Do You Have a Best Friend at Work? March 11, 2013Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought.
Tags: amatonormative, best friend, Human Resources, singles blog, Surveys
Everyone in my office had to fill out some HR office morale assessment questionnaire. I know, I feel your fear of the letters “HR”. But in this case our HR department was working to (ostensibly) improve morale and alleviate any antagonism. Now, I *love* surveys–I love people asking me what I think!–but one particular question stumped me:
Do you have a best friend at work?
Huh. Do I have a best friend at work? I have my coffee buddy Max. My friend Sarah who I meet for lunch but who no longer works in our office. John works on the same niche project as I do so we share a lot of inside jokes. Germaine’s hobby is playwriting and my hobby is non-play writing, so we bond over that. Which one of them, I wondered, was my “best friend”? If I couldn’t choose, then did that mean I did not have a best friend and I’d have to say No; which would skew their results toward “lack of intra-office socializing” or whatever they were trying to measure with that question.
Copious Readers, by now you’ve recognized that whoever in HR composed this survey was thinking in amatonormative terms–that is, normalizing the couple unit at the expense of other kinds of relationships. Even though the survey wasn’t asking about romantic relationships (unfortunately so, because that would have made it much more interesting), it still presumed that a person ought to find The One–just this time, in a platonic office setting.
Copious Readers, do you have a best friend at work? If so, under what circumstances?
How could my HR folks have worded that question better?
Photo credit: Jorgitoayala