Thursday, September 18, 2008

But What Would Centauri Say?

Ignoring the fact that the art crosses the axis in the third panel (a no-no in filmmaking), I'm quite pleased with today's Sally Forth. That's because over the years I've made and kept numerous friends from years of employment in the corporate world, some who now populate the world of the strip ("Jeff Jowdy," for one) and many who I frequently go with to movies, comedy shows, concerts and dinner. So to me it makes perfect sense that Ted would find a like-minded, likable coworker who grooves to the same Gen X callbacks as himself (speaking of such, for those who can't wait until tomorrow's strip the quote in the second panel--and the reference in this post's title--come from The Last Starfighter which, believe it or not, was also made into an off-Broadway musical.)

Still, others feel that such true friendship is not possible in the dog-eat-dog-eat-eat-Chipolte's-for-lunch-back-to-eating-dog world of Corporate America. Take this quote from Gabacho over at Comics Curmudgeon:

There’s no such thing as an office friend, merely an enemy who has been temporarily neutralized.

Sally knows this and she should tell Ted. Look at Sally’s office friends - Ralph who openly despises her and wants her out of the way and Alice. Yes, Alice.

Remember when Sally laid the blame for a failed project on Alice? Instead of Sally saying, “I did a poor job of managing this.”, she pointed the finger at Alice.

During the faux pregnancy scare, who was it who told the whole damn office - Alice. She was probing to see where Sally was weakest.

Alice is biding her time.

There is only one real way for Ted to make office “friends”. Find a common enemy, play it up, and then crush his friends.

Since Ted is in Strategic Sourcing, the natural enemies are Sales, Accounting and Human Resources. Pick one and then start trash talking them to your coworker. Your coworker will now start to like you.

Then when his guard is down, set him up.

For example, if Sales is pushing Strategic Sourcing hard to get Indonesian made Massage Chair and just doesn’t understand that Strategic Sourcing can’t change scheduling immediately, suggest to your coworker that he propose substituting the Chinese made version.

Coworker will bring that up to Sales as his idea, only to find out that nobody wants the Chinese made chair since furniture made by soon to be executed prisoners is not nearly as comfortable as that made by 8 year olds who still have some illusion of hope.

The coworker will be humiliated and demoralized, but won’t blame you as you sympathize and aren’t even mad that he stole your idea.

Now go to Sales and quietly say, “I’ll handle it.”

Soon you will be the King of Strategic Sourcing and have many, many friends.

More information about corporate careers and backstabbing can be found in books.

On the other side of the coin we have this Curmudgeon comment from one evil_bacteria:

It appears Ted is about to make a friend, but since we can’t hear the mysterious person’s voice, we can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman. Could it be a woman? Could Ted have an affair with someone who, rather than emasculating him, shares his love of things that happened twenty years ago? You might scoff, but if this could happen anywhere in the comics, it would be Sally Forth.

So where do you stand on this, the most volatile issue of our times? Do you think true friendship can be found in the workplace?


Gold-Digging Nanny said...

Oh, absolutely. As I mentioned on Comics Curmudgeon at the time, I lost a job I'd held for four years last March. Far from treating me as a necessary sacrifice in a dog-eat-dog world, three of my coworker friends (in a company of 15) promptly quit. Although I haven't kept in contact with my coworker friends as regularly as I'd like, I've had lunch with a few of them since then. I still e-mail one of the guys who quit and moved back to Colorado. One girl who quit is getting married next month and I plan to go to her wedding. And I'm going to get back to having a Friday beer with another guy who still works at the company at our favorite Basque pub every week now that I finally have Fridays free again (I was assistant directing a play for a while).

Gold-Digging Nanny said...

I remember on Comics Curmudgeon a while back, Ed Power from My Cage was asking if anybody besides him had ever had a "work spouse." A few people said yes. I would think that would be a lot less common than a work friend.

yellojkt said...

First Kevin Smith does a whole Clerks: The Series Episode and now you drop it into Sally Forth. Please, please don't make me watch The Last Starfighter.

D.B. Echo said...

My observation of the workplace environment is that it is like a watering hole that is shared by lots of different types of animals. As long as there is plenty of water the hole is big and the animals can all drink at the same time without a problem. But as the water dries up the hole gets smaller and the animals have to crowd closer and closer together, until some of them decide that the only way to be sure there's enough water for them is to drive off the other animals in their immediate vicinity. Friends become enemies, backs get stabbed, and people find themselves on the outside looking in, wondering what the hell just happened.

Leslee K said...

I find it easier to make friends at work than outside. Isn't that where we spend most of our time?

Loved today's reference of one of my favorite movies..."You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Kodan armada."

yellojkt said...

Ted said that Last Starfighter kinda sucked. My worldview is safe.

yellojkt said...

Dragonslayer, however, RAAWWWKS!

Lindsey said...

I hope Ted makes a friend. I feel sorry for him. Go, Ted! make them friends, buddy!

Dimestore Lipstick said...

As exhibit "A", I offer up my bff Wendy--the person who has owned the title of "best friend I've ever had" for the last eighteen years. We toiled side-by-side at Hell-Mart for the first seven of them.

D.B. Echo said...

Repsost from The Comics Curmudgeon:

Ted Forth, in the midst of a low blood sugar episode, has conjured up an imaginary female friend, an alter ego in the manner of that character played in that movie by that popular actor who is married to the actress with the enormous feature - by which I mean lips. Soon she will lead him down a path of discovery and self-destruction, while his co-workers point and laugh.

In truth, I have made many workplace friends, and I did in fact have a "workspouse" for a while. Ironically, she was someone I had been romantically interested in for quite a while, though after we began working in the same department I put aside all hopes of actually going out with her, especially since she showed no interest in me - which made her angry reaction when I started to get close to another co-worker very puzzling. (Women, go figure.) But in all the years we worked together, the two of us got a reputation for perpetual bickering, until another co-worker dubbed us the "old married couple" of the department - well before either of us turned 40.

Woodrowfan said...

The problem with Dragonslayer is that if the girl you love is about to be sacrificed because she's a virgin, then slaying the dragon is probably your SECOND choice for ways to save her unless you're like, 10 years old.…

Naomi said...
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