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StorkNet Home > Parenting Channel > Working Mothers Cubby

From Friend to Boss
by Kenyatta Thomas
I was always one of the girls at work. Nothing fancy, just another word processor, then technical editor . . . one of the girls. Sharing stories about work and home life, boyfriends and husbands, and eventually kids.

I always had a common bond with "the girls" . . . until . . . I got promoted.

First, of course, everyone was happy for me. I'd earned it. It was too long in coming. They knew I'd make a fair boss. I told myself that I would welcome the challenge of more responsibility, while continuing to enjoy the camaraderie of "the girls."

But I noticed, slowly but surely, lunches that just happened without me . . . gripe sessions about the manager would cease, as I entered a cube . . .

. . . and after preparing for every possibility I could think of, I hadn't been prepared for one thing - my feelings to be hurt. After all, weren't we all friends? I was still one of the girls, wasn't I?

I finally had to come to the realization that while some things remained the same - other things changed - namely - the perception that being a manager put me on the side of them.

But if I was really honest with myself - things HAD changed, and I DID have a new role to play, and sometimes it WAS in the role of disciplinarian . . . as much as I hated to admit that.

Things had changed because my responsibilities changed. I was no longer responsible for my own work . . . I was responsible for everyone's work - how it got done - how quickly it got done. Not only was I responsible for my OWN time, I was now responsible for everyone's time, making sure that they were there on time, or if they weren't coming in, that they called in. And I still had a boss too . . . who's expectations were different, who expected the girls to still get things done, and if they did not, it was then left TO ME.

Yes, things changed. So, can you go from friend to boss - and still remain friends? Absolutely.

Make sure the lines concerning work expectations, are not blurred by friendship. Keep your outings whether they are lunch or shopping. Instead of completely stopping them, go out weekly and save the really good girlfriend chitchat for the weekends. But most importantly, admit to yourself that things ARE different, because your responsibilities are different. But your friendships, if true friendships, don't have to suffer because of it.

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