Personal and Official

I have always maintained that people working in the same team should not live together. Now I am not even sure that people working in the same team can be friends – esp if there are at different levels in the ‘supposed team hierarchy’.

G and me have got along pretty well for some months now. We have laughed, cribbed and teased each other – all in good spirit. He is been invited home for dinner and booze sessions; also on an out-of-station trip. Oh we are not at all the ‘Bare your heart’kind of friends – far from it – but we were the comfy, casual kind of friends. Or so I thought. Looks like I was wrong.

During the past few days, G was acting weird – making a few digs at my PM skills. Moron that I was, I assumed that it was casual teasing, even though I didnt feel good abt it. And then last week, there was a team issue involving another colleague – a close friend of G’s. I had nothing to do with it, but due to some weird circumstances, it looked as if I was involved. I spoke to the colleague, cleared the air, and assumed that things were okay. The next day I spoke to G for some project related work, and got a very angry and aloof reply. I went on chat and asked him what was wrong, and he gave me a vague reply about he is angry with whole establishment. At this point, it still did not occur to me that he could be blaming me for this whole mess. I just asked him to speak to our manager if there was an issue.

After that we have been polite to each other, but maintained an aloof distance. Oh, I could talk to him again, but I dont really think I need to. Why should I when a person is so ready to make a judgement, even before giving me a chance to explain. I could easily have handled a confrontation, but I am not sure I want to go justifying myself to someone who is not interested.

Most of all I am angry at myself, for letting it matter to me. G has zero percent impact on my life, so there is no need for this whole drama. Professional and personal lives should be separate compartments, and I guess this was a good a lesson I could get.

Update: I have still not had a conversation with G, but I got insights from another colleague. Looks like I was in the wrong – for something that I did not even dream about; it was totally unintentional but seems I got a few things wrong. I still wish G had talked to me about it, but its easier now, because at least I know there is something I need to work on. G will never understand, and I dont intend explaining – things will never be the same, but work and life will carry on.

25 comments for “Personal and Official

  1. September 26, 2005 at 9:04 am

    Ouch… not a nice situation at all… And I’m afraid there is no easy answer.

    • September 26, 2005 at 9:39 am

      yeah, not a nice situation at all. and I am no longer looking for an answer. Somehow does not seem worth it:)

  2. September 26, 2005 at 10:21 am

    Unfortunately even i had to learn the same lesson the hard way.
    But the things are a bit different. It wasn’t just the people but the moods that were common to the personal and professional compartments.

    It is only after i was bitten that i realised that both should have their own compartments.

    It was an informative post.

    • September 27, 2005 at 2:57 am

      Well, i guess the lesson is not well learnt unless you experience it yourself.

      • September 27, 2005 at 10:34 am

        Life is too short to learn everything from ur own experience … you got learn from other experience.

        See learn something from the Ganguly – Greg story.

  3. September 26, 2005 at 11:54 am

    Ouch. Sounds like a really painful experience.

    I hope you’ll continue to believe nevertheless that colleagues can be friends.

    • September 26, 2005 at 4:01 pm

      RK has 2oo many IFs, 2oo few ELSEs …

      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
      If all men count with you, but none too much;

      “Professionalism” means not mixing your PROFESSIONAL life with your PERSONAL life.

      Ever heard the qns ‘why r u taking it personally?’ in your office?

      An advice I got from a boss of mine in 1997 (after I was fired) was that I am too friendly with my colleagues. His advice was that I have to always keep a distance from my subordinates AND superiors.

      He did not mention anything about peers. But I realize that it applies there too.

      I dismissed his advice as that of a cranky snob. I have subsequently regretted at leisure and continued to do so as it is difficult for me to change my nature. But sadly the truth is that he is right.

      I have always maintained that people working in the same team should not live together. Now I am not even sure that people working in the same team can be friends – esp if there are at different levels in the ‘supposed team hierarchy’.

      It is difficult for people who have competing stakes to be friends – period. Friendship is an amateur pursuit – period. It can only be done for it’s own pleasure and not for any gains. Ever heard of an professional friend? How hollow does that sound?

      I would rather just be a survivor than a “MAN” as RK would ask me to be.
      ‘Every crime requires the sanction of the victim’ – Ayn Rand.
      The victim can give the sanction only when he believes himself to be in the wrong.

