Why everyone needs a work wife
WE haven't worked together for almost a decade, but Christina was my first - and best - work wife.
She picked me up when I fell off the stage at the office Christmas party and let me crash on her sofa the following year when I lost all my possessions and couldn't get into my apartment. We've travelled from Caracas to Kiev together and still go on holiday when we can, children and partners allowing. When she got married, I was her bridesmaid.
But the defining moment when I realised she was my work wife happened eight years ago when I was made redundant from the company we worked at together.
It was my first job and I'd been there almost four years.
I kind of knew it was time to leave and it wasn't the biggest shock in the world but, still, no one really expects that conversation on a Monday afternoon.
I wouldn't have bought all my lunches for the week from the supermarket next door an hour earlier if I had.
After being told I was probably losing my job, I went straight to the pub and called Christina, who came straightaway with my handbag, which I'd left behind.
She stayed all evening and took me for dinner in an attempt to sober me up, offering me a space in her bed if I didn't want to go home on my own.
She said she'd clear my desk for me, too, so I wouldn't have to go back to the office if I didn't want to.
WHEN MATES BECOME MENTORS
And that's why a work wife is brilliant: she's somewhere between your colleague, who totally gets why you hate Claire, the office manager, with a passion and your best friend, who gets you, but rolled into one person.
Having a "work wife" is good for your career.
According to a 2016 study by the guys at CV-library, 47.2 per cent of UK professionals either have or wish they had a "work spouse."
Respondents cited the benefits as "offering support and mentorship, providing advice and guidance and offering friendship and companionship."
Another study shows that 50 per cent of those with a best friend at work feel they have a strong connection with the company and 70 per cent of employees say having friends at work is the most crucial part of a happy working life.
CHRISTMAS PARTIES AND MISTAKES
I keep referring to a "work wife" - because who doesn't love alliteration? - and we are looking at female friendships, but I am, of course, referring to a work spouse.
They are your work "person," someone who has your back in any situation, will give you proper good advice and will never stab you in the back just to get in there with Geoff from Procurement.
She (or he) is the person you make a pact with before the Christmas party to whisk you away when you start to get "boozy melted face," which means you're about to do something bad. You know she'll be keeping an eye out and will move heaven and earth to ensure you don't get caught feeling up that new guy from Finance in the disabled toilets.
She's the person you can complain to about your boss without fear of reprisals.
She's also the person who will give you proper objective career advice when you're not sure what your next move should be, if you messed up that presentation, or whether you should be going for that promotion.
It also means you've always got someone to go to lunch with.
This article originally appeared on whimn.com.au.