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Callilope: Colleague, Not Friend! Don’t Eat My Lunch & Don’t Sell Me Aso-Ebi

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dreamstime_l_51712435A friend called me recently to tell me a former colleague of mine was getting married and asked if I was interested in buying Asoebi. My response was NO. At the risk of sounding harsh, please see below my reasons for saying no:

1) No more unnecessary spending and buying Asoebi, I need to save.

2) I really do not like weddings.

3) I really don’t care for the ex-colleague so my presence isn’t really imperative.

Out of all the reasons listed above, I feel number 3 is the most valid and this led to my realizing that there is a difference between someone who is your colleague and someone who is your friend.

I’m of the opinion that working with people doesn’t necessary make us friends; we are colleagues, maybe acquaintances but definitely not friends. I often come off as odd anytime refuse to give out personal information or share my BBM Pin and social media handles with people I work with.

It’s not pride; it’s just work and I like to leave work as work. It’s not like I haven’t made friends from the office environment since I’ve worked in a few, I just don’t feel I should be friends with the whole office to prove that I am sociable.

I consider my friend to be someone I know on a personal level, someone that I can have conversations with, and can confide in. A colleague is just a person I work with. We may have friendly conversations, and almost even talk about personal stuff but I would never confide in a colleague.

In today’s office environment, I don’t even think friendship should be encouraged. The office is highly competitive; you having friends might just make you relaxed and make you take your eyes off the prize, while your so-called office friend has his/her eyes set firmly on it.

It could also lead to the emergence of office cliques – taking you back to your secondary school days, which, at this stage of life, is highly unnecessary.

Having an office friend and confiding in one might lead to some form of backstabbing. What is said in confidence can be used against you especially when you are not there to defend yourself.

Also this point, I may sound petty, but it drives me nuts when my colleagues who feel because we work in the same office gives them the right to eat my food. Just because we share a fridge doesn’t give you the right to use my own food as an appetizer to yours. That privilege is reserved for true friends only.

Meanwhile, one upside of having friends at the office is you have a good support system especially when they are the only ones you can talk to about office politics and would understand because they are also in the system.

So before you start having office friends, think again about the pros and cons. Because at the end of the day, it’s still an office. The so-called friend isn’t family. So if push comes to shove and someone is to get the boot, your ‘office friend’ would probably not save you.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Callilope is a fun loving Coca Cola junkie, Unrepentant foodie,Marathon movie   'watcher', in-the-closet OAP, Media enthusiast and PR Consultant calling things like she  sees them. She blogs at www. suyaandashow.wordpress.com

105 Comments

  1. ae123

    March 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

    This article sounds like its coming from a sad & hateful person…

    • Indianna Jones

      March 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

      AE123: why? Is it because the person is a realist and refuses to wear rose coloured glasses like you? What is the definition of a friend? Now who is a work colleague? Just because I breathe the same air as someone else for 7.5 hours everyday doesn’t mean I want the person rifling through my closest, borrowing my shoes, owing me money or dancing at my wedding. It wasn’t in the job description that being friendly outside work is necessary so how about respecting boundaries?

      If you feel that the new girl, you’ve known all of 3 weeks should be your bosom buddy, confidant and shoe borrower then you are the sad one.

    • Indianna Jones

      March 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Closet*

    • NIRA

      March 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      That’s how some colleagues were upset that I didn’t invite them to my birthday party! We really don’t have to be friends just cos we work together. When they try to sell Asoebi and I don’t buy they look at me like I’m not a nice person. I really don’t care, I’ve made some nice friends at work too, but most are just colleagues.

    • Cynical

      March 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Did people actually like this comment or can one like his/her own comment 12 times????. Why can’t people just accept that as human beings we won’t all think alike? I am actually on the same page with the writer. No thanks but office people are just colleagues. I’m not going to dress up and come for your events,you won’t know when I’m having mine either. I have friends in other departments though. At closing time,once I pass the gate,that’s the end till tomorrow. We are civil with each other,we know the basics about each other and in my opinion that’s all we need. That doesn’t make me sad and hateful.

    • fleur

      March 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Someone invites you. You don’t feel you should have been invited. Decline the invitation and move on. How will she read your mind to know you are filled with acid? Abegi. Put a sign on your door saying “nobody should invite me to any celebration unless I beg you for an invite” and end this noise. I am sure that if she had not invited you you will still be filled with vitriol. Mtcheew.

    • Abk

      March 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Ae123, you’re actually the sad and hateful person. Also, I’ll add that you’re someone who doesn’t value other people’s opionions, especially when they’re not on the same page as you. I totally detest people like that.
      I sort of agree with the writer, I am a very friendly and sociable person, but many people make that mistake, we have to realize that although we can be very cordial and friendly with our colleagues; they aren’t necessarily our friends. I feel like we spend too much time together and we often forget. I spend 8 hours with you from Monday-Friday, so it’s easy to forget. I’m that person that feels uncomfortable having my colleagues on social media; especially if it’s Instagram. I’m just as private as I’m friendly. That you went to high school or University with someone doesn’t make you and the person friends. A friendly acquaintance and a friend are not the same. I mean, I don’t mind buying an aso-ebi for a colleagues wedding; especially if the person is nice. But they’re certain limits. The office is very competitive, we shouldn’t forget that. I don’t agree with everything the author has mentioned, but ultimately, she’s accurate. Nice post.

