Friends With Benefits

Last night I had dinner with the same ladies who attended my pizza party last month. This time we rolled sushi. When this quest is all over not only am I going to have friends out the wazoo, I’m going to have mad kitchen skills.

Towards the end of the evening, I was listening in on a conversation between a woman who’s waiting on a potential job offer and another who works in human resources. HR friend was helping job-search friend decode some questions of health benefits and out-of-pocket costs. My contribution to the conversation? “Wow, it’s so useful to have a friend in HR!”

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a colleague a few months ago.

“I need a friend who’s a techie,” she said. “I don’t understand my computer. If I could meet a good friend who could also fix my PC I’d be golden.”

It’s kind of a brilliant concept. What if we could staff our friends like we do our office? We’d need one great social coordinator, one lady who’s good with finances and can be the split-the-biller, a fashionista to assess outfits and find us the perfect pair of jeans, and maybe a therapist to analyze our dreams (actually, that might get annoying).

Personally, I find it exceedingly helpful to have friends who know marketing and sales. I can weave some creative words together now and then, but when it comes to the business side of writing I’m on a learning curve. Friends who can weigh in on the selling part of wordiness are welcome.

Also, please, a pal who can fix the service light on my car (it was just serviced!)

And an appliance technician friend (the door on my washing machine is broken).

In return, I can offer my services in: Book recommendations, Survivor and Friends trivia and general pop-culture know-how (sounds worthless until you’re sitting in the hot seat and need a Gleektastic phone-a-friend), and Web 101.

Fair trade?

Bottom line, friends are great. Friends who double as a service provider? Jackpot.

If you could find a friend who did double duty, what would you need?

{Housekeeping notes: There are some new buttons at the bottom of individual posts so you can Facebook, Twitter, or “like” them if you, er, like them. I’ve also added that cute little “Follow Me on Twitter” button on the side. So use it, if you want.}

12 Comments

Filed under The Search

12 responses to “Friends With Benefits

  1. God, I need a friend who can fix crap around the house. Because hubs is useless at that kind of thing.

    Also, the Potty Whisperer would be most welcome.

  2. - Boats are expensive and a lot of work. Friend with a boat.

    – Friend who works somewhere that allows her to get tickets to anything I, er, she wants [concerts, sporting events, etc.]

    – Friend with a lake house

    – Friend who’s a massage therapist/physical therapist

    – Lots of friends who are self-employed/can determine their own work schedule. Always looking for more people to play hooky with! Tuesday 10AM bike ride and brunch? Yes please!

    – Friend with a lot of travel miles and/or works in the travel industry; one of my friends is always getting to stay in five star hotels for ridiculously cheap because her friend works for Hyatt, and another friend is able to stay in five star’ers for cheap because his friend gets crazy upgrades due to his miles [he’s a consultant]

    – Used to say friend with a rooftop deck until I got one

    – Friend who knows a lot of quality men who DO STUFF. Having the toughest time finding such creatures > http://macncheeseproductions.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/testosterone-knock-knock-hellooooo/

  3. Natalie

    Sounds like a good idea for a book, “Friends with Benefits”

    A friend with the right recipes/meal planning for any occasion.

    A friend in every city you want to visit that can be your host and tour guide to unique places.

    I can offer social coordinating, but would be better if I knew famous people to throw into the mixer occasionally.

    Knowing the right friends in a variety of businesses is a great blessing.

  4. As a city dweller who relies solely on public transportation, I’ve found a friend with a car, who’s willing to haul you and/or your large purchases that don’t fit on the el, is invaluable!

    I used to have a friend who worked at the Apple store and had no issues with using his employee discount on my behalf when I wanted a new ipod or Mac — that was awesome.

    And, yeah, a friend who’s handy with household repairs would be fantastic.

  5. Well, I could use a friend that could help spruce up my blog. I think I have one and I will totally pay her to do it, I just need to ask her about it. My blog needs a major overhaul.

    What can I provide to friends? Book recommendations. And the actual book, too. I am sort of known as the librarian in my group of friends.

    Also, I can knit scarves. And make baby blankets. And baby hats. And anything in that realm.

    And lastly, I am pretty good at recommending artists/songs/cds to friends.

  6. I am with Saya on the friend with a boat thing.

    And a handy-woman friend would be great (I used to have a good one who moved. Le sigh)

    Also the following would be nice:

    A friend who would be my travel buddy to far off places and be ready for adventures there.

    A friend who is web savvy and willing to teach me a few things.

    A friend who has an “in” at the restaurant Alinea.

    A friend who works in HR at a hip cool media company in Chicago (either TV/Film production or Advertising, etc)

    A friend who would be a pseudo-editor of sorts and be willing to critique and champion my attempts at being a better writer.

    A bargain-savvy fashionable friend who takes me along when shopping and helps me find cute and flattering clothes.

    I think that is all I can come up with for now but I know there is more staffing to be done. Fun topic!

  7. This reminds me of networking/referral groups that only allow “one” of each profession into their group. So, when someone they know needs a dentist, they only have one person to refer them to … and in return, they know all needs for a plumber will be sent their way.

  8. I have a friend in HR–it’s really really REALLY handy!

    I’m also lucky that I have friends who are designers, lawyers, tech people. I’m the marketing one.

    I still need a publicist, someone who knows how to surf (and would teach me and lend me the stuff), someone with a boat, and someone who can play social planner.

  9. Ana

    I guess the benefit to having a huge circle of friends is that the odds of having at least one of any useful characteristic are in your favor (wow that is a clunky sentence…)

    I think the most handy are friends with:
    -cars
    -big cars
    -handiness around the house
    -experience/referrals to plumbers/roofers/contractors or anything I would need (even better if they ARE a plumber/roofer/contractor!); -children only slightly older than mine for advice, -any job that gives access to free tickets
    -season ticket holders of anything I’m interested in
    dog walkers/dog sitters
    -BABYSITTING (that would be the best)

    What could I offer? Bargain shopping, cooking, travel planning, and I am TOTALLY the one to divvie up the bill at restaurants.

  10. Right now, I need someone with some mad marketing skills. I opened my own business and am having trouble finding clients :(

    Or a lot of money that they’re looking to give away ;)

  11. Your topic reminded me of a chapter in “The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love” by Jill Conner Browne:
    THE FIVE MEN YOU MUST HAVE IN YOUR LIFE AT ALL TIMES
    “The basic five are these:
    1) a man who can fix things
    2)a man you can dance with
    3)a man who can pay for things
    4)a man you can talk to
    5) a man to have great sex with……..”

    I highly recommend this book (especially in the audio format as she has a delightful southern accent which really delivers the impact of her take on life.)

    My excerpt from the book might make one think this is a book about men when it is truly a celebration of her friendships with women-

    Plus it has great recipes for things like margaritas made with a bottle of Corona added- a Scott family favorite for over 10 years now!

    My 50th birthday party was a Sweet Potato Queen’s theme party!

    Hope everyone finds time to enjoy this great book about friendship and livin’ large

  12. Pingback: Ask and You Shall Receive… « MWF Seeking BFF

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