      Here is the poem I DON’T want u 2 b 2oo inspired by

      If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
      But make allowance for their doubting too;
      If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
      Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
      Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
      And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

      If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
      If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
      If you can meet with triumph and disaster
      And treat those two imposters just the same;
      If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
      Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
      Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
      And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

      If you can make one heap of all your winnings
      And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
      And lose, and start again at your beginnings
      And never breath a word about your loss;
      If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
      To serve your turn long after they are gone,
      And so hold on when there is nothing in you
      Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

      If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;

      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
      If all men count with you, but none too much;

      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

      • September 27, 2005 at 3:02 am

        Re: RK has 2oo many IFs, 2oo few ELSEs …

        Well, all i can say is that its easier said than done. Friends are friends because they have emotional ties with you, and that gives them the capacity to hurt you.
        If you say that I work with them, and hence i should maintain a distance from them, then they arent friends any longer right?

        • September 27, 2005 at 4:35 am

          Re: RK has 2oo many IFs, 2oo few ELSEs …

          I guess you are 2oo romantic 🙁

          I agree that it is easier said than done. Thats y v r talking about it and doing nothing else :p

          Yup, u must keep a distance from them if u work with them. One does not mix scotch with milk.

    • September 27, 2005 at 2:59 am

      Well, I do have some very good friends as colleagues. But well, this mess has led to some amount of disillusionment.

    • September 27, 2005 at 3:17 am

      But yeah, for my own sake, I do want to believe that:-) and I guess my real friends would talk openly with me if they have an issue.

  4. September 26, 2005 at 3:50 pm

    Not too sure about the living thing, but some of my the-best friends I have are colleagues who I was reporting to :-). Let this incident not leave too much opinion in you about being friends with colleagues across the hierarchy.

    • September 27, 2005 at 3:15 am

      Well, I have some really good friends at work too. And I know that if they had any issue with me, they would come out and talk to me abt it. That’s the reason I am mad – the person concerned did not give me a chance to explain; that to me is not acceptable.
      But yeah, for my own sake, I do want to believe in people.

  5. September 26, 2005 at 4:32 pm

    Is this a post on personal / professional note??

  6. September 26, 2005 at 7:53 pm

    That sucks. It worries me because I’m going to start work with my 2 best friends. I wonder if this can happen with the “bare your heart” kinda friends too.

    • September 27, 2005 at 3:21 am

      Well, think you should be okay. The ‘Bare your heart’ kind of friends usually tell each other everything right? so if we have any problems, they will tell you about it. That makes a huge difference.

      In this case, I assumed a friendship which probably did not exist.

  7. September 27, 2005 at 6:40 am

    Oh this is a tough situation man! Will talk to you about it on ST…

    • September 27, 2005 at 8:12 am

      Its not tough man – its just damn pissing off. You know our team and all the parties involved. And you know I talked to you abt A’s incident. How the hell was i involved?

  8. September 27, 2005 at 12:06 pm

    I dont think I am good at really saying anything in such situations. I had a bad experience myself. Being colleagues with college friends. It was my first job directly out of college. It really wrecked my relationship with them.

    But with G I am not sure what his problem is. Very strange. I have always liked working with coz I could talk to him without much effort. And if G didnt like something – would show the dislike immediately. I have not really been friends with him like you have been.

    I dont think you should worry about him. Didnt we get this feeling when N was asked to leave. The same feeling that some of them were blaming us – when we fought to have him in the team.

    Just forget and do not let this affect you. As per what G thinks – I think is very immature (generally men are at that age – sorry men) and has a long way to go. G will learn and definitely realise that he has worked with the best.

    Dont go out of your way to explain stuff. G should have known better.

    Look at S man, she deserved BA so much. But she doesnt feel bad and stop talking to you. Isnt mixing Professional and Personal life working well there.

    • September 27, 2005 at 12:34 pm

      hamne also I think uuuse bahut sar ke uupar chaadaaya. Remember we were chumma asking him to shift to our bay… shouldnt have…

      • September 27, 2005 at 1:06 pm

        yeah. lesson learnt the hard way

      • September 27, 2005 at 1:10 pm

        You know what – now I finally realise what they are talking abt communication and open talk and all that between married couples. Hehe. Jeez, this was just a casual friend. Its so frustrating when somebody doesnt talk. U feel as if you are hitting a wall.:-)

        • September 27, 2005 at 6:26 pm

          Hmm interesting… now that u r talking this way… is there something in ur mind…. For others I am not talking about G here.

      • September 27, 2005 at 1:31 pm

        You know what – now I finally realise what they are talking abt communication and open talk and all that between married couples. Hehe. Jeez, this was just a casual friend. Its so frustrating when somebody doesnt talk. U feel as if you are hitting a wall.:-)

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