    • Kosi

      March 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Sad, hateful, cold, angry, not like there’s anything wrong with her opinion, just the tone of the whole article.

  2. olly

    March 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

    You sound quite snobbish. I am always friends with whom I work with, but there are still boundaries and we respect each other. Teamwork is always a breeze because we genuinely like working together. It makes things easier. Get off your high horse. I know a lot of people like you in offices, always seeing others as a threat and impediment, life Is too short abeg

  3. viv

    March 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Spot on!

  4. Zandyzay

    March 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

    True!!! This is so me.

  5. Mystique

    March 17, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I’m with you on this; that i have conversations with a colleague at work doesn’t mean i want us to spend the weekend together bonding. and the part that irritates me the most is when colleagues feel the need to put a spoon in my plate to “taste” my food during lunch. Like really??? I see you eating all the time and i’m not tempted to “taste” your food. That alone should put you in check. mscheeew

    • bola

      March 17, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      tell me about this!!! it is so upsetting

  6. DoroAnon

    March 17, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Callilope! I swear u wrote my tots! During Unidays people saw me as weird! We have a mutual friend doesn’t mean we are friends,we get to gist wen our mutual friend doesn’t mean I see u the next day we will gist,In unidays I had talking-mates, Gisting-partners, Friends because of proximity,Seasonal friends, It was so bad if u are famzing u r my bestie I would just tell u where u belong(not put u I mean tell u to ur Face) No time for chere k’ambia(I am coming):D My slogan is no one is indispensable.

  7. 'Oma

    March 17, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Different strokes.Three of my closest friends till date are office friends.We have been friends for like forever.Hv memories from marriages, and all.

    • glow

      March 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Oma you were just fortunate to have met the good ones.

    • Tk

      March 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Lucky u

  8. Vicky

    March 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

    I agree with this article, I think she’s talking from experience not necessarily being hateful. Most times, you have to be careful with people generally not only in the office. It’s not everyone who smiles or talks with you that can be called a friend.

  9. Ladybird

    March 17, 2016 at 11:17 am

    okay! you didn’t want to buy asoebi, didn’t want to go to the wedding either…. that’s fine. all you needed to do is politely decline and not write an article trying to prove your self and being pessimistic…again.. I think if you don’t like something in the workplace just try to find a peaceful solution cause I’m sure in this world there are much more worse things to get upset about..fruitless article btw

    • Shish!

      March 17, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Very fruitless indeed. She must also be an arrogant person.

  10. ivydachic

    March 17, 2016 at 11:33 am

    You really spoke my mind and what am going through at work presently.a colleague wants me tp rekate witj her as a friend and I say no ( by my actions) because we work in the same place does not make us friends, infacts its takes away professional in you when you combine friendship with work.because I have refused to be friends with her , I have becone an enemy, and also a proud fellow.people rwally dont understand what friendship is but thry want to be friends by all means.its worrisome especially as she goes about talking about me to available gossiping ears.I hand her over to GOD

    • Shish!

      March 17, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      You’re the only one who understands what you’ve written. How did you even get a job?

    • ivydachic

      March 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      I bet you have no job thats why you are pained.if some typographical errors can throw your brains off , how would you be able to get a job.frustrated fellow

    • ivydachic

      March 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      You really spoke my mind and what am going through at work presently.a colleague wants me to be her friend and I say no ( by my actions) because we work in the same place does not mean we have to be friends, infact, its takes away the professional in you when you combine friendship with work.Because I have refused to be friends with her , I have become an enemy, and she sees me as a proud fellow.people really don’t understand what friendship is but they want to be friends by all means.its worrisome especially as she goes about talking about me to available gossiping ears.I hand her over to GOD

  11. hmm

    March 17, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Why would anyone want to eat someone else’s food in the office? As in? what for?

    • Shish!

      March 17, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      No one ate her food. She’s talking smack.

    • ivydachic

      March 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Make your own point and stop lashing out at people’s comment

    • ShishEatsPeoples Food

      March 20, 2016 at 12:51 am

      Shut up! I bet you are one of the gross people that go about eating your colleagues food, tueh! Imagine finding your food in the fridge after an unknown person has picked out all the shrimp from your stirfry or at another time meeting your food half eaten, half of the rice, egg and meat! That’s how you will eat someone else’s love potion. The lack of fear is amazing, rather I am the one who can’t eat the defiled food.

  12. Ojuolape

    March 17, 2016 at 11:36 am

    The article sounds a bit one sided. I work as a PM in a multinational and a large part of my work revolves around finding the balance between making my developers, business analysts, testers my friends while also ensuring the job is done. Being friendly with my team mates has sure made my work much much easier and somehow we always deliver to time. I have colleagues who are of like mindset like writer, but for someone with an extroverted personality like mine, i find it hard not being friends with you,but trust me i sure know how to maintain those boundaries.
    I resume work 8am and sometimes close abut 7pm, After spending 11hours of my day next to you reviewing lines of code, testing applications, going on lunch breaks , discussing client issues……you think you are still not worthy of being called a friend. Okay ohh!!!

