Making friends the hard way

by Nic Olson

After a month of a new city, I was worried that I hadn’t made any new friends. I had obviously met people, but had I met anyone that actually had a desire to spend time with me, I didn’t know. I was the friendly one night stand that everyone loved to talk about.

‘That guy from Saskatchewan who is so mysterious and dreamy, but could I start a long-term friendship with him, I just don’t know.’

Then I went to the best bar in town last night to watch hockey and I saw a few people that I think wanted to see me. Along with some old time friends in town for the weekend, here to revel in the glory of a game two victory, there were a few new people that weren’t just in it for the sexy times, but for the hard times too. Then I went to a fundraiser show afterwards, where basically everyone else that I have met in this city was there, enjoying the soothing blends of guitars, beers, banana bread and brownies. There were people who I knew, who knew me, and who wanted to spend time. I may have found people who don’t just want me for my body…

But on Thursday, before I found out friends, I found out hatred. A call centre is an interesting place. It is actually the most absurd place I’ve ever worked. The egos and the vibes and the suits and the lack of recycling bins and the brainwashed employees thinking they are making a difference; it all throws me off pretty hard. I literally shake my head and cuss to my cubicle when I hear sales pitches or notice colleagues talking to their computers with hand emphasis and eyebrow raises, as if their fifteen inch Dell screens were human beings with eyes, minds or emotions. One thirty two year old sitting behind me, who I was sure was 19, kept asking the girl next to me some pretty personal questions. He kept on this way for a few days, cackling after every ‘joke’ he told, or every comment he made. I don’t want to sit here and complain about a human being, but he is number two on the list of coworkers that I’d like to run over with a zoomboom or strangle with a telephone headset cord. Later I asked the girl quietly if she wanted me to tell him to back off because she was too nice to do it herself. She said, yes, please. Chivalrous as I am, I asked him if being creepy and obnoxious has gotten him girls in the past. And for some reason after that he wanted to fight me. We went through the day like business men, he threw a few ‘subtle comments’ my way, and I thought that would be it. But after work he followed me onto the street so he could talk to me. Things got real, he wanted to stab me, I walked away and told him to have a good night. I’m making all kinds of friends.

So this weekend is devoted to old friends in new settings.
Because new friends are great, but they still may want me for only my body.
Because work friends are great, but getting stabbed the day of your second live Habs game isn’t my dream.