Posted tagged ‘friends’

Friend or coworker

May 30, 2011

I recently came across this blog post on whether your coworkers are just your coworkers or also your friends. It was actually published on my new company’s blog back in 2008. I found the article extremely interesting. I liked how the author personalized the topic by describing her relationship with her coworkers. Here’s an excerpt:

Being 24 years old, living in a city, and having come from a company full of 45 year old financial consultants I thought to myself ‘self, you are going to work with a bunch of cool 20 somethings and drink beers with them, and hang out, and be friends.’ Right, totally. So after a few months, I found myself enjoying this office, these 20 somethings, and the general fun that goes along with hanging out with your co-workers. The problem then becomes, are these people friends? Or are they coworkers?

She goes on to wonder if you can hang out with coworkers in a bar or restaurant (saying all the things friends say to one another in bars and restaurants), and then have a totally professional relationship with them while at work. I’ve sometimes grappled with this question. I like how the author went on to ask her CEO his opinion, and I like even more his response:

“…in your 20’s the people you work with can be very much part of your social network, you spend a ton of time together, usually share similar interests, and are forced in to close quarters. After 29, all bets are off – your life changes, you get married, have kids, then you spend less time worrying about making friends at work and more about managing the friendships you already have [or wondering why you have no friends].”

I really identify with these thoughts. For much of my 20s I spent lots of my free time with coworkers. I mean, it’s really easy to just head over to a bar or restaurant after work with your colleagues, especially if you work downtown. You all have a TON to talk about, as you spend so much time together every day. You can gossip about a coworker who’s not there, discuss your thoughts on a new work policy, or exchange opinions on the company’s evolution.

Now that I’m approaching 30, however, I find myself spending less time with coworkers and more time with friends I already have. Maybe that’s because I’m more settled than I was before (I’m engaged, don’t have plans to move, etc.), and have built a more balanced, multifaceted life.

To me it makes more sense to cultivate a wide variety of friendships than to largely hang out with coworkers. As you get older, you realize that friends are more than just who you are currently spending time with. They are the people you’ll continue to spend time with (or keep in touch with).

Often coworkers are just people you happen to be with at the moment, not people you’ll maintain relationships with after leaving the company. So your time is better spent figuring out who your friends are, in all realms of life, and spending time with those people.

Time to brush up on my speech-giving skills

June 29, 2010

This Abraham Lincoln impersonator could probably teach me a thing or two about giving a good speech.

Oh wait, I never really had them. Still, I’ve got to get better at giving speeches. In T-45 days or so I will be speaking at my friends’ wedding. I have been asked to talk about my friends’ relationship blossoming from a friendship to a romance.

I witnessed this happen over a number of months, and saw them regularly during the first couple of years they were together. I have stories to tell, insights to make, etc. But hopefully I won’t blow the speech. Or at least not say something awkward.

I’ve written out my rough draft, and plan to practice it as much as I can. It’s helpful that at the same time I’m working on this speech, I have a presentation to prepare for my class.  My professor gave us a number of tips for giving a good presentation.

He also suggested we consider joining a local Toastmasters group if we are especially committed to bettering our public speaking skills. I think that would be a fun experience. I’ll have to think about this…

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/us_mission_canada/3704436736

Go see Toy Story 3!!!

June 28, 2010

Madison, me and Gul at Toy Story 3

I saw it with some friends (in 3D) the other day, and loved it! I actually don’t really remember Toy Story 1 that much, and never saw Toy Story 2. But that didn’t matter! I appreciated the movie all the same.

It’s a good idea for a plot. The toys’ owner, Andy, is headed off to college. The toys mistakenly get the impression he doesn’t want them anymore. They accidentally get taken to a daycare, but they (with the exception of Woody) don’t try to leave because they think Andy no longer cares about them.

Gul and Zeynep at Toy Story 3

Woody successfully leaves the daycare.

But when he finds out many of the other toys at the daycare are evil, he goes back to save his pals. The toys’ plan for escaping the daycare is pretty creative! And there are so many funny aspects of the movie, including Ken’s (as in Barbie’s boyfriend) obsession with his appearance, and Buzz Lightyear’s Spanish setting.

Check out the movie if you can!

Sometimes I miss living in a small town

February 9, 2010

At an antique car show in the small town.

Up until a couple of years ago I lived in a small “town” in upstate New York. Although I technically lived in a city, it had fewer than 19,000 people. It was immediately surrounded by miles of farmland.

I was often lonely there. I would go for a walk on a dreery weekend day, only to pass by crows, an occasional senior citizen on a power wheelchair, and a few townies taking a cigarette break outside a bar.

There weren’t many people my age there, and the ones I met weren’t always my type of people. They were authentic alright, but they didn’t have much to talk about. They had lived in this city their whole lives, taken very few trips outside of upstate New York, and would likely be spending the rest of their lives in the same place. (more…)

Cameroon: A land of family, friends and solidarity

January 6, 2010

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Cameroon, Africa. Here’s a little something I wrote up about the experience:

I had no idea what to expect when I traveled to Cameroon last month. I had never been to Africa before, let alone this particular Central West African country.

I just knew things would be different, and that I would learn a lot. I was right.

I saw that many Cameroonians earn a living from selling fruits and vegetables. Because most of them don’t have cars, they must wake up at the crack of dawn to carry the crops from the fields to the market. It’s a colorful and humbling sight to see scores of Cameroonians — children and the elderly alike — balancing heavy baskets of goods on their heads along main roads.

We Americans don’t have it so bad, you realize.

I saw men in the airport going to extreme measures to earn a day’s wage. They accost you upon your arrival, asking if you need help finding your suitcases. You say yes, thinking they are airport employees. As they jet around the baggage claim conveyer belt, trying to match your luggage with a ticket you’ve given them, you realize they are not at all affiliated with the airport. They are just doing what it takes to earn some extra cash, working for tips.

I saw the excitement in a young man’s eyes when he told us he had won the visa lottery to move to the United States. His lips upturned up as he explained this was his third year applying, and that he had finally beat the odds. He wondered if his banking degree would suffice in the United States, with comparable American job candidates. Either way, he had a ticket to opportunity.

I could go on and on about the things I saw and the people I met. (more…)