    • Tk

      March 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Hnmmmmm,,am a very friendly person,, but very emotional,, All d people I called friends,, there were enemies o,,, I leanrt my lesson in a hard way. So I agreed to the part that says u should know how to balance it,, I think that was what I missed. I gave them my whole heart.

    • reski

      March 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Although my post is off the topic. As a progammer please which programming language will you advise a young fellow to hold on to. I’m already trying to learn c++ but still having doubts.

    • Luqman

      March 18, 2016 at 1:24 am

      You can try c# (c-sharp) by downloading Microsoft visual studio, it is more user friendly, most especially when you are working on Window Application or Console. It is also useful in the Embedded System world (hardware and software)

    • Tosin

      March 18, 2016 at 7:28 am

      another question, embedded systems? where do they come up in work-life? do they really appear in job descriptions? thanks in advance.

    • Luqman

      March 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      @Tosin, The automobiles, medical, household appliances (fridge, cooker, microwave), and Telecommunications (cellphones) etc are normally embedded by using microcontrollers, which are unchangeable, unlike microprocessors that can be replaced. Both of them belong to the same family of embedded systems and mostly programmed with C-Language
      Micro-controllers usually work with an Integrated circuit that is also known as IC/Microchip/computer chip. There are thousands of CHIPS and they normally come with Datasheet in order to make the life easy for the Software Engineer.
      Basically, it is like working on the printed circuit board (PCB) with the components soldered on it (Electrical/Electronics Eng.), the only different is just that you have to follow the datasheet that comes with the CHIP and program on it.

      Sorry for the typos, I have to reply you very quickly.

    • Tosin

      March 19, 2016 at 7:38 am

      Thanks a lot Luqman for your time. Just to verify – any such market in Naija, like an example of a hardware/software design industry or job that’d use such? Like do you work in Africa?

    • Luqman

      March 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      I live in Europe to start with. I read something about you on BN (genius…. I salute o) and I still remember that you studied Electrical Engineering. I also studied E/E Engineering, but I majorly concentrated on Electronics which gave me the privilege to work with a lot of software and I am currently Exploring Engineering Physics (Renewable Energies).
      It seems you’re thinking that Embedded Systems is another course on its own, it is actually meant for those people that specialize in Mechatronics or Electronics.
      Concerning the market, you can even work in a Bank cos without the Electronics, there won’t be any Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Everything in ATM is all about Embedded Systems (Integration of hardware and software). You can also work in a company that is producing Airplane if someone is lucky enough cos they have to make use of Microprocessor. They are using Microprocessors in a plane so that it will be replaceable when it is obsolete (technology keeps changing)
      The major problem in Nigeria is just that we are not producing anything. most of the companies in Naija are just assembling stuff. Do you know how to program (c++, c#, c, java)? If you need any material on C# and C++, I can send you the Pdf books that are well explanatory and I can help in case something is not clear.
      I have Pdf for Embedded Sytems as well, you can learn it on your own.

      My last reply; the only different instead of difference… I am a terrible writer

    • Dx

      March 17, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      There’s a difference between being friends with someone and being friendly. I am a very friendly person and like you, the nature of my job and the companies I consult for means that I have to know people and have contact with folks even when i don’t want to and this is to ensure we are meeting deadlines and not allowing the project slip.
      I’m all smiles with my colleagues cos thats my nature, but when i need a job done, I don’t want you thinking just because you are my friend i’m not gonna tell you off if and when you cock up my project(s). I tell people i work with “ You don’t have to like me, i’m not here to make friend. I’m here to do a job”. I have very good professional relationship with people I work with and have worked with. But once i clock off, please do not be expecting an invite to tea or lunch.

      Funny that, there’s only ONE person that my professional relationship with has crossed over to friendship. Please thats why we have linkedin – keep it professional. Don’t be trying to find me on FB and add me.

    • Caroline

      March 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Is there a vacant position? I need to apply.

    • Toese

      March 17, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you oooo Ojuolaope
      Na this 11 hours l dey do sotey l jam my husband
      Thank God say l no use my husband do ‘colleague level’
      We are married for almost 10yrs now with plenty plenty ‘shildren’

    • Mara

      March 18, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I agree, the article is one-sided. She made some good points but failed to present a balanced picture.

  13. Eka

    March 17, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I Agree with everything you said … All that unnecessary familiarity just brings wahala down the road…

    And NO That’s NOT BEING HATEFUL

  14. beauty

    March 17, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Personally, I don’t mix work friendship with my true friendship. I totally agree with the writer as to not sharing BBM pin and personal stuff. From my little experience, having anything more than work with your colleagues is not advisable, because you say” “you no say” matter would surely come up sooner or later…

  15. kinda awkward

    March 17, 2016 at 11:48 am

    We just need to learn how to strike a balance. Be friendly without being friends. Smile, crack, buy aso ebi (if you’re going), you won’t need to worry about what to wear. Trust no-one, confide in nobody but be cool with everybody. Take part in office aproko and updates but do it with skill, only mumus get embarrassed.

