Fake Coworkers

This is bothering me more than it should.

I work at a fast food coffee place, my brother is the assistant manager, and im just a crew member who could pass off as someone who leads shifts.

A lot of people (the main people who work here range from ages 17-23) are gossipy and are distant from me as a result.

Over time, every single of of us grew tired of our boss and the attitude and treatment of staff, so as a result we were happier on shifts without her.

There was a coworker I thought was cool to be around until she got into an edgy phase (mind you she’s 16) and I always try to work as hard as possible and keep a good relationship with our boss so agreeing with any of her behavior wasnt a good idea, so we veered off into our own spaces, and she found a group of friends over time as more people were hired.

Partially due to the fact that I have to fake friendliness to everyone, and partially because i was interested and getting to know that group personally, i always tried to engage with them. They were friends with the coworker I enjoyed being around so I wanted to join in too.

But considering work performance being my top priority and they preferred to socialize, I ended of working through days instead of getting to know them, sometimes even telling them to get back to working…

Considering most people are sick of working here now including me, my brother, his fiancee, and my boyfriend (Yes, we all work here), everyone sort of bands together in this bonding of sticking it out for each other and really hating the job and being sick of the boss kinda deal.
( I also forgot to mention that back when everyone wasnt sick of working here, I always tried to report if someone was doing something wrong. I work with family, so im trying to make his life easier. That might sound cold, but its what I did)

So now since everyone is bonding over hating the job, the 16 year old that once worked here left and i tried to keep in contact with her just to catch up. She seemed to have a rough home life at times and i couldnt help but want to reach out. It doesnt seem like itll last.

Another coworker apart of that friend group also left. I tried to keep in contact with her, which she agreed with face to face, but now i feel like being ghosted. I reached out a second time about something she said she would share to me but didnt, she said she would show me when she got home. Never did, and didnt message back from a conversation we had on text either.

Now I just feel this regret of having them in contact in the first place. When i first came to this job i told myself I don’t want to try to make any friends here, that was my promise and I broke it.

Now I can’t stop thinking about how they don’t text me and how they’re gossipy and it was a bad idea to try to establish friendship in the first place and how I really want to block them to make myself feel better but a friend in that group still works here and I dont want to stir the pot with anyone from a simple block.

I also broke a promise to myself so it hurts.

How do I get myself out of this headspace? We leave this job in possibly late april but I can’t get these negative thoughts out of my head I feel full of regret I don’t even want to tell my brother I tried to message one of the friend group friends because I feel shame, I feel like he wouldn’t understand why I tried to message someone like her in the first place, sort of like how I feel. He only knows I texted the 16 year old.

I don’t want to associate with them anymore, and I want to leave this job so bad. They don’t message me but I don’t like that I messaged them and there’s a chance they’ll message back.

How do I go by dealing with any of this?

I’m really sorry for this long topic. Thank you for reading.


It really sounds to me like those - I should create a distinction between work “friends” and other friends. When people work together, there’s pressure to get along by whatever means necessary. Often getting along means to agree with whoever has the most dominant personality, or at least the most dominant person ends up with a following. Cliques form. Rivalries between “us and them” is virtually inevitable. Additionally, it’s very rare that anyone, including the dominant person is without a “mask” or persona that they hide many of their true feelings behind.

In addition, in the setting you describe, it’s common for people to be so craving of acceptance, they’re willing to compromise or abandon their own beliefs, at least publicly, in order to fit into the workplace culture. Sadly, too often one of the first things to be abandoned is one’s own integrity. It usually takes the form of “I don’t get paid enough to give a shit.” And “if you give a shit, you don’t belong in my clique.” There’s also “I’ll be nice and friendly, but I really don’t care about you.”

That’s not to say genuine friendships can’t form, but they generally take quite a bit of time to develop. People have to be around each other for long enough to determine whether or not they’re “for real.” In the workplace you describe, it could be that nobody’s ever there long enough for such authentic friendships to emerge.

How do you get out of the headspace? It’s a bit like buying a used car. It may look good on the surface, but it could turn out to be a clunker. Some friendships appear good on the surface, but beyond that, there’s nothing substantial that can be relied upon. The way to get out of the headspace is to avoid investing more time and currency of feelings into “clunker” friendships.

You’ll encounter many disappointing people. There’s no sense in getting angry. They either don’t know any better than to act according to their cultural conditioning, or they think they’re doing what they have to in order to fit in and make their circumstances tolerable.

There’s no need to blame yourself or feel shame regarding how you’ve tried to keep friendships going. You’re just learning about workplace culture the hard way.

Promise to be gentle and fair with yourself. Treat yourself as well as you’d treat a friend who’s going through the same experience.

In a lot of situations like yours, if you calmly do your job and generally keep your cool, there will be those who resent you because you’re making their half-assed efforts look bad. Sometimes just demonstrating a reasonable amount of integrity will bring accusations of sucking up. Still, you’re better off being true to yourself.

One attribute that’s rare as hen’s teeth is the practice of doing just a bit more than is expected of you. For example, as a short order cook, at the end of the day, the grill needed cleaning. Some people made it shine, others left it looking kinda crappy. I’d make it shine and clean out the grease collection container. That tiny bit of extra effort kept the boss from hassling me. I’ve always added a bit of extra flair to my work, and it invariably paid off. Another weird thing I discovered is that it doesn’t feel particularly good to feel forced to produce a minimally acceptable work product, but if you add a bit to it, suddenly, you’re in control of your time, at least for that little while that you’re adding your own “signature” to your work.

I think I’ve digressed a bit, but I hope I’ve been some help.

It can be really hard when you feel on the outside of friend groups, especially when you’re spending day in and day out in the same place as them.

Some of the only fond memories of some of my old jobs were the company at work. I didn’t necessarily hang around those people outside of work, and much like you I had a duty to make sure they were working and not just having fun. And once I left those places, I lost contact with those people. Sometimes people are in our lives for brief stints of time and we can enjoy them in the moment.

I know the gossiping side of it can get tiring, everywhere has people who do that unfortunately.

Do you have some fond memories of working with these people?

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Hey, itsnotoveryet!

Friendships are hard and especially work friendships. I’m gonna share a couple videos that feel like they sum up the dynamic pretty well.

I’ve worked so many different places and I always want to make friends with my coworkers but it so rarely happens. And I cannot tell you how many people at jobs I have exchanged numbers with who say they wanna be friends but then it never works out. It’s a sad fact of life. I have found that the work friendships that become real friendships are the ones that don’t take effort. It’s almost like the fact you work together is secondary to how well you get along. It’s rare, but it happens. And it’s awesome that you get to spend your work days (for now) with some real friends and those relationships you already have established. That’s a wonderful gift. Embrace those real relationships you have and hopefully some of those natural friendships from jobs come your way with time.

Here are the videos: