Why do co-workers think they have to be best buds to work together?

worker clocking in - Cartoon of woman clocking into work.  Has timecard in her hand, and is dressed and ready for work.
United States
January 19, 2007 4:26pm CST
We have recently been having problems at work with our second shift. They are all fighting and cannot get along. Most of them are younger (17-25), with a few older ones thrown in here and there. My boss is having a terrible time with this, he is trying to rearrange schedules and everything. I've told him to sit down with them and explain that you do not have to be friends to work together. They seem to think if you don't hang out together after work, than you don't belong on their shift. We do not have this problem on dayturn. We all go our seperate ways at the end of the shift. We are friendly with each other, but we don't all hang out together with each other. I have friends at work, but not all of us hang out together on our free time. I have a family, and I'm not into the party scene. Why can't the younger set get along? They seem to think they have to have a close relationship with everyone they work with, or they are not going to get along.
4 people like this
20 responses
@KrauseHome (36340)
• United States
20 Jan 07
Actually, I think this is a Growing trend everywhere, and people need to realize there are differences in how people believe, etc. and if someone does not fit up to par and your level, does not mean you need to treat them any less. I've seen situations where I work, and it is not always from the younger ones. Sometimes people just cannot get along with certain people and you just learn to accept them as they are, and move on. Hopefully your situation at work can improve in time.
• United States
20 Jan 07
I agree with you. There are people I do not care for at work, but I'm still polite and friendly with them.
• United States
20 Jan 07
I agree with you completely. Just because somebody isn't a good, doesn't mean that should be treated bad. A work relationship only needs to be friendly and curtious, and open to the exchange of new ideas and tips/tricks to get their job done.
1 person likes this
• India
20 Jan 07
This is a common thing that happens through all over the companies ... The thing is In Second shifts there will not be presence of Top management so the workers will think themselves as a Leader and there comes the argument...
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
Very good point. We have a manager there all day most of the time, and they have one only part of the time.
• Singapore
20 Jan 07
ugh! i know what you mean its frustrating!! When your trying to work and people are giving you evils or the old up down, its insane....I totally agree with you! You made a good move telling your boss that he would or should of been very impressed by you.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
my boss talked to me about it because of my management background. We all work together so well on dayturn, he was looking for ideas for the night turn. I told him that was one of the reasons I got out of management positions, was tired of dealing with the petty stuff like this. I like going into work, doing my thing, and going home.
• Melbourne, Florida
19 Jan 07
Oh, you are helping me remember why I don't want to work. Is this a restaurant? This sounds like typical restaurant drama. The dayshift and nightshift both thinking the other doesn't do enough and they do too much. It's much like being in high school. As a head waitress I was able to eleviate a lot of these problems by helping all my employees understand each other. The night crew is usually a tight group because they have no real life to go home to, so they hang out together. While day shift is usually people with families. They are still in that place where friends are most important to them.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
Yes this is a restaraunt enviroment, but it is in a gas station. We don't have much fighting between shifts like a regular restaraunt does, they just can't seem to get along together on one shift. Alot of them have families too, they just sort have kept the high school mentality.
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
21 Jan 07
I'm not sure why this happens, but agree that it causes a problem. My husband is a manager at a retail store and is constantly telling his other managers, no they shouldn't go hang out with the employees at the local bar, it's just not a good idea. I worked at walmart for 4 years or so, and was only friends with a handful of the employees, and only spent time outside of work with one of them, (whom I happened to know outside of walmart). I don't think it's a good idea to mix the two, it usually doesn't end well.
1 person likes this
@moneymaka (493)
• United States
20 Jan 07
Why cant we all get along, such young workers, if you dont like each other just dont speak to each other, but still continue to show a smile everyday at work. akoon www.habboxb.com
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
They are stupid and do not know the meaning of real work that is why. Where I come from we are told as children that you may not like person, but you all have to work together to accomplish a goal. Remember that you are all there to earn money and whether or not you get along is a personal matter that never belongs in the workplace. They all need to grow up.
1 person likes this
20 Jan 07
hi gypsy. i don't think you have to be friends to do your job at work. it certainly helps if you can get along with a good team atmosphere but the bottom line is, your are there to work. i have made many friends at various jobs but only on very rare occasions have seen them outside work hours. i think your boss should be stronger and more assertive and tell them to work hard or find another job! simple really, do your job then go home. good luck!
1 person likes this
@kgwat70 (13395)
• United States
20 Jan 07
The younger workers are not very mature if they feel that way and cause problems on the job. They do not realize or understand the importance of teamwork and getting along at work to make sure the work is done accurately and promptly. There should be no problems working with other people no matter what age or race they are. You are right that coworkers do not have to be friends in or out of work but you have to get along with each other at work to get the job done and make it a good environment for others to work in.
• India
20 Jan 07
this is unique problem you are complaining about. these days younger generation don't even have time to make friendships. they are more professional and are more concentrated on how to grow in their career.. I don't think the problem you are having is not from the youth who are in your company. probably its from the other side.
1 person likes this
@toonatoons (3739)
• Philippines
20 Jan 07
i share your views on this. i don't think co-workers have to be best buds with each other. i'm not exactly chummy with all my co-workers, and honestly, i prefer to treat them simply as co-workers, acting with professionalism and all that --- no strings attached. i work better this way.
@katenkim (240)
• Singapore
20 Jan 07
they really are young and still immature inside a work environment. they can't always get what they wanta and of course some spoiled persons will do the way you see now. I think the boss would do something about it or else, there are lots of people looking for a job with better attitudes then them
1 person likes this
@banta78 (4334)
• India
20 Jan 07
I feel one should keep their personal and professional lives separate. As when one might be totally different, unique in themselves when with their families at home and it is different setting. And it is not necessary that at job or working environment everyone will be of same type or similar interests or similar temparaments or personalities. So one should try to have cordial, healthy ,nice working relationship so that they can combine as team and get work done at office. Though it would be nice to be buddies but if there is fallout between them there should not be any fallout, or negative impact on their work. I think you and your boss should make your younger office colleagues understand that it's more impotant o have cordial , healthy working realtionship to get the job done at office. And one shouldn't try to impsoe themselves on other colleagues to be friends as everybody is unique and has different tastes and way of thinking.
1 person likes this
@sylvrrain (659)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I am working a part time job at the local gas station, and I know exactly what you are talking about. We work all shifts, so you never know who you will be working with until the new schedule comes out. I have seen firsthand some of the petty immature things that happen between my coworkers. I honestly think it stems from insecurity. In fact, I went to work the other day, and two people did not say a word to me the whole shift. Of course I could care less, but what was so funny about the whole thing, it was nothing I did wrong. One of the girls got in trouble for not completing a particular job. I went to the store on my day off to pick up a couple of things and the manager was leaving. She stopped at my car to look at my chow-chow who was along for the ride. We talked about my dog for a few minutes, then said goodbyes. We did not even mention the job. The next day, this particular girl (19 yrs old) and her best friend (33 yrs old) would not speak to me. Well, it did not bother me, but it did bother another coworker (early 50's). It all came out later on in the week. They thought the manager was talking about the girl. Talk about insecure. I tell you, working with these people can be amusing. I just have to stand back and smile, like it matters to me if they are not my friend. I told the 50 yr old, that I did not take this job to make friends, I took it to help my daughter in college. I do not take my job home with me and I could care less if they don't talk to me. I like it, actually, because they work harder. LOL. The younger and even some of the older employees have some issues. I think the best thing is to just do your job and ignore the gossip and politics. It is how I get along. The younger ones haven't quite figured this out.
@g_aileen09 (1354)
• Philippines
20 Jan 07
Workers should understand that they do not work because they want to gain friends. As a general thought, each of us work because we need money. Gaining friends in the work environment is just a result of our being there with them longer than we could be with our families and friends in waking time. No man is an island. To ease our boredom, we need to talk to some buddies at work whenever office rules permit us to do so. Closeness develop over time. This happens all the time, as people get to know each other better. And to some, "familiarity breeds contempt"... the very reason why one or two are disliked by a certain group. And it is the responsibility of the management to get people together to work as a team. In unity, there is strength. In cooperation, there lies good accomplishments....All for the good of the establishment where you all work for. There is this so-called teambuilding seminar for a certain group of people. Your group needs one. This may help.
@adnan82 (673)
• Pakistan
23 Jan 07
every body has diff kind of nature some are frendly enough to get mingle up ne where n some are .. too reserve :)... if u r wOrking in a frendly manner..then..u feel relaxed n eNjoy working over there..if u only work over there.. then u get tired very sooon ..
• Philippines
20 Jan 07
Well for me I hink your office needs a counsellor..Geez, why don't the others mind their own business..I think those people have a problem.You are right tell your boss to talk to them it might certainly work to let each of them know how each one feels in joining their group or not.
@kmgupta (561)
• India
20 Jan 07
it is natural human tendency to feel themselves superior
@muthus (62)
• India
20 Jan 07
shuld hav good interaction to achieve the any goals,becoz its a human nature to depend on each other
• Philippines
20 Jan 07
Its really hard to get along with that kind of person. Is there any problem for a night shift? I hope the boss could do such action for one of them.