    WHY?

    You never know where the next big thing/opportunity will come from.

    • Tk

      March 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Na that balancing I missed and will never fall again…. I love dem and still do,, but no friendship o. Biko.

    • Green

      March 17, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      The balancing thing is the trick abeg. Too many misses.

  16. Hephie Brown

    March 17, 2016 at 11:51 am

    God bless my office friends, if you guys ever come accross this post, i love the two of you even if one is now in the ofaseas… But part from em, i swear the whole office w/could be burning and i wont help anyone down the stairs… i wouldnt comment but some of u just refuse to understand posts, so this is one more person who sees the absoulte sense in what she wrote. if u dont, then dont comment, just, move it.

    Im not a snob or hateful person, i just dont have time to even greet everyone finish..and some people are just mad dogs in human clthing that u dont ever wanna cross their path(blabla.kor.eji) or theone that will sell asoebi to me tryna make 200% profit, na me be chairman of the day?

  17. whocares

    March 17, 2016 at 11:56 am

    omg are you in my head!?!?!! I was going to write something about work colleagues eating your lunch and when is the right time to throw caution to the wind, hoff pant, tear bra, remove earrings and just let them have it? In a slightly different context from what you have written Calli- Pull up a chair let me dazzle you.
    My work place has a really lax policy re lunch. Most of the time I will eat lunch at my desk in the ten mins it takes me to eat and I am back at it.. For me its the fact that I am tooooo lazy to walk, and cheap foods are unhealthy so I bring lunch from home. The problem though is some days I am too tired to cook beforehand and I cannot look rice in the face again because my digestive system cannot handle anymore rice. On one of those days, I looked around my mother’s kitchen and my eyes landed on the garri Ijebu and bottle of groundnut my aunt brought from Nigeria. Not only that, that angel, that paragon of beauty managed to smuggle tinko meat also (for those who do not know tinko meat.. what have you been doing with your lives? Its meat fried out of all nutritional value mixed with spices but isnt peppery- its what an orgasm would look like if it ever took physical form). So I thought to myself, I will take garri, groundnut and the meat to work for lunch (I have this theory that groundnut from Nigeria tastes better as well) so I was looking forward to my lunch.
    This story will be long small but I am vexed. Anyway fast forward to lunch time, I mixed my garri (careful balance of sugar, water cos you dont want it to swell too much) I now made the mistake of microwaving the tinko a bit. Just a tiny bit cos sometimes there is residual fat and I love it when the oil from the fat pops in your mouth-, but the aroma wafted round the office but I did not take note of it. These olofos now started walking past my desk one by one. At first I did not notice because I was browsing BN posts until someone said “what is that”? I did not mind sharing garri cos well I had surplus (My mom is still looking for the bottle of groundnut my aunt brought and I am still helping both of them solve the riddle of the missing groundnut bottle) so really and truly there was enough garri and epa to go round. Until someone notice the meat.
    This is the part where I was too slow. I should have used one of my papers to cover that plate of meat but I was too trusting. They now said they wanted to taste it. I had 5 pieces of meat (I am watching my weight you see, so more food might upset my diet.. garri is cassava and groundut is protein so it still goes. lool) there is no real way to divide tinko meat into two pieces lets not lie, its too hard and just wrong. . So the first person to notice the meat took one.. she ate it. You would think she would chop, clean mouth, be quiet and go. Noooooooooo she left and told someone.. that other person too came “oh I heard we are visiting Nigeria today”.. really, truly, is this the time for jokes? WHY I DID NOT EVEN PUT ALL THE MEAT IN MY MOUTH AT THE FIRST TIME I WILL NEVER KNOW. No sir, we are not visiting Nigeria today, I am merely trying to eat my meat in piece (clearly peace was not attainable at this point) he too sha took another one.. 2 more meats to go, as i was about to quickly pop the last two in my mouth, someone noticd. so I had to give her one before quickly throwing the last in my mouth
    *sigh* its not the sharing that upset me like I said garri, groundnut, very plenty. But its the callousness. I had it calculated. If you see 5 tiny pieces of meat in someone’s plate would you not let them eat it in peace? I had calculated that for every 2 spoons of garri I would eat a meat. So by my last spoonful of garri (the eighth one) there would be an excess of meat and I would have two pieces of meat to accompany that..(riro ni ti eniyan, sise ni ti oluwa sha- man proposes God disposes?) *sigh* I feel so much better. Ranting is a very healthy activity don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. looool. Good luck reading this epistle. lool

    • ramat

      March 17, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Hahahahaha. I enjoyed every line of this your epistle. Pele dear.

    • Matilda

      March 17, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      OMG! you’re genuinely funny, to think that I didn’t want to read ‘cos it’s actually an epistle. I’m happy I read it.

    • iPhone

      March 17, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO whocares you’re such a mess and I love it!

    • Easy n Gentle

      March 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      ???whocares has gone gaga, she said ‘olofo’ lmao my God!!! Smh ?

