dimanche 30 novembre 2008
Who's that girl?
It's funny how sometimes friends become colleagues and colleagues become friends. Either way, it can be difficult to manage.
We all see job opportunities at our places of 'work' and think "that'd be perfect for X". But then, hopefully, we take a minute and think "but do I really want to work with X?". 9 times out of 10 the answer should be no. Working with friends can be great but it's generally a recipe for disaster.
One Christmas, when I was a student, I had a holiday job cutting letters out of floristry foam and making words from them - words like 'grandma', 'dad', 'mom' and 'son'. Words that would form the basis for floral tributes to recently deceased loved ones. A real jolly job, as you can imagine...."we need three more grandma's , an 'open book' and an 'empty chair' please". Lord, it was depressing.
This job was supposed to be fun. Me and a friend from Uni had both been 'successful' and had both been employed for the holidays by this company. Alas, it turned out to be less than fun, as my friend turned out to be lazy, lacking attention to detail and, frankly, a bit of a slut. As she spent her break times flirting with the factory supervisor - who then ignored her lack of production or her occasional 'mohter' or 'fhater' - I'd spend mine wishing that she was someone I didn't know and would never see again.
We never really got our friendship back on line when we returned to school after the break. She just wasn't the same person to me.
So, with this in mind, I've always shied away from getting too friendly with colleagues. Sometimes, however, you get on so well with someone that you want to know more about them than whether or not they wash their coffee cups before going home.
And that's where my newly-christened 'Lovely English Friend' comes in. A great girl that I've worked with for six years. She stuns me with her intelligence as much as she makes me laugh with her classic put-downs and one-liners. We were talking about a colleague recently and she said "oh her? I don't have anything to do with her. She's just a 'half-person'." Beautiful.
So, breaking my rules about friends at work, I invited my Lovely English Friend to come visit me in Paris this weekend.
We had a great weekend - wandering the streets in search of entertainment, food and a good gin and tonic. I even introduced her to my Lovely French Friend.
One of the highlights was the Patrick Demarchelier exhibition at the Petit Palais. Absolutely amazing, iconic photographs of Gianni Versace, Diana, Madonna and little Tommy Cruise amongst others, all mixed in with the permanent collection of old masters to make an amazing and unique show.
We spent saturday night dancing at the silliest of gay clubs in Paris - le Tango - and generally laughing a lot at the crappy music, the bad dancing and the Frenchness of the whole thing. As we danced along to American Boy, I realised that my colleague had become a good friend. A friend first, a colleague second. After all, I don't dance to American Boy with just anyone, you know.
I guess the goal of all this rambling is to say that sometimes being brave, taking a chance on a friendship is a good thing. While I still worry about working with friends, I know that me and my LEF would probably not be friends had we not met at work.
I maintain that my 'no friends at work' rule is a good one. But rules are meant to be broken, no?