You’re sitting at your desk at work trying to get things done, and your phone vibrates. Is it your loved one? Is it someone starring one of your many jokes on Twitter (@AcrimoniousClwn)? Or was it the email you’ve been waiting for from Amazon telling you that the shotgun in which you are about to blow your brains out with has shipped? Nope, it’s your coworker who you just said, “Hi” to in the hall requesting to be your friend on Facebook. Shit. What do you do? Let me take you on a journey for that answer.
When you were in high school you should have taken one of those career aptitude tests that they give out to all of the seniors. You probably know which one I’m talking about. It’s the one where it asks stupid hypothetical questions and after supplying all of your answers, it will give you the career in which you would be a best fit. I was pumped to take this test. Would I get a rum drinking pirate? International spy? Space Cowboy? Nope. Gardener.
For all of you gardeners out there, I’m not putting down your profession. I’m sure you love the smell of grass, landscaping the outside of houses, and planting lilacs or whatever. Without you our houses would look like Hiroshima in the 50’s. For me though, the closest I’ve ever come to gardening is planting
marijua….jalapenos behind my garage. So instead of listening to a stupid test, I decided to take fate into my own hands.
Fast forward 15 years and I am not quite in the Captain Mal sailing on the Serenity position I had hoped for but I’m also not a gardener so I guess that’s some sort of ‘W’ in the win column of life. Sure it seems the only part of my work day that is on track is the 20 minute commute on the train and granted there are days where the best part about my job is the hydraulic noise my chair makes when it goes up and down but you get the point. I do work in the stereotypical rat race office setting and when I look out at the sea of cubicles before me I wonder if all of these people got Office Drone on their career aptitude tests. I highly doubt it. I do know though, is that they all want to be Facebook friends.
So do you have to accept the request from the weird dude in IT who probably just wants to see if there are any bikini pictures of you? I personally say an absolutely resounding “no” to the Facebook/Coworker relationship. I simply tell them the truth: “I’m not friends with coworkers on Facebook because on Facebook, you 'friend' someone and I’m not your friend, I'm just a guy that has to see you every day.” Now that lack of subtlety might be too much for people that care about feelings and junk, so there are other approaches. You say, “I want to keep my personal life personal. It’s no offense.” Bottom line, you don’t need people seeing pictures of you drunk and you certainly don't want Ron from HR knowing you write a blog on ChicagoNow that makes fun of his coffee breath.
You probably already have a couple of hundred “friends” on your Facebook that you haven’t talked to face to face in years. There’s already too many pictures of kids and fireworks (Why??) and idiotic status updates to go around, you don’t need someone else that you just so happen to know be all up in your personal business just because you would feel bad for not accepting them. Plus, it beats defriending them when you inevitably get fired. Facebook is the equivalent to your high school yearbook. People write ‘stay cool’, ‘LYLAB’, and ‘keep in touch’ when you know damn well the second you leave school you are putting those assholes in the rearview. Or, you could listen to your stupid high school career aptitude test, just become a gardener and not have to deal with coworkers at all.
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