I have worked enough office jobs and internships in my day to know that there are two vital humans that need to be in an office for maximum productivity and success: your office crush, and much more importantly, your office best friend. If you have a good enough best friend at work, it can cancel out pretty much anything else your job can throw at you, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I once worked in a café so shorthanded and disorganized that they made me train someone on my second day. Despite the fact that most of the other employees were showing up for 5AM shifts drunk and we were getting paid minimum wage, I stayed for three months longer than I meant to solely because I had met my work soulmate there.
Mindy Lahiri of The Mindy Project is oft-quoted saying that "best friend is a tier," and she couldn't be more right. "Work best friend" is also a tier, one that is highly respected, and when achieved is one of the most rare and beautiful things a human will ever experience. They are the Leslie to your Ann, the Oscar to your Angela, the Everyone On The Planet to your Kenneth. There are so many things you experience with a work best friend that you won't with best friends outside of work:
They are the only one who understands your work struggles
They share your mortal hatred for the office printer, the impossibility of getting through the line at the only good lunch place nearby, the weirdness of that one office creep who always lingers at people's desks too long and makes far too much "meaningful eye contact." They know it because they lived it. You don't even have to explain.
They also don’t know any of your outside-of-work friends
You love your non-work friends, but you know who you can't complain to about your non-work friends? You guessed it! Your non-work friends. Your best work friend acts as a willing sounding board for all of your issues with your "other" friends. But you can somewhat guiltlessly vent to your work BFF about them because they don't have any real stake in the matter. Plus, they can offer some judgment with a perspective outside of a situation the way your other friends can't.
You end up spending way more time with them than "real" friends
It honestly doesn't feel right to not include your work BFF as a "real" friend at this point. In fact, you probably spend more time talking to them than you do any other friend, or boyfriend, or parent, or...
Which means you know each other ridiculously well
You know about their weakness for grown men in beanies, that recurring dream that they had about Jennifer Lawrence last summer, and who their top five celebrity crushes are. It would surprise you at this point if there was anything about them that you didn't know.
Their pep talks about work actually mean something
When you have setbacks at work, you will whine about it to anyone who listens, but there is really only so much a non-work friend can say to make you feel better when they don't really understand what is going on at work. Your work BFF, however, knows exactly what to say and how to comfort you. Odds are they've dealt with the same problems themselves.
They think your impression of your boss is spot on
YOU'RE FUNNY, DAMMIT. And your non-work friends would totally know that too, if they had met the guy.
And they’ll laugh at all your inside work jokes
Thank you, thank you, I'll be here for most likely the rest of my life or until I retire.
Planning lunches gets blown WAY out of proportion (in the best way)
I had a work best friend from an internship last summer. She and I were religious about the one day a week we let ourselves buy a lunch instead of paper bagging it. We literally pulled up bird's eye view maps of the area surrounding our office, made a priority list, and scheduled two months of lunch eating together. It is all we looked forward to. Lunch outings were more important than Christmas. Lunch just plain isn't that exciting with anyone else. Non-work friends will never understand the importance of this delicious oasis in your workday.
Getting tipsy with them is somehow more satisfying
Happy hour is where the truest bonding happens. On the Fridays that you let loose and go get a drink together, it is the bomb-diggity getting to hang out with each other in this different element when you're so used to seeing them buttoned up and professional (or at least putting their best Game Face on). Plus, you have both endured the same kind of day, so you appreciate the exact reasons why it is necessary to unwind.
If they’re not there one day, the day is officially wrecked
The only real hazard to office best friendship: They have the power to make your life miserable simply by not showing up. It's no big deal in the real world if a friend cancels plans on me (ice cream and Netflix back-up plan FTW), but if a work friend is sick, it results in universe implosion.
You use your whisper voice 100% more often with them
Psst. You know that tiny, little voice when you talk like this so your boss/co-workers you are gossiping about won't hear you?
Yeah, if you used that in real life people would think your vocal chords had been ripped out by Ursula and get you tested for strep.
You push each other to go after your passions
Here is the thing about work best friends: they genuinely want what is best for you professionally, even if that means that you belong in a job somewhere other than where you are right now. They fully support your endeavors and you fully support theirs, because you have both watched each other toil and achieve and understand more than anyone what it took for you both to get where you are today. There is no support quite as unconditional as a work best friend's when it comes to your career.
Images: NBC; Giphy (9)