Me on my first date with Lunchbox Meerkat, back in 2010.

As many of you know, I recently broke up with my corporation (whom, for the purposes of this story and to maintain privacy, we shall call Lunchbox Meerkat). We had a good five-year run, but I felt like we’d been growing apart.

One of the tricky parts of a break-up like this is navigating “friend custody.” Especially since I just started a new relationship with a company called Swell (not its real name). Would the friends Lunchbox and I shared un-LinkedIn me? (Un-Linked-me-in?) And what about my new Swell buddies? Could we all like each other’s posts on Leveraging the Synergy of an Energetic Workspace Like Learnings Functionality Matrix…wait, what?

The answer is, happily, yes! In fact, a friend of mine who used to see Lunchbox Meerkat casually started a serious relationship with Swell a few months ago, and she’s the one who introduced us! We’re both involved with the same Business Unit now.

The biggest thing I will miss about Lunchbox is its on-site medical facilities. (Yes, you read that right. As Patient of the Month for several months running at three major area hospitals and my local CVS, these things are important to me.) Swell lives in Texas, so it’s more of a long-distance relationship. Lunchbox was right nearby. So whether I sprained my core competencies or felt woozy while actioning my deliverables, help was never far away.

On my last day, I went to say goodbye to my favorite nurse practitioners, Laura and Lorrie (totally their real names). They have drawn more blood from me than I knew I had (in the name of science and research – I think – except for that time when I came in with a sore throat. That time was weird.), patched up a fingertip I cut nearly totally off, and provided me with ice packs, bandaids and comforting, mommy-level attention. Granted, I’m older (by a number of years) than both of them, but I ran with the whole “mom” theme anyway. It was tough to tell them about the break up.

Me: Lunchbox and I aren’t together anymore. But I was wondering if I could still see you. Do you have, you know, office hours somewhere else?

Lorrie: (smiling nervously) Umm…Hey Laura! Look who’s here! It’s Bettina! She’s leaving us!

Laura: ooooooh, we’ll miss youuuuuu (said in that reassuring Nurse Voice).

Me: (crushed in a hug with Laura and trying to pretend I’m not smelling her hair – what shampoo does she use? It’s amazing. Like sugar cookies and flowers.) Seriously, can I see you guys outside of work? A Minute Clinic down the street maybe?

Lorrie: (taking my temperature one last time) Oh you’ll be fine. Here’s my business card. Give us a call and let us know how you’re doing.

Laura: (slips her card in my blood pressure cuff while Lorrie takes a quick reading) We’ll miss you!

Then they slapped a couple of bandaids on me for good measure, handed me a pamphlet on controlling my blood sugar and sent me on my way. Sigh.

It’s going to take me a while to move on. Rite Aid may have a 24-hour clinic, but it’s just not the same. I dream that one day I will run into Laura or Lorrie at the supermarket. Our eyes will meet and we’ll recognize each other, even without my lanyard or her white coat. We’ll smile briefly, sadly, in recognition before we pass by each other. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll glance at my cart and notice my vitamins or take a quick read of my latest prescription I picked up. “Yes,” she will nod. “Yes. That’s what I would have given you to relieve your constipation too.”