to rally her spirits by concentrating on her good points, and on one occasion, invited her over for a meal, but she didn’t turn up.
Luckily, what I had prepared was freezable so didn’t go to waste, and I didn’t hear from her for months.
Out of the blue, I had a phone call.
After a few pleasantries, she finally apologised for not coming over ‘that time’ and asked if she could come now as she was feeling depressed because her new job wasn’t working out.
When I asked what she was doing, she explained she had been hired as a support technician for a communications company and was on a three month probationary period. I was surprised as, without being unkind, I wasn’t aware this was something she could do, though I didn’t say so.
She said she’d ticked ‘Yes’ against various computer software programmes she was familiar with on the application form, but had actually misunderstood the questions and job description, believing she would be using the software at a desk in an office, not installing it, problem solving or maintaining it out on site. It was now becoming painfully obvious that she couldn’t deliver, and was apparently blaming me for her dilemma as I had ‘built her up’ to believe she could do the job she’d applied for.
Hubby was not impressed and tired of people using me to boost their egos at their convenience then being expected to get them out of trouble of their own making.
Bearing in mind that she had been made redundant well over a year after me and had no contact with me in all that time, I could hardly be held accountable for her failings on a job I knew nothing about, and he told her so.
The conversation ended with her promising to ring me at work to arrange meeting her for lunch on her birthday the following week, but surprisingly we never heard from her again.
No matter how valuable we are as friends, colleagues or employees, once we are no longer available, we are soon forgotten.
Perhaps occasionally someone will think ‘I wonder whatever happened to so-and-so’, but then it all depends how many times the workplace has been decorated be it with paint or new people.
In 1974, my old boss decided to leave his mark in the office by scrawling a message behind the new plasterboard after the decorators had left. The building is still there, but I wonder if his message has ever been discovered.
It’s odd, because I went to college without the benefit of social media (though we did have the Internet). I fell out of touch with many people, and then with the advent of social media, many people I had forgotten about resurfaced. I wonder if it will make a difference going forward with regard to keeping in touch with people.
I left school in 1972 though there was a 25 year reunion, to which I was never invited (they could have contacted me through my parents, my surname wasn’t exactly common). I don’t partake (or want to) in twitter or facebook, and although I kept in touch with my banking workmates, it all fizzled out. I am still in contact with one friend from the 70s albeit Christmas and birthdays, a boss from the 80s, and two of our dog walking friends from Lincolnshire are aware of my blog.
Relationships are a funny thing. Just today I was thinking about the amount of time/ energy/ thought I put into blogging/ interacting with fellow bloggers, and especially the number of bloggers I’ve gotten to know who for one reason or another dropped off the radar, a couple announced it ahead of time, most of the rest, just stopped writing….I wonder how wise it is for me long term to invest this much emotional currency into this area of life…is it like trying to make plans to build a house on a mirage in the desert, or fill up on cotton candy? Is it all an illusion? To answer my own questions.. not completely. because once in a while a blogging relationship does turn into a real flesh and blood friendship.
It doesn’t matter if it’s friends or family, I hate the one sidedness. That’s probably why I enjoy blogging because interaction leads to response. Like you though, I’ve noticed some bloggers I follow or who follow me have just disappeared for no reason. A WP statement comes up that they haven’t posted for a while and to try ‘Discover’.
Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:
I thought I’d reblog this as with Christmas just around the corner, I shall be sending out my cards and newsletters to friends and distant family as I do every year.
Most of the people we meet, pass through our lives quickly, like ships in the night. I often wonder whose fault it is, ours or theirs?
It really is difficult to say……… someone once said they only kept in touch with people who kept in touch with them, but never made the first move. I’m used to sending cards to friends and family and getting no response, but I still do it. I suppose it’s to prove I’m still here!
Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.
I understand what you mean entirely. I don’t speak to anyone from my school, old employers, one of which my boss and I were the best of friends, we never speak. Same thing, 25th HS reunion, never got an invite.
However, when Facebook came out and everyone was trying to connect from all over, I got into it…However, it was like a competition through life, who outdid the other. I wasn’t into that at all. It was roughly 9 months ago, I got off FB.
Family? That’s an utter joke. Mom is it. Siblings fell off the planet as far as I’m concerned.
People just seem to come and go in our lives for many reasons. I look at it this way… At least I had them in my life at one point, and the memories still linger.
Bro in NZ is my family, and close friends we have made here. It was good to be a part of something all those years ago, but when you end up doing all the running, you soon get tired and out of breath.
I know wht you mean. Most of my friends were out on Long Island, I was the one running. Paying tolls, spending money of gas, etc… No one else would do that to come see me. To me that was a bunch of BS!
When I stoped visiting, that’s when the phone calls die down, no ore cards, no more anything. We all basically went our separate ways.