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Friends as colleagues and colleagues as friends


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#1 Cass

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 11:15 AM

I'm sure many of you have experienced this phenomenon in their life before, in one form or the other. Working with friends. You applied for a job where your best friend already worked, and now you're grilling patties together at McDonalds. You and your partner in crime came up with the best idea in existence, and now you're starting a company together. Maybe you just hired a good friend to work for you, or you're the good friend that's offering their service, like fixing their plumbing or doing their bookkeeping.

 

I can't remember the last time I had a job that didn't involve friendship for the largest part; either I was talked into applying by a friend who worked there, maybe we auditioned together or we started off something together. I think my job in hospitality is the only job I've ever had where I fully seperate social life from work life and do so succesfully. So for 80 to 90% of my workhistory, I've worked with or for friends. It's swung both ways: some situations were the best thing ever, other jobs completely destroyed friendships.

 

So, I'm curious what your stance is on this. What you have experienced, and whether you prefer it either way.

 

What kind of job did you share with your friend? Were they your peer or your superior? Did you skip away into the sunset or did it all go apeshit? Any idea why it worked or didn't work? What would you've done differently? And the other way around, have coworkers ever become such an important part of your social life (maybe met a spouse?) that it completely turned around the work dynamic? Why would you say friendship dynamics are beneficial to working environments and why not?

 

To give a little definition to friendship: I'm not talking about being friendly in general with coworkers, but more about those people you either knew before the job or who hang out with you regularly outside office hours, who you have a glass of wine with or maybe had sex with (let's pull the perspective a bit broader and include romance as well)



#2 Ali

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:29 PM

I have never had a job with a friend, and I actively try to avoid socialising with my colleagues. They're nice enough people, but I can easily spend 50 hours a week with them and I really have no interest in spending even more time than them. 



#3 cara

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:30 PM

I met two of my best friends at my old job and one decent friend at my current job (she has since quit). I lived with one of them at one point.

Honestly, I love these friends but I hated working with them. I'm just not a social person so to have that obligation of socializing with them every day was exhausting. As well, I had to go out with them after work quite often as the excuse 'I'm not doing anything after work, I just want to stay home and play xbox' could only be used so often with extroverted friends.

#4 Amethyst

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:36 PM

I have never had a job with a friend, and I actively try to avoid socialising with my colleagues. They're nice enough people, but I can easily spend 50 hours a week with them and I really have no interest in spending even more time than them. 

 

This exactly



#5 Coops

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:49 PM

I tried the whole friend-colleague thing and it crashed and burned rather fantastically. Never again, thanks.



#6 Kaddict

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:44 PM

This is tricky for me. For it to work, I feel like you have to be best friends. But, I think working with your spouse is a bad idea if you can avoid it. I will provide examples.

 

I did a week of plastic surgery with 2 docs here in town. They are absolutely best friends, and they do the majority of their cases together. Being in the OR with those guys was an insane amount of fun. They like working with each other, and they have abnormally good chemistry, banter, similar interests, ability to joke about banging each other's wives etc. But, I don't think that would work for everyone. There are plenty of people I have as friends that I would not be willing to be around 50+ hours a week, with no breaks from each other. You have to be good friends. 

 

My in-laws started and ran a business together (before selling it for 8 fekking figures). But, they were always around each other. At work. At home. And my mother in law picked up the same hobbies. Their relationship is strained bc she is sorta needy and likes being around him all the time, but he is like most people, that just wants some alone time. I think time apart from your spouse is healthy for a relationship. Especially with work, because they would bring work home all the time and argue about work stuff, which would permeate into arguing about home stuff. I have no idea how they have made it together this long. 

 

I like being friends with co-workers, and occasionally hanging out with them, but I don't like it to be my main source of friendship. You just need time apart from people. Plus, what do you talk about at the water cooler if you guys did the same stuff through the weekend? 



#7 Trapezeo

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 03:44 PM

I have never had a job with a friend, and I actively try to avoid socialising with my colleagues. They're nice enough people, but I can easily spend 50 hours a week with them and I really have no interest in spending even more time than them. 

This. I've never really wanted to spend time with my coworkers outside of the bank. I see them enough and that's good enough for me. 

 

I've never worked directly with a friend. I don't think I'd want to either. 



#8 Cass

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:30 PM

This is tricky for me. For it to work, I feel like you have to be best friends. But, I think working with your spouse is a bad idea if you can avoid it. I will provide examples.

 

I did a week of plastic surgery with 2 docs here in town. They are absolutely best friends, and they do the majority of their cases together. Being in the OR with those guys was an insane amount of fun. They like working with each other, and they have abnormally good chemistry, banter, similar interests, ability to joke about banging each other's wives etc. But, I don't think that would work for everyone. There are plenty of people I have as friends that I would not be willing to be around 50+ hours a week, with no breaks from each other. You have to be good friends. 

 

My in-laws started and ran a business together (before selling it for 8 fekking figures). But, they were always around each other. At work. At home. And my mother in law picked up the same hobbies. Their relationship is strained bc she is sorta needy and likes being around him all the time, but he is like most people, that just wants some alone time. I think time apart from your spouse is healthy for a relationship. Especially with work, because they would bring work home all the time and argue about work stuff, which would permeate into arguing about home stuff. I have no idea how they have made it together this long. 

