Another piece of advice from Penelope Trunk’s blog: Work is more fun when you have friends.
True, a job is more fun when you have work friends: people to meet for lunch, people who add spice to meetings, and people who help you out when you’re overloaded.
I would say, just don’t assume they’re friend-friends. Don’t tell them anything you wouldn’t broacast over the company email and PA system. OK, maybe after you’ve known them awhile, you can relax.
But stories get changed in re-telling. Your light-hearted encounter with your drunk brother-in-law will get twisted into a story of you getting a DUI or tap-dancing on the boss’s car.
True story: one 50-something woman landed on a psych ward with a mental illness diagnosis. The *real* story was that she was misdiagnosed. She actually had a thyroid deficiency, which can cause hallucinations and other symptoms that resemble psychosis.
Unfortunately, her colleagues heard only “mental ward.” They whispered that she was “psycho.” Sadly, the whole episode happened before she started working there. She shared the story with a new work “friend” over drinks one evening, when they were talking about doctors. It seemed harmless. It wasn’t.