Why Do People Hire Their Friends?

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In 2000, I went on a tour across the U.S. with a couple of friends. We started in Florida and aimed for California. Before we even got in the van, the war broke out between me and another guy — it was like taking a ranting, homeless drug addict out of a dumpster and trying to tour with him.

Some people just can’t save the performance for the stage.

As we reached New Mexico, I tried to leave him in the desert. Unfortunately, I was out-voted by the driver, who had pity for the lunatic. By the time we returned to Florida, the driver of the van had developed a death wish. I, myself, begged to be left on the side of the road, only three hours from home. It was the worst experience of my life — like being in an asylum on wheels.

Even the best of friends will hate each other after being trapped in a small space together for weeks.

Certainly a creative career is more important than a road trip. So if you had the authority, why would you let just anyone with a skill into your cramped space ship? What if they have Space Herpes?

When you take on a creative partner, your livelihood is wrapped up in theirs. You count on them to be productive, sane, reliable, easy-going, and respectful of personal boundaries. You’re stuck with them every day, sometimes for years — so it can’t be someone who discovers your “make him lose his cool” button and pushes it repeatedly.

You have to buy into all of the quirks and hangups that creative people have — sometimes getting the work done becomes secondary. Will there be power trips? Do you share the same sense of humor? Will your lifestyles clash?

It involves trust and acceptance, like a marriage.

Next time you wonder how that guy who is less qualified than you somehow rolled a Natural 20 on 2d4, “They were roommates in college” might actually be the rational explanation you’re looking for.


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