    • Fashionista

      March 17, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Whocares is officially MAD, LMAOOOOO!!! you are still helping them look for the groundnut? I’m laughing to pieces here. Sorry about the Tinko ehn, after the first one left, i would have hidden it sharpish. But in all honesty, those people are badly behaved sha, did they not see how many was left? schewzzzzz

    • kehinde

      March 18, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllll

  18. ajikoko

    March 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    One could make life long friends anywhere- even in the office-study and choose your friends wisely- be discerning . Everyone can’t be a close pal naw!

  19. Un

    March 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Well i kinda get wat shes saying sha. Iv learnt tgat office friends form cliques and cliques gets u landaded in troubles u have no business with. Just be balanced n wise. But be friendly to all. It wont hurt.

  20. Oppy

    March 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Well said!!! I strongly support this article. Some so called colleagues will be acting like they care about you but their minds are full of evil. They plan your downfall behind you, then come to you to sympathise with you. Hypocrites oshi. It’s better to avoid such people. I have those kinda people at my place of work so I understand her point. Mehn! They irritate me.

  21. glow

    March 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I feel like i should have know this right from day one, and maintain no friend, no foe attitude at work, but i learnt the hard way because i was very sociable to all, and those that you think are your friends and you confide in and should have your back turns out to be the ones that will say all sort of things about you and wouldn’t stand in for because everyone is trying to save their head and save their job so they look for who to dump the mess on, and yes!!! the most carefree and sociable takes it all. and then you are standing alone to defend yourself and nobody gets believe you. I have been in this shoes before and i know how it feels . Let colleagues stay as colleagues and not friends.
    I stand by this wonderful written article and i have decided to draw the line and do same in any organisation i find myself .

    • Tk

      March 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Wahalahi,, u just said my mind,, biko

  22. princess P

    March 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    My best friend is my office colleague. He is so easy to talk to, he listens and gives great advise. He has my back and likewise…he is my team leader and I still have huge respect for him.
    Stop seeing everyone as a competition
    My office is even a happy place for me

    • I will goryeo you

      March 17, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Why do I get the feeling you want to have his babies…Aunty you are in love.

    • Princess P

      March 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      naaaaaa
      Nothing of that nature

  23. whocares

    March 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    now that I have worked that “mild” irritation out of my system (it happened last year btw. loool) let me now be reasonable. I think what is upsetting is people at work are aware that you are bound by social conventions of politeness. My friends know not to ask me to share my tinko meat, they even know that to oversniff when im eating the meat is an offence. Only breathe in moderation and for necessity as I want the aroma of the meat to linger long after eating so if you can go long moments without breathing, that is fine by me. But work colleagues some of them will push your button (bants they call it) and expect you to smile. I dont understand. I did not complain re the food cos you dont want to be the person who turned to hulk over meat (although they do this a lot), but other things I do talk. I will state my position calmly and clearly without anger and move on. Anyone that wants to get angry should go ahead, so long as I do not hold on to the emotion myself. I dont mind socialising outside of the work place cos lets face it you spend most of your time at work, so it is in your best interest to be friends with them both in and out of work (the more of their secrets you know the better for you. lol) But you are right, my work colleagues are not my friends in the real sense of it. They are acquaintances but some of them have gone on to become real friends also (only after I left the work place in most times.) be less rigid at work maybe. Unless the people you work with are completely insufferable.

  24. Bey

    March 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I have a colleague I was friends with. We even went on a trip outside the country together. Went to a resort which I paid for bcos dere was an offer. My card stopped working, I borrowed hers for a day just to buy food,transport, necessities. I was shocked when d girl brout out a written note of what I owed. Even including water.
    Very selfish somborri, I even paid most of d hotel bills, and still helped her bring her xtra suitcase back. ( And No im not gay, im happily married ).
    We ended up fighting on dat trip, and we don’t talk again.
    I have learnt to never do a girls trip with smone I just met, especially through work. Luckily we hardly run into eachoda, she’s in anoda branch now.

    • Tk

      March 17, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Hnmmmm. That is life o

    • Shish!

      March 17, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      What a selfish soul. Jeez!

  25. Marlvina

    March 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I love this write up. Basically my stand at the moment. I know exactly where to draw the line. A friend can be a colleague but a colleague does not have to be a friend!!!

  26. Frank

    March 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    First and foremost, your name reminds me of Calliope Torres from Greys Anatomy. That being said, every point you made is valid. I know how to talk my way out of buying aso-ebi but I haven’t quite figured how to do so with lunch. I bring lunch from home and people want to actually join me. I don’t know why they feel so comfortable but I end up allowing them. Some even go as far as asking for big portions of my beef or chicken.

  27. Nammy

    March 17, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    This article is spot on, to start with, I don’t have WhatsApp on my frequently used line so I don’t stand the risk of receiving an awkward “hi” from a colleague who I just gave my number. I take time to study pple especially my colleagues before we become friendly and if they are worth it the friendship can go to the deepest levels possible.

  28. Cookie

    March 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    So apt. I believe there should be a boundary to things. We work together doesn’t mean we are best of friends. Asides work you know nothing about me and I know nothing about you too. No offense.

