Business with acquaintances
I have always found it weird having to interact with people I know personally in an official setting. But I have had innumerable such scenarios. My schooling was in a small town where the predominant establishments were a steel plant and a technical college( where my mom and a maternal grand uncle were faculty). People lived in official quarters provided by either of these heavy weight employers. People literally lived in each others pockets. I had a few teachers who were wives of my mom or dad's colleagues. So when I passed them in school I had the wry smile that I know Miss Sahu as Sahu aunty as well. Papa was a professor( not in the technical college but a general one) and some of my teachers were aware of it. They reached out to my dad for advice as to which set of courses would be good etc. This increased the circle of acquaintance. Some of my friends knew Miss Mohindra had visited our home to have a conversation about her daughter 's admission. And when I would get the wink wink nudge nudge if she smiled at me. Trust me I never got any unfair advantage. On the contrary I had to be extra extra good and well behaved lest I ruin their impression of me :(
Papa 's college provided what is the 11th and 12th standard courses in higher secondary education. I opted to do in his college, since his transfer was imminent. Getting an admission in his college provided the fall back option of moving to a new institution when he moved. Now the two years here were pure nightmare. I literally knew the whole college faculty. To top it, since we lived in the college campus the 'bumping' into each other was way more frequent! Luckily there were a few more kids of faculty so not all limelight was on me ;) But I hated it if I got a good on my diagrams, some other kids suspected favouritism. In fact there were a few teachers who asked me more questions for no good reason evident to me. If I missed a class, Papa was asked the reason. He gave me compete autonomy as to which classes I wanted to attend. But I would not have liked being asked why my kid did so and so every time she did something. There was in fact an occasion where one colleague of my dad 's who did not get along so well with him complained to the principal about me! Whew that one came from no where.
Ironically I joined the popular technical institution in the city and it was all back to square one in terms of people. In fact my grand uncle still worked there and he kept me on a real tight rope.
After my education was over, I was sure gone were those uncomfortable days. Yes I would have loved having a friend as a colleague. I made new friends with colleagues. So much so I ended up marrying a colleague ;) Things have come a full circle now and last year I ended up joining the same organisation where K works. That was good enough. I had a permanent lunch buddy. Now last month we were pitched in the same project! Hmmmm deja vu.
Now this is a whole new world of awkward. In status meetings K is unable to keep a straight face when talking to me :P I on the other hand am extra extra formal and cautious. I think all the years of conditioning to be a 'good girl' kicked in. After meetings K many times pings me on the the internal communicator with 'abbe what sort of update was that ' I would retort' is this how you talk with all your subject matter experts?' There are times when he reaches out to other colleagues for updates he could get from me just to avoid talking to me but then go on speaking about the project at home much to me annoyance. With some desk moves he sits closer to me. He is not directly in my field of vision but I can see him when I move around. Sometimes he gives me a squint eye or funny face when I pass through. It has me in total splits.
Seems like the story of my life that I have someone who makes me 'uncomfortable' at my professional eco system :D