For the past several years I have worked with the same auditor every time I traveled for work. After spending nearly a full week (5 days, breakfast to dinner) with this auditor every year–plus the conversations leading up to and following the audits–it was easy to develop a personal realationship with him as well as a work one. While we were at dinner he’d tell me about his daughters and granddaughters, and I’d tell him about my nephew, or the guy I was dating/had recently dated. It was the kind of “friends catching up” visit I looked forward to each year.
Flash forward to this year. The company I work for has decided to terminate our business relationship with this auditor. It was a decision I had aboslutely zero input in. Although I thoroughly enjoyed his company, I would no longer have the opportunity to see him on an annual basis.
I thought about texting him a couple of times just to say “hi” and catch up on his kids, but I didn’t because what if it was weird? What do you say? “Sorry you got fired–do you still want to be my friend?” Is it even prudent for a young lady to be texting married men just to chat? What if he didn’t enjoy hanging out with me as much as I had enjoyed hanging out with him? For all these reasons, every time I thought about texting him, I talked myself out of it.
On my trip to Boston, the new auditor set it up so that we would meet up with the old auditor for ice cream since he lives in the area. It was a great opportunity to settle those nerves, and since he greeted me with a hug, my guess is that I was completely over-analyzing and worrying about nothing (not that that particular character trait surprises anyone).
Business relationships can be tricky. How much of the relationship is just because someone said you have to work together, and how much is genuinely enjoying working with this person? What do you do when someone else decides that the relationship is over? Is it crossing some sort of make-believe line to persue a continued relationship with that person (in a 100% non-romantic kinda way)?
How do you manage business relationships? Am I overthinking this? Leave your advice/thoughts/suggestions in the comments below! Thanks!
1 thought on “Managing Business Relationships”
I think it’s difficult after a time to discern colleague from friend! The relationship I have been writing about started off as friends, then we worked together & the fireworks went off. I, personally, tend to get along better with men so I take no issue with having male friends as equals to female friends. Hope you had a chance to ask him when you saw him & that you are staying in touch!
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