  29. Tk

    March 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    As someone said,, unnecessary familiarity brings wahala o,,, I regretted being too close to most of my team members ,,,my aim was, if we are one,, work we go smoothly,, but NO,, it was the opposite,, am loving d new me now… No familarity,, “iya mi mo eye omo to bi” no sisterly things.

  30. Toyin

    March 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I so much agree with this post, I know my boundary so know yours. We work together doesn’t mean we’re friends, of course i respect you and smile out of courtesy but if we don’t have quiet conversations and giggles I don’t think we’re close so I expect you to treat me the way I treat you, courtesy. My chilhood friend is getting married this Saturday and I’m not attending because I know my boundaries and my presence will neither be noticed nor appreciated so why don’t I sit my ass at home. I’m not hateful, when mom told me she’s getting married I was excited and happy for her infact I wish I could grace the occasion but the only reason why I’m not going is the long years that has stretched between us. When we were young we lived together, attended the same primary school until our families moved though between 2002 till date we still see each other but if I’m going to rate it I’ll say 1 of 10times in each case we have nothing to say other than pleasantries so I think it’s safe to say we are not friends. The point of my story is if you’re not my close circle friends or friends that we have things in common, share experience,memories, then who are you to blah blah…my story is too much. I’m sorry

    • Tosin

      March 18, 2016 at 8:48 am

      you never know. sometimes a person really appreciates/cherishes the small act of you attending … give it a thought. maybe she really would love you to share her day 🙂
      that said, can’t remember the last time i went to a wedding

      and i don’t do aso ebi (exceptions: family/ebi that is it’s indirectly my event; for friends maybe once or twice, they were easygoing/polite about it, it was optional, and it was gele not a whole investment, it was yankee so i guess ppl are more ‘considerate’ because they know how we work for money; other than that the most i’ve done is colour-match. i taught my mother to colour-match too. she no longer has any time for anybody’s aso ebi loool. maroon = brown. lavender = purple. eggshell = beige. aquamarine = one kain light blue/green. burgundy = dark red. worst-worst we’ll google it. don’t disturb our peace. lol. please don’t take it seriously o, we’re joking around.)

      I actually have a current situation like the forced aso-ebi one – someone dropped off a book I think and it has a price. A high price. My inclination is to ignore. Worst worst come and carry your book. Some people don’t know what some people’s budget is, be taxing them upandan.

    • MC

      March 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

      So 9 out of 10 times there’s something to say?

  31. LEM

    March 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with this write up. Colleagues, at best are your acquaintances not your friends. Not saying they cannot eventually become your friends but in my experience it usually happens if you are either not in the same department or if either one of you leaves the Company. Confiding in your colleague you consider a friend is done at your own risk. Just remember anything you say can and may be used against you.
    I see my colleagues everyday, Monday-Friday, why do we need to socialize on Saturday/Sunday please? If its for your event, it would depend on if I really like you not just because we work together.
    Be friendly to all, greet all but keep your personal distance is my motto in my office. Some people initially tried to make me join their clique but i stayed well away from the drama and it saved me from office politics. The worst thing you can do to yourself is join an office clique, once the chips are down (i.e downsizing) that so called clique is an easy and usually first target which is what happened in my office.

  32. Ruby

    March 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    3 Gbosa to Callilope!
    Gbosa! Gbosa! Gbosa!

    There is a very thick line between work and personal for me. Though there are a few colleague that we have connected at levels beyond work and we grow to become friends. But being my colleague isn’t an automatic ticket to friendship.

  33. Jagbajantis

    March 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I am a bit in the middle.

    I do not start work at a new work environment expecting to be close buddies with people I meet there. It all depends on the office culture and the type of people there. I reflect whatever I see in an office environment.

    Years ago, I worked in a call-center somewhere in Jand, where the team was close knit. We looked out for each other, ordered lunch together, hung out for after work drinks. When I was leaving the company to relocate back to Nigeria, they organized a send-off do for me, even I wanted to go quietly. We all went out for drinks, then Nandos and then to a spot for games/bowling/arcades. They then chipped in and gave me a lump sum of money! Who the hell does that? And in Jand too! Needless to say, I am still connected to most of them on Facebook (one of the reasons why I still keep my FB account open), and we still keep in touch.
    Now those are good friends. When I go to Jand for vacation, I would buzz them to meet up.

    On the flip side, in my current office, I can see where the writer is coming from. Here, there are a mix of very country folks, immature and clique-ey people, and then a minute sprinkling of people who keep to themselves. It is fair to say, that in this kind of small office where if you told someone something in confidence right now, and stood up to go to the toilet, someone would mention it to you as you washed your hands at the sinks. Here, I know I have colleagues, and not friends. If i was throwing a birthday party at my crib there’s only maybe one person I would invite.

