Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Befriending Process

So, a while back I was talking to one of my best friend in university. We have been graduated in 2012 and now experimenting the cruel world of reality. I was working in a totally new environment: new city, new job, and what follows next would be new friends. Unfortunately, the last one is not as simple as I thought. Apparently, according to my best friend, people in our workplace are not supposed to be our friends.

Workplace is a place where different people gather together with different agenda. Some pursue fame and popularity, while others pursue wealth. So, by default, the objectives of a working person is always self-centered. Also, there are people with higher grade than us (that would be our boss, senior, manager, etc.) and there are people with the same or below us. All of whom have their own point of views and we might unintentionally step on their toes one chance or another. There's also office politics, which I don't quite understand and don't intend to find out.

For a fresh graduate whose parents have never worked in a company, this knowledge is something new to me. Something I would be happy to reflect upon. I won't lie, but I'm intrigued with the idea. Is it true that our colleagues can't upgrade their status' to be our friends as long as we still worked together under the same management?

My friend said that the time when we're supposed to make friends is during our school time. In a workplace, you're looking for a way to pay the bills, not to play nice with people. "But, isn't it a little harsh?" I think to myself. I have no problem to be friends with anyone, but the thought that I might be thrown under the bus makes me uncomfortable. On the other hand, there is just no way for me to survive without a single friend in the workplace. It's just not possible, especially I'm working on something that requires me to do team work. How am I supposed to do my job without making friends with my team?

I remembered one of my dean used to say that as a designer we are taught to express our authentic ideas in our work. Sadly, authenticity requires solitude. It is our idea and our idea alone that we expressed in our design, causing us to feel uncomfortable working with other designers. But, as an animator, it's our job requirements to make friends with people we work with, because let's face it you can't make awesome 2 hour 3D animation movie alone. So, as an animation graduate, I'm wired to not be able to work in solitude. I have to be able to make friends, even if I'm thrown under the bus once or twice. 

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