The Boundaries Between Friendship And Professionalism

I am writing this article for the second time because my laptop decided to have an epileptic fit in the middle of the first attempt. It’s okay I can make that joke I’m epileptic, also this is irrelevant to the point of the article but it has annoyed me so I am sharing it with you.

So, anyway, back to friends, unless I have a bunch of Mother Theresa style angels reading this, then it’s safe to say even the best of friendships have their ups and downs. I think that’s because of how much you care, it heightens everything. Makes rationality and composure much harder, trivial things can feel huge when you care about someone. Once you care about someone everything is just that little bit harder, you care about what they think, feel, do, want, eat… maybe not eat, unless they are being super unhealthy and you’re worried about their health. I digress.

Caring also makes us much faster to anger, we’re invested now, therefore when you behave like an idiot, it’s even more irritating to us, don’t do that, you’re better than that. I have had friendly arguments about oh so many things, petty things like clothes, lack of meme tags, or more serious things like douchebag partners, politics… who am I kidding, memes. They’re important. And arguments with the people we love aren’t just easier to start, but they’re more heated, you cross lines, say things to hurt, and most of the time you do just that. And you’re forgiven for it because when you care about someone you know they’re only lashing out, they don’t really want to hurt you. (I am talking majority here, some people do want to hurt you, those people are bad, throw stones at those people).

Recently, I had a different kind of friend argument, it was about work, and it was a kind of friend argument I am unfamiliar with, safe to say I manoeuvred it badly. You see, there is this guy I know, he’s pretty cool, and he’s started this blog all by himself. And he’s kicking arse at it I won’t lie, and when he asked me to be a part of it, I was incredibly proud and happy to accept. I absolutely adore writing… without any notable flare for the discipline, but I don’t care. But, I screwed the pooch, I mixed the boundaries of friendship and professionalism, and I ended up putting a person I care about in a pretty rubbish situation, which in turn transformed him into a massive douche monkey. Not ideal.

At University, I completely understand that a deadline is a deadline, I don’t meet it, I probably don’t finish University, which would leave me with about as many career options as finishing University does, but let’s save that for another day. And if I really can’t get a piece of work done for a legitimate mitigating reason, I inform the appropriate people to request an extension for my work, I don’t just assume they will be understanding when I finally do approach them about it and let me hand it in whenever.

So, you’re all clever enough to have figured out what happened now? Yep, I had a very stressful week, with many valid reasons for not getting my expected writing done, and unfortunately not one valid reason for not letting my editor know that they would be late. Oops. So, I am holding my hands up, I am very sorry, to whomever this article may concern… I acted complacently and without thought, you are my superior (only in the context of this blog, just making that clear) and I muddled the lines between friendship and work.

I am sure there are plenty of articles on the web about the hardships and benefits of working with your friends, and I am not going to reiterate them, because if you want to read them then you go do that. But I will just say from my experience, to protect the friendship that existed before the job, no matter how hard it may seem sometimes, try and employ the level of professionalism you would with any normal work colleague/employer/employee. Maintain a standard level of courtesy and respect when discussing work-related matters, refrain from insults and swearing as much as is possible. (That bit wasn’t me) And if all else fails, when you do fuck up, write them an article by way of apology.


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