The Gentleman's Agreement: Can Working Together As Friends Ever Be Fully Peaceful?

in life •  last year

A week ago, I had a meeting with one of my old friends.

Our session of catching up slowly turned into a business one as he told me about his business and how I could potentially work for him as a writer.

After all was said and done, he said this, "I forgot one thing, I'd like to present to you a gentleman's agreement. I know how it is when it comes to working with friends. I treasure this friendship of ours, so regardless of what happens in between, I hope that we can still remain friends."

He extended his hand to me.

I shook it.

I thought that was pretty cool of him. Calling it a gentleman's agreement was even cooler.

Indeed, work between friends can be a very tricky thing. Put in time and money between two friends and things can fuck up in many ways.

It can even ruin friendships that are decades old.

It makes me wonder though, can friends ever work together and experience peace even after things go awry?

The gentleman's agreement was a good touch, but well, things change with time, as it does in every relationship.

Emotions get involved.

Money increases or decreases.

Time is spent and wasted.

I remember loaning a friend a thousand bucks for what he claimed was lack of cash at the moment as he just started his new job. He was very thankful for the loan and even said he wants to sign an I.O.U. with me. I saw that he was very serious about this.

And then I caught him clubbing and partying with his girlfriend. 

And then he claimed human resources informed him that his pay would come in late.

I was a bit annoyed with this. I asked him simply this, "Bro, how do you think you look like now after telling me that you really needed the money and then you spent it on partying?"

He got upset because he felt I stopped trusting him. He said that he believes as long the money was returned at the stipulated date, what happens in between doesn't matter.

He eventually returned the money and we're good today. I even pondered over what he said and I actually agree to some extent how he viewed it.

In another occasion, I did some writing for a friend. He agreed to pay me a $X for X amount of work.

He kept changing shit halfway and eventually, I had to tell him that the amount of changes is way beyond X amount of work and $X was just way too low.

Long story short, I didn't want to continue writing for him. Because of friendship's sake, I told him not to pay me since he didn't get what he want.

But then he said this to me, in one sentence, "No hard feelings yeah. It's just work."

I was so turned off that honestly, I don't wish to regard him as a friend anymore.

The thing is, he has been very successful with internet marketing. He makes a shit ton of money today. So every piece of communication with him felt contrived and created out of business just to suit him.

When he fed me that 'no hard feelings' line, I knew it was said for business's sake and not because he respected me as a friend or a writer.

Ultimately, I was the one who made the step to forgo the money. He saw it as reasonable because the work he wanted was not given to me.

But obviously, nobody gave a fuck about the time I put in for the writing I did. 

Ironically, when this doomed working relationship started, he actually said the oh-so-cliched, "I love helping people to succeed" line, which made the whole situation even more unbearable. 

I guess that when it comes to work, time and money, shit always gets tricky.

What do you all think?

What are your experiences?

Do share with me in the comments.

P.S. For the first story I mentioned, he is by far the most qualified and trustworthy friend to uphold the gentleman's agreement.

Why? Because he said he cannot guarantee much.

The others? They were full of flowery bullshit, promising great returns and such.

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Thank you for posting about love


... what

Should two agree... Yes, but in ink is better. Make your vision bold and put it on paper.



It can be pretty hard. I find the balance of collaboration/work and friendship pretty hard to
balance... as an artist, we often seek friendship with the people we work with. But that can make it harder to stay organized / on schedule / "lay down the law" or whatever. IDK if there is an easy solution


I doubt there ever will be. For people like us, it can never be, "It's just work."

This post has received a 20.28 % upvote from @sneaky-ninja thanks to @aldentan.