  34. Spunky

    March 17, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I go to the office, do my job and go home. You can be jovial to your colleagues and civil as well(it won’t kill you). From the posters perspective, I can understand he or she must be stifled at work for no reason. Ogbeni, life is short so make the best use of time. In btw, I hate it when my female colleagues can’t keep their lazy fingaz off my lunch pack(andmi’m a guy Ooo). To prevent it, I always keep a straight face one hour to lunch time and when it’s time to eat, I concentrate on my meal and avoid saying the usual “make una join me or make una come chop Ooo”!lol…

  35. Olutt

    March 17, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Yes, read all the interesting comments, i must say i agree with the writer considering the context and environment of “office friends” in Naija, the struggle is real let’s not kid ourselves. when office friend now begin to look like office drain, the struggle then becomes dire: “borrow me this…”, “give me some ” “i owe you” . There is a line in work environment relations we must watch out for, that’s excesses and you. Besides, in the midst of the gross unemployment in Nigeria, with quarterly additions of prospects into the workforce competing for the same job will make u think twice. I know a lot of party going , fun loving, “friendly” colleagues that lost their jobs and feel bitter about being forgotten. Homz, work is work, family is family, friend is friend and colleague is colleague, there’s always a downside when you start mixing everything together like agbo jedi, alomo and paraga.

    • Abk

      March 17, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      It’s not only in Nigeria, it’s everywhere. I live in Toronto. You just have to be friendly, but careful and professional at the same time. And always have boundaries. And be prayerful if you believe in that.

  36. Matilda

    March 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I COMPLETELY agree with you, I share the same opinion with you on all points.

  37. ms.b

    March 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Everyone who agrees with the writer hates their job or are in the wrong career. If you love what you do and your work place, u get friendly with everyone even on a personal level. I did a whole course in organisational behaviour, ppl like the writer hate their workplace or job, she will have a change of character if she finds her true calling or a job she enjoys. Its like a doctor saying he doesn’t have other colleagues in the hospital as friends, or a wall street guy not interacting with colleagues outside office hours. Some organizations take employees to picnic or Disneyland with their families so as to bond, which helps employees interact better with each other and further help them to perform optimal at work.

    • ijklmn

      March 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Lol @ ms.b they told me the same things when I got my MBA. Lies, all lies. In real life, the corporate world is dog eat dog. Those wall street guys are usually ready to throw their so called friends under the bus at the drop of a hat. Don’t believe everything they told you in school.

    • ms.b

      March 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      I am in a corporate world now, and that’s what we do. Its not lies, that’s the best organizational culture. yes, colleagues backstab, but avoiding ppl in the office isn’t the best and can lead to friction. Only big corporations with sensible HR personnel know the value of out of office bonding.

  38. mimie

    March 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    awesome…. exactlyyyyy

  39. Excellentebi

    March 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Well, I understand your point of view because I know people that have been hurt badly by colleagues they trusted. But I guess I am fortunate because in the office I work, (we are 11 in the unit) we are close, we eat together always, gist and laugh together (you miss the office when you are away), celebrate one another in any way we can and we try to be there for everyone. Please note, we argue and fight sometimes as even siblings and couples do, but we always try to resolve our issues and sometimes agree to disagree. In fact they are just amazing. My son has been ill and on admission since Monday so I have not been at work. My colleagues have been highly supportive. So in conclusion, not all colleagues are bad. (Ps. I have worked with them for over 4 years now).

  40. Favour

    March 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Best friends are different from office friends……It all comes down to each other’s personality. If anything happens to you in your office you should be able to get someone to help. same with your neighbors. Everybody is my friend but I have close confidants and best friends.

  41. Excellentebi

    March 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    The issue of Asoebi, it’s the same as attending weddings or other functions. Some I buy or attend for solidarity if I CAN AFFORD IT at the time (some people borrow to buy asoebi ). Most times, to support the person concerned whether colleagues, friends or church members… Other times, I just lock up?

  42. Feyisola

    March 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    My view exactly and I completely agree with you.

  43. Marc Francis of Chelsea

    March 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    You sound like a fun colleague.

  44. me

    March 17, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Were you reading my mind, You spend monday to friday working with someone, doesn’t mean you want to see them on a Saturday party. Aso ebi for all should stop, colleagues are not family members!

  45. Mrs Oke

    March 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I understand the writers point of view but sometimes we need to look at things a little differently… Its true that true friends are really hard to find these days especially in a working environment where its a dog-eat-dog world. My closest friend till date is my secondary school bestie…

    But in reality, people are walking around with huge voids in their life. Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, etc. which no amount of work can effectively cover. Who says you can’t bring healing to someone just because he/she is a colleague?

    I am a very sensitive person and I love making friends albeit I know where to draw the line and I also define the kind of friendship it would be.

    The problem with the world today is that everyone is in relationships for what they can get.

    How about deciding to be a positive influence on the next person.
    How about giving yourself in service for the next person
    How about bringing healing to the next person

    In all the places I have worked, I have tried to reach out to people directly or indirectly depending on their needs. Sometimes its work related and sometimes its personal.

    My former boss during my send forth said I’m a great team player. I didn’t need to force it, some of them are my very good friends till date after many years and some I don’t even communicate with anymore.

    I have learnt in life that the world is so small and that junior colleague today can be your boss the next minute.

    Sometimes we don’t even need to say much, we don’t need to be nasty, we don’t even need that close mushy relationship…

    Just a genuine act of kindness is all you need to contribute to better your working environment…

    xoxo…

    • Nwanyi na aga aga

      March 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Nne take several hugs from me. Keep affecting lives positively. I find this article strange and cocky, very hard to understand but then to each their own.

