This colleague of mine, let’s call her “LL”, is in my team, she is on bit senior position than mine and has been working with the company for more than 5 years now. In fact, when I joined, she was one to guide me on what my role is, what my duties are. She became like my friend.
Every morning, we use to go to this cafe near our building and use to chat while waiting for our coffees and toasts to be prepared. We use to go for lunch together, then to this juice centre where we use to drink fresh juices, browse around in the shops and thus having fun during lunch breaks.
When she got engaged she told me before telling anyone else in office. We use to talk about in-laws, wedding ceremonies, different cultures, we added each other on face book, everyone in the office knew that we both will be together only… even while attending meetings, we use to sit next to each other, share pics by bump app on iphone under the table during meetings.. Basically we had all the fun in office and I can say because of her only I was able to adjust in this new work culture in new country and started loving my job 🙂
Suddenly, a month ago, she started becoming very quiet, she stopped sharing anything with me, even on Mondays I use to ask her about the weekend but she did not reply anything, always faking her smiles.
She stopped joining me for lunch, I thought maybe she is bringing her lunch every day from home or maybe she is busy with her work. Then she stopped joining me for morning coffee as well. My morning coffees did not taste the same without her. In fact I bought ready-made sachets for myself so that I don’t have to go to cafe alone without her.
I was so upset thinking what have I done wrong that she is behaving like this way?? As she was bit senior to me, we talked about work, she use to assign me some or other work. I never said no, she was assigning me some work previously too but it was more fun to do it for a friend rather than doing it for a friend, who is in senior position but has stopped talking.
Whenever I went to ask her anything work related, she use to keep looking in her computer as if she has not heard what I am asking. I felt that she is behaving like she is doing more important work and what I am asking, standing in front of her, is not important at all or she thinks I am disturbing her 😦
I felt that now she has suddenly started behaving like she is very senior to me and I am junior. I was losing my confidence in work, I was always hesitant to ask her anything work relating, let alone talking about the personal life. I thought, OK, if she is behaving like this, I will also behave the same. If she does not care, I will also not care.
So, last week, I don’t know how but we agreed to go for lunch after such a long time. This was like our first lunch after a month. We went to the food court, ate our lunch and then I asked her if she wants to go to this fresh juice centre, where we use to go before also.
She said she has brought the fresh juice from home and she brings it every day. Now, she is not that type of girl who does any work at home. I was surprised and I asked her why she has started juicing? And also I noticed that she has stopped eating any meat as well. So, I asked that too like why she has become vegetarian suddenly??
The reply she gave to me, made me cry literally. I could not stop tears in my eyes, I just hugged her and said sorry to her. I felt guilty of what I have thought about her for so many days. I thought she was being selfish, she was being rude, she was showing off her position but she has nothing like this in her mind. I just could not say anything to her after that.
You must be wondering what was LL’s reply??
Well, she said that she has lump in her stomach and doctor has asked her to go under surgery as soon as possible so that lump does not convert into cancer. And that is why she has stopped drinking coffee to avoid caffeine, she has to save money for her surgery, that is why she has started juicing at home and she is not eating meat because doctor has advised her to eat veggies only if possible.
She has called her Mom from Indonesia to look after her during surgery. It is her wedding in December 😦
Yesterday, I had meeting with our manager and she told me that LL underwent same surgery last to last year as well and now again 😦
I feel so foolish that I misjudged her, I did not even thought that there can be some other reason behind her behavior. I learned a life time lesson to not to judge any one so quickly.