Friends in strange places

The company I work at has an intriguing population of employees that vary from young and spunky worldchangers to experienced and high-skilled field-experts (that are often a bit on the agey side). And naturally, the higher up you progress in the company, the greyer the heads get (with exceptions, of course). I suppose that that’s quite normal, in a company counting more than 20.000 heads worldwide.

The team I currently work with, seeing as I’ve made a bunch of steps career wise, has an abundance of experience – which also reflects on the years they’ve padded around the earth. Most of my direct colleagues are well into the 4-0 regions, or comfortably in their 50s. Which, when put like that (with me just having turned 31) might sound off-putting. But isn’t. AT ALL.

Because: to say IT-people stay young at heart long is an understatement. And regardless of age, I still connect with them easily and conversations very rarely dry up. Not to mention the options there are of learning from people who’ve pretty much seen it all. My professional growth these past few months has been off the charts (if I do say so myself). But there are days that generation gaps spring up in our day-to-day interactions and there are days I feel like that kid that escaped the kids table at a grown-up dinner party. I’m a bit too informal and open in my communication. Too quick in wanting to make things happen with people too set in their ways. Or too inexperienced to be voicing opinions, but doing so regardless because that’s just who I am. Sometimes, age is a thing.

But then there’s days like yesterday. I’ve been working with this one colleague ever since I started this new challenge and we’ve both butted heads as well as had glorious successes in our cooperation. Secretly (don’t tell him that) he’s become kind of a mentor, in that very typical grumpy-but-willing kind of way. And, even looking back at work I did only 3 months ago, it’s insane how much he’s taught me (and how much I’ve learned). He totes around 3 decennia of experience and effortlessly knows the ins- and outs of pretty much anything in our field. Also means that he is kind of impatient for people learning the ropes, but hey, that just inspires quickness – so to say.

Common ground, work-wise, has always been there a-plenty for both of us. Yet on a more personal level – that was a lot harder. I mean, here I am doing life Han Solo and just flitting through days on whatever whim might strike me. While he has his house (and farm), kids, family, own company and responsibilities and a strange taste in very oldschool rock-music that I can’t get the hang of. There wasn’t much to go on.

Until yesterday. Because sometimes life just manages to surprise you, and people might do the same. So when we reported for duty on one of the more challenging types of days in the office (we had to execute a  very important part of work that would take the entire day and wreck us completely at a risk of losing a LOT) I was ready to just buckle down and have at it. Work in silence and just get the result we needed.

How wrong I was.

Not in the result part, obviously. We fucking aced (or at least, so we hope because we won’t know for another two months) that bit. But in between the maniacal hard work we delivered we also connected.

Over Pokemon Go.

Because as it turns out – this accomplished familyman. This careertiger with myriads of experience under the belt and achievements that would make anyone fluster….booted up Pokemon Go as we started up work. Had me (re-)install it on the spot (to then pout at bit at my impressive level 27 to his 21) and then giggled excitedly with me throughout the day every time a Pokemon popped up. We hit the Poke-gym in our  building over lunch and discussed the qualities of Aerodactyls and his mistake of a choice in evolving his Rhyhorn. It was epic.

It goes to show that, if you look hard and deep enough, you can connect with anyone in the world, over something that you share. It shows that there’s more to people than meets the eye. It shows that it doesn’t have to always be all work and no play and above all it shows:
Pokemon has the power to bring the world together!

PS. I’m pretty sure no colleagues actually read this blog – but in the case that they do: take no offense, everything here is meant in good fun. You’re all awesome. Really. Especially if you come play Pokemon with me.

PPS. To everyone else playing Pokemon Go AND reading this: hit me up with your trainer codes. I gotz gifts.

6 thoughts on “Friends in strange places

  1. Somewhere ‘hidden’ in this gem there’s (again) the kind of universal wisdom-thingies you so casually write down on a daily basis: “if you look hard and deep enough, you can connect with anyone in the world, over something that you share. It shows that there’s more to people than meets the eye.”

    Anyone ‘knows’ this and everyone should recognize this as a truth. But (even if so) do we always act accordingly? Do we have the guts to step over our own ‘boundaries’ and are we really prepared to meet ‘a stranger’ – who might not appear be a ‘friend at first sight’ – with an open mind? Without ‘prejudice’ (or judgement)? (But with ‘pride’ 😊)

    In my opinion and (luckily) in my personal experience, it can every so often be a game changer if you do. Not only it might lead to new and unexpected friendships, but most of all such connections can profoundly affect your outlook on life and the people surrounding you. We are more akin then we tend to think. And if we invest a little of our time and energy in making a true connection, especially with people ‘a wee bit out of your comfortzone’, this might prove (not ‘proof’ 😊) worthwile. It might inspire you, give you something to ponder, and you will definetly learn a thing or two (about yourself). And perhaps it can be a first step to a different approach of things in your life (the next time).

    Although for some actually ‘oing this’ this might feel as ‘A Bridge Too Far’, my adage would be “It’s a small step for [a] (wo)-man, but a giant leap for mankind’ (at least: that what it seems to be for some of us these days).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Had the exact same thing happen to me. One of my co-workers (Translation agency, so we have to work together often) had literally nothing in common with me. Not music, not lifestyle, no nothing… or so it seemed at first. We still ended up becoming basically best friends (until she was fired over some ridículous bs) over PoGo. While her new job keeps her busy elsewhere, we still talk and be random when we can.
    Yup. Connections over the most random things are possible and that is awesome. :’)

    Also: Nice writing Miss L. ;] Keep it up!
    Also x2: 2994 3238 4098

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t be so quick to throw us old dogs out 😊. We can still connect with the young’uns. There is always something in common to be found. I connect with my daughters over Netflix series such as Stranger Things. I’ll have to check out this Pokemon thing. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting read this is… I have been sort of forced to leave my position – in IT – a while ago, and have the feeling that the young guns will not accept me (yes, in my 5-0’s…) or see who I am. Inside, I feel like a teenager, but how do you explain that when applying for a job? Your story gives me a little hope… I might just give it another try. I just have to meet the right people…! Thanks for that.

    Like

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