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Wednesday Slice question

Many years ago, I started a new job at about the same time as a woman I'll call Pam.

Perhaps because we were both newcomers and perhaps because we both worked in a socially cliquish department, we became friends. It helped that I enjoyed being around her partner, a woman with an original sense of humor.

My wife-to-be had not yet moved across the country to this new city, so I had lots of time to spend with Pam and her partner.

Now Pam wasn't afraid to call it like she saw it. Some would say she was tactless. And so it was not long before she had alienated several people at our workplace.

Maybe they did not enjoy being challenged. Or maybe it was the way Pam went about it.

Over time Pam seemed to go from being a bold truth-teller to being a malcontent. At least that's how it struck me.

She eventually got fired. The boss cited a bizarre incident I won't try to recount here. But I believed then and believe now that it was just an excuse to get rid of someone who had made herself a pain in the ass.  

On the day she was fired, Pam approached me and basically insinuated that if I didn't quit in solidarity with her I was a coward. I chalked that up to high emotions of the moment.

I didn't quit, of course. But though I didn't realize it right away, that was the end of our friendship    

So here's the question.

Have you ever had a friendship come to an end because the other person wanted you to express your loyalty to him or her by doing something that struck you as insanely self-destructive?


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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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