You’ve worked with Tara for four years and tolerated your minute-long interactions about your plans for the weekend, her plans for the weekend, and how those plans turned out. Today she’s leaving! Finally, it’s time to throw caution to the wind and actually get to know her. Here’s how…
Spend longer than 90 seconds in her company.
You’ve never spoken to Tara for longer than it takes to make a latte at your office coffee machine. It’ll take Tara a good two minutes to come out of her shell, but it’s worth the investment. You guys have so much in common! Apparently both of you are the oldest of five siblings and had similar near-death experiences involving a man in a blue mask. Dang it—if only you’d known that four years ago!
Don’t pretend you’re on the phone when you share the elevator together.
As we’ve learned from Jay-Z and Solange, elevator rides can be somewhat uncomfortable. Today, try not faking a conversation with your landlord over the phone, and instead talk to Tara about which company she’s moving to. Wow, she’s going to be her own boss at a tech company she’s been running in her free time for years? She’s ambitious and fun—where has this potential BFF been all your life?? (Answer: four feet from your desk.)
Connect with her on LinkedIn.
We only get one life to live on this pale blue dot we call Earth, so why not use today to connect with Tara on LinkedIn? It’s a great way to stay in touch without having to give her your cell number or share anything about your life other than your achievements. Who knew she had a Masters in Public Health from Yale? Yay! Get to Know Tara Day is the best!
Look up from your computer when she’s talking to you.
Making eye contact with Tara while she’s talking you through her job handover will help you connect with her in a way you’ve systematically avoided up till now. You may even bond over “those tricky clients” and “that nightmare account”. Apparently both of you were given whale ivory as a thank-you gift from the same jerk client! How did you not realize how much you had in common while you were not engaging with her for the past four years?!
Ask her about the photo of children on her desk.
You know that photo Tara has on her desk of two toddlers playing on a beautiful beach? Prepare to have your mind blown: They’re her kids! She spent a year in Zanzibar with her young family when her husband was on placement there as part of his tropical medicine research! If only you hadn’t feared the emotional burden of forging friendships as an adult, you could have been friends with a supermom and her hero hubbie!
Go to her farewell party.
Don’t fear the awkward company happy hour—Tara’s leaving, so she’s just a person now! You can talk to her about anything. Get wasted and end the night by crying on her shoulder and confiding that you feel suffocated by the unfriendly company culture and your own social anxiety. God, it feels so good to get to know her now that you don’t have to see her every day.
You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about Tara by showing any amount of interest in her life. After all this socializing, how ever will you find the energy to get to know her replacement?!