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Old January 11 2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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Location: Bag End
Describe Your Relationship(s) in Symbiotic Terms

How would you describe your relationship(s) with other people? In general, I have a mutualistic relationship with friends, family, and most co-workers. I'm usually nice, courteous, and helpful to others, and most people reciprocate. My positive interactions with people are beneficial to both them and me.

On the other hand, I have a parasitic co-worker that I have grown to dislike, especially of late. I used to consider "Dick" a good work buddy despite his faults. He's full of himself and pretends to know it all, but he's also got a good sense of humor. I'm willing to tolerate the stinky "rotten fish" dish he eats in his cube. I've done favors for him.

And what do I get from Dick in return? The usual "thank you" was nice when he acknowledged my help, but come to think of it, this guy is completely useless and helpless to me! I've come to realize that he's quite selfish and thinks only about his own interests and what benefits him. He doesn't offer any help; I often have to come get him whenever we have to do a task together.

The guy is also as cheap as Scrooge. He has never donated, not even a penny, to the annual employee charity campaign we have in our company. (And he me makes substantially more money than I do.) When a co-worker died last year, he never chipped in to buy some flowers or donated to charity. I'm not saying he was obligated to, but a decent person with a high paying job would at least consider giving $1.00.

I used to joke a lot with him, but I've recently minimized my contact with him. Last week he sent me an e-mail, saying he was interested in buying a sports car (which he always likes to joke about). I responded to him, "How interesting, Dick. I find it hard to believe that a cheap guy like you would be interested in buying much of anything, let alone a luxury item."

So what say you about the people in your lives? Do you have a mutualistic, parasitic, or commensalistic relationship with others?
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
--Bilbo Baggins, LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
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