Thursday, November 21, 2013

Working With Friends Pt 1

Even if we had decided to move out west, I wouldn't have been working in the same office as my buddy R.  I had decided long before we met in person the second trip, after having gone through a number of email exchanges. 

Our friendship spans almost 20 years.  Right from the start, it was easy to spend time together.  Even 14 hour days wouldn't seem long.  When D saw us together for the first time, he even said "you guys are crazy together", meant in a good way.  He got to see a different side of me.  When I met R's wife for the first time, I could tell she was initially looking at us a little harder.

R is very detailed oriented and a very thorough (occasionally too much so) communicator.  Which normally really works for me because I hate having to ask for clarification.  And he "gets" me.  He speaks in a way I understand immediately.  We don't agree on a lot of major topics but we can usually calmly and technically talk/work it out, him with loads more patience than I.  I've been known to be abrupt when I've made up my mind to drop something. 

Communication is the number one thing D and I work on because of my need for detail.  Yes, I can be exceedingly difficult to live with.  It's getting there but certainly didn't come naturally to us as a couple.  I firmly believe a part of that for D comes from his upbringing.  Not being encouraged or inspired to communicate clearly and D also not being the type to self motivate back in the day.  Different story now.

There was never ever anything romantic with R, not even a hug until the last few years (hug that is, which initially freaked me out because it was so uncharacteristic of him -- Whereas he knows I am a hugger).  He always kept his private thoughts and feelings hidden quite well and I never pushed.  Occasionally I'd get to hear about some girl trouble but that was about it. 

We had lots of other things to occupy our conversations and time.  If anything, I always thought he was too much of a gentleman.  I might have tried to consul him on showing more passion once and it got a bit awkward so that was that.

So he really was the perfect guy friend when we were in school.  His enthusiasm for life is contagious.  Someone I could go dancing with and feel safe walking home with at 4 am.  Someone I can count on to tell it to me straight.  In my experience, that is truly hard to find and I cherish anyone around me who is capable of such frankness. 

Not even D can do that consistently.  He will edit things in efforts to "let me down easier" or "tell me what he thinks I want to hear", which will make me mad and offended because I feel I can handle it.  Just tell it to me straight.  I hate trying to second guess things. 

So when R suggested we share office space, it was the first time money, future planning, work logistics, need for control entered into our communication arena.  He was quite nervous and likened it to "getting married".  I didn't see it that way at all even though the idea carried a certain weight because of our history.  To me it was a straight up business negotiation. 

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