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The 15 Codes Only You And Your Office BFF Will Understand

With the overwhelming amount of time we spend in the office, it’s important to have a partner-in-crime who has your back against faulty Keurigs and overachieving colleagues.

Your office BFF understands the petty things that your friends just can’t -- like how messed up it was that John from Accounting took the last hot cup from under the sink.

Because you two practically spend all waking day together, you’ve got a friendship code that is unlike most typical relationships. There’s a different way of communicating with each other that only seems to translate in the office setting.

Here’s the unique code that only you and your office BFF understand.

1. “Let’s chat offline”

You know it’s not going to be your standard ranting and rumor spreading when you receive the “we can’t chat on here” warning message. Whatever can’t be said on your supposedly "secure" computer can definitely be spoken in hushed tones on your way to lunch, however. The key is not to leave a written record, which is exactly what your shady boss taught you on Day One. See how easy it is to follow protocol?

2. Headphones In

Regardless if they are actually in use or not, headphone usage signifies that no substantial chit-chatting will be taking place for the duration of their wear. That doesn’t mean you two will refrain from speaking online, though.

3. “I hate everyone”

Everyone = the few choice people you and your office BFF mutually loathe, but that pretty much includes everyone on the really bad days. As a commiserating work-soul, you never mind indulging in her latest gripe against the office community because you understand how cathartic it is to let it out. And chances are you’re probably not-so-secretly hating everyone too today. This is why you two are office BFFs.

4. Bringing lunch

B.Y.O.Lunch means that your work buddy is not trying to spend her extra cash on food this week and is also attempting to eat better in the process. You’re supportive of her efforts since, frankly, you’re not getting paid enough to afford that $11 salad either. Her good habits rub off on you and vice versa. Plus, there’s something comforting about not being the only one to carry your tupperware home.

5. Nicknames

Sometimes you genuinely believe you and your office BFF are selling yourselves short, judging by the creative nicknames you devise for practically everyone in the office.

You truly only know the interns by their special monikers: “The Good One,” “The Mary Poppins” (aka the one who has everything from Advil to extra umbrellas in her bag) and “The Kid Who Is Definitely On Drugs” (he won’t last long). These nicknames would have been top secret except for the fact that you accidentally hit “Reply All” on the last company-wide email chain. Classic.

6. “I’m going to get ______. Need anything?”

When she puts on her jacket first and then offers for you to join her (instead of giving you the heads-up that she’s stepping out), you are close enough to know that this is universal code for either “I need to sh*t,” “I’m taking sh*t” or “I’m losing my sh*t.” You don’t actually expect her to bring anything back for you.

7. “What are you doing for lunch?”

“I am so effin’ bored. Ready to leave when you are.” It’s only 11 am, girl.

8. “Wanna take a break?”

Want to go somewhere for 20 minutes and vent about everyone and everything that is bugging us? And then promise that nothing ever, ever leaves the Starbucks. What are office BFFs for, anyway?

9. Passing on Bagel Wednesdays

“I’m trying to eat healthy this week.” Even though you can’t mutually decide on a lunch spot, you both agree to accompany each other on the walk (so you can rant more about the office, naturally). She’s not going to be making those 3:30 pm candy runs with you, but she will totally still have your back when it comes to happy hour.

10. THE look

You and your office BFF have an unspoken double-team vendetta against that smarmy, transparent coworker who you are both convinced is trying to destroy your careers while furthering his own. Any time he dares so much as to speak, you two are exchanging side-glances and rolling eyes because he’s Just. So. Awful. When your boss can’t see it, you’re grateful that your work BFF totally gets it.

11. Marry, f*ck, kill

She’s about to share her office crush with you and then the conversation will quickly turn to “kill, kill and kill.”

12. Can I ask you something?

You wouldn’t dare ask anyone but your office BFF generally annoying questions like, “How do I print?” and “Does this sentence make sense?”. And you always want her input first before you ask your boss.

13. Weeknight binge drinking

Maybe it was a particularly bad day when you couldn’t do anything right. Maybe there were no more tampons left in the girl’s bathroom. Or maybe you talked about quitting a little more than usual today. You both understand and appreciate the inner-alcoholic in the other. Finished the entire bottle when you came home instead of your dinner? She’ll be there to laugh about it when you recap in the kitchenette tomorrow morning. Which brings us to….

14. The Recap

Since you spend more time together than apart, it feels weird when your work BFF leads Life Number 2 outside of the office. Enter: the recap. Everything that did not happen explicitly in the workplace must be brought up and commented on over coffee the next day. Half the excitement of going to work is to have in-depth discussions with your BFF on totally random topics, instead of doing actual work.

15. Don’t leave me

When she takes a vacation, it feels as if you’ve been abandoned, left to figure out the paper jam all on your own. Your work BFF is one of your main reasons for showing up to the office; without her, all you have is your favorite ballpoint pen and the evil thoughts about #10 to keep you motivated.

Photo credit: Valentines Day