 

I like being friends with co-workers, and occasionally hanging out with them, but I don't like it to be my main source of friendship. You just need time apart from people. Plus, what do you talk about at the water cooler if you guys did the same stuff through the weekend? 

Hah, I can really relate to the fact that you might see your friend-colleagues too much, although for me, at least at the moment, it is working out fine. The only annoying thing is when we're chilling in our free time and either of us start a conversation with "Hey, did I tell you about that thing that happened the other week at work?" "Yeah, I was there, we see each other every waking hour because we work together, remember" "Oh right". But really, that's the only annoying/bad thing that really ever happens. But I can also see how with any other person other than that specific friend I'd need some time off every now and then.



#9 Romy

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 09:45 PM

I'm dating one of my coworkers. I recommended her to work at my office and we ended up working in different departments. We do keep our relationship a secret since dating coworkers is strictly forbidden.

I wonder what she thinks about this though @Chappy :p



#10 Chappy

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 11:04 PM

I'm dating one of my coworkers. I recommended her to work at my office and we ended up working in different departments. We do keep our relationship a secret since dating coworkers is strictly forbidden.

I wonder what she thinks about this though @Chappy :p

 

My real thought? I think it's great, but I don't see you for 90% of the day. It gives space ,which allows us both to do work and not be bored of each other.

 

Only awkward thing is my co-worker asking why I don't have an Okay-Cupid account yet. Lord knows I'm not interested in online human beans.

 

 

To answer the original question I think it matters what kind of work. As described above, Romy and I work together, but do not see each other for 90% of the day. So then I don't feel like I spent 100 hours with him (exaggerating).  As for my co-workers, I could see me hanging out with them ( I have hanged out with them), but the job is an office. I don't have to talk to anyone if I didn't want to.  Sometimes I don't see workers from the other end of the office in a span of weeks. 
 

I think if you worked together in a burger joint, you would spend way more time together in close proximity. 
 



#11 Rocket

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 06:43 AM

I would never actively pursue a job where friends work, I just see that as a disaster waiting to happen. I don't come to work to make friends either, I come to work to do my job. Yes I have made friends at work, seen outside of work a handful of times, but I prefer to keep work and other parts of my life separate.

 

Now where I currently work, I work with like 4 people I'm related to (uncle and cousins), and for the most part we keep it professional at work and try to keep the "family bonding" to a minimum as to not make anyone else feel awkward. This is probably the only exception where I would actually want to work with people I knew outside of work first, let along be related to. I can't think of anyone else in my 100's of family members where I would want to work with them and see them on a daily basis either.



#12 Elindoril

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 11:01 AM

I always seem to live in a different city than my friends so we can never get jobs together. Not like I'd get any work done anyways.

I enjoy conversations with coworkers, but it's really hard to bring up K-ON! or other "obscure" anime to people in their 30's, 40's, or even 50's. The select few younger people I work with are big casuals who, if they watch anime at all, only watch popular shows which I do not.

It's for the better. I'm secretly elitist and judge the fuck outta other people whom I share interests with.

#13 Pink_Bubble

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 06:20 PM

I've been self-employed for years, so I don't find myself in these predicaments anymore.

 

The one time I wasn't working from home, I worked at a Chipotle where apart from the older workers, there was a total sexual coalescence of staff and management. Lots of making out and maybe even some quickies in the freezer and basement. I didn't do any of the latter (hence the 'maybe'), but I wouldn't put it past a few of the 'pairings' that formed.


Edited by Pink_Bubble, 20 February 2017 - 06:28 PM.


#14 WarezHaxor

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:44 AM

From a management standpoint, I make no friends with my employees and I make sure it is known that while I may have everyone sit down at the end of our shift for a drink or two, that is the end of it. I don't want to hear every intimate detail of their lives like I don't tell them mine. It's hard to be the boss of my employees if they think I'm being biased because I'm friendly with a few and not the others, as much as its hard for any of the ones I were to get closer to to feel like they can get away with more than the others because they know me and we are friendly. I like a strictly business approach.

#15 Jess

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:47 AM

What kind of job did you share with your friend? Were they your peer or your superior? Did you skip away into the sunset or did it all go apeshit? Any idea why it worked or didn't work? What would you've done differently? And the other way around, have coworkers ever become such an important part of your social life (maybe met a spouse?) that it completely turned around the work dynamic? Why would you say friendship dynamics are beneficial to working environments and why not?

It was computer mapping, like GIS stuff. We were peers (I'm sooo glad he got fired before I got promoted, cause that would've sucked.) I ended up pissed at him because I vouched at him and all of a sudden, despite being a good worker at other jobs, he decided that this job just wasn't worth effort. I still don't know why it didn't work out, but maybe he was having like a mid-live crises or something because he had a string of jobs after that ended the same way and then he joined the military.

 

I'm pretty stand-offish in general, so I don't really make friends in workplaces, but I don't really care to either. I'm pretty happy with all my friends being online where I can just turn the thing off when I need a break from them.




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