When corporate sweeps in and takes over the individually owned, bootstrapped and personally branded company, all the dynamism in the office shifts. Office politics are introduced. The established camaraderie, the last-minute office happy hours, the provocative holiday parties, now interrupted by the HR machine. Ironically, the watching of sexual harassment videos and other procedural items are outsourced to the assistants. The staff aren’t the ones ‘…bringing in the fucking money. I don’t have time for this!’ Before, the deals were done under the aura and vulgarity of a frat house; now everyone is an independent contractor with new titles and a different hierarchy, watching their backs. The rest of the staff edit their casual conversation topics and spend less time lingering at the coffee bar. The environment becomes stale. All the money is still being made, funneled into the machine.
When a sudden turn of events or tragedy occurs in the family or amongst a tight group of friends, the shared environment downshifts. Someone has been wounded; diagnosed with a life-threatening condition; going through a tumultuous divorce. There are still pockets of liveliness and joviality, or even the concerted effort to keep the spirits up. A new solemnity sets in every time the topic is broached or the person enters the room, though. This somber undercurrent constantly wants to pull down the mood. There was life before this news and life afterwards; a distinct demarcation.
When very close friends, after many years, happen to sleep with one another, all the dynamics of the relationship change. A new bond is formed and how they relate to one another has leveled up. The connection flows differently, either with a tinge of awkwardness or with a sparkle of new intimacy. This new tension can break them apart or bring much joy. Can both components be kept, or has one sacrificed the other? It gets complicated -so it’s said. Preserve the original companionableness.