  46. Gorgeous

    March 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Honestly, that Aso-Ebi stuff is unreasonable. Aso-Ebi has always been for members of the family. To riddle another person with huge expenses when you do not know the extend of their expenses and pocket is highly unreasonable and irrational. If you insist on selling your Aso-Ebi it should be a totally optional thing. Just make people aware and extend invitations. Stop trying to make money off people you invited to your wedding who are not your family, and you could care less if they are alive or not. SMH.

  47. Fountain of Paper

    March 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Honestly, the culture of leaving aso-ebi on people’s desks at the office needs to stop. It is annoying!

    So you’re getting married, or your Papa is receiving chieftaincy title in Oke-Ode and you think it’s obligatory to dump fabric on my desk because COLLEAGUE? Really?

    Unless you’re dashing me the fabric and owo tailor + style suggestions (because I HATE choosing styles to sew) – please don’t drop any yeye fabric on my table.

    And don’t send your driver to drop it in my house either… and don’t say “I’m sending your aso-ebi” if I didn’t ask you to.

    Please you people should respect people’s boundaries. ASOS dress is £20 and your aso-ebi is 25k (without owo tailor) abeg let’s all give ourselves brain and face the work office brought us together to come and do please.

    I won’t go into the irritating habit of eating people’s food. Bring your dirty fork into my plate… from where to where na? Didn’t you see me when I was placing the order from TFC? If you don’t gerrarahiaa!!!

    • Observer

      March 17, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Lol!! This epistle made me chuckle.

    • Tosin

      March 19, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Hilarious! <3

  48. The real D

    March 17, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I used to be of the same school of thought as the writer until I learned that in my own world getting along with colleagues and co workers or team work is just as important as hard work when it comes to job growth. Being a team player I have realized goes beyond your ability to work with everyone without any problem.

    I used to turn down opportunities to hang out with colleagues from work because it always involved alcohol and nothing else and I dislike the taste of alcohol and they give me migraines so I always said no, but with time I have since realized that many managers and companies do reward hard work and people that go out of their way to connect with colleagues and I have since learned the importance of this. About people eating my food, I think it is about striking a balance, that is, connecting with your colleagues while maintaining a professional front so lines don’t get blurred. Even my BFW (best friend at work) does not go to my lunch without my knowledge.

    Lastly, as an adult you spend most of your waking hours at work so developing friendship with colleagues will be beneficial to you as well. Now if I am invited for happy hour deals, you see me with my drink in hand (Coke on the rocks all the way) and you will be surprised how laid back many people are outside of work making connecting with them way easier than when you only interact at work.

  49. damseldam1

    March 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    HMMM STORY OF MY LIFE JARE. currently in school, i though i had a friend with a classmate but am just finding out she was an enemy in disguise. This girl will not hesitate to ask me for something and i will gladly do/give it but if i ask her of something ah it will be like am asking the whole word from her. The last straw i decided to take a step back and leave her as a classmate nothing more. Now am just civil with her. No more friends outside of school or any other establishment ….a lesson learned

  50. Idomagirl

    March 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I agree biko and no the writer isn’t saying we shouldn’t be team players or we should be “stronging” face at work, she’s only saying create boundaries, and in today’s world, this is sound advice!
    Be sociable, be friendly but keep colleague’s at arm’s length.

    Na some of these work besties go come carry your personal gist come office sef…leave matter.

    • Idomagirl

      March 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      *colleagues

  51. Tosin

    March 18, 2016 at 8:51 am

    phollo the leeda: i belong to everyone and i belong to no one – PMB

  52. Marian

    March 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Was not friends with any of my co-workers outside of work at my previous job but I was very friendly with them. We all worked well together, had fun and celebrated each other’s birthday. They can gossip like no one else and I can’t stand that. Dem they look face too so even though they felt free to ask for my help or what I was bringing to one of our numerous office parties, I was not the coworker they texted about bar hopping or to contribute to any of the gossips. You don’t have to be friends to be friendly.

  53. Yettie

    March 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    @whocares, who are you, I really never read long posts but I swear I read yours till the end cos it cracked me up. I’m really not sure why people took this aricle personally. The writer simply stated a fact. What is the real meaning or perhaps should I say definition of friendship. Talking about sharing food , some colleagues do not even have the courtesy of asking before picking things which in my case is biscuit and bread while I’m eating jejely at my desk..At my last job, there was this colleague who just picked bread from my plate , took a bite and then handed it back to me. I had never been so mad before. I told him straight up to carry and finish it. . Me that i don’t like teeth mark on “flour things”, you from no where now came and put you saliva in my food, Chai… i was angry o and i told him straight up that my husband teeth mark sef , i never chop. People should just stay in their lane abeg.

  54. Tsola

    April 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    I kinda agree with the callilope. I work offshore for 2weeks and I have discovered when i return back to work after my 2weeks at home I never gave my colleagues a thought. You only remember them when you at work. Callilope, yeah right you sounded petty about them taking your food from the common fridge especially when they tell you afterwards.
    Nice article,I can relate with it.

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