Cohort Cahoots. – By @rubyq
By Ruby Quince
I have a tendency to forget how many of the things I’ve enjoyed in life and the things I’ve achieved have been because of partnerships. But they are rarely arranged, preconceived pairings. They’re born of shared interests, mutual respect, a shared goal. They’ve always been accidental, and I’ve never known they’d be partnerships before the adventure was in motion.
Logic would suggest that great partnerships emerge after dozens of imperfect ones, but it doesn’t feel like that. They just seem to happen. I think that I forget that they are partnerships because they feel like a pursuit shared by individuals, rather than a ‘partnership’. They’ve just been mates that I’ve done stuff with. Perhaps it’s just semantics. Perhaps it’s rooted in some selfish kink of my personality that refuses to think far beyond me.
I’m quite good at getting things started independently. I cherish solitary time noodling around on something that nobody else in their right mind would care about. My first steps into something I care about have almost always been solo, but invariably I’ve found myself in step with someone else.
Way back, kicking around the village I grew up in, my best mate was my partner, I suppose. Perhaps a union of convenience at first, but isn’t everything? Partners in crime (petty, of course), feeling out the world and learning how to act in it. He got obsessed with Janes Addiction. I couldn’t bear it. I still chat with him when I go back, but he hasn’t got over Janes Addiction, so I keep it quite short.
Having a business partner for 7 years was probably the most intense, infuriating, exhilarating, fulfilling pairing*. We had a fight in the street once. Starting, building and then selling up was a rollercoaster and we couldn’t have done it alone. We still meet up all the time and within minutes we’re scheming on something new. It never happens, but the chat is joyous all the same.
*Of course, my wife trumps them all, but that’s a given.
You don’t tend to have ‘creative partners’ in PR agencies, but the best work and the best time has happened when you fall into cahoots with someone. It’s just trouble-making without being told to make trouble. Banter turned into campaigns. Natural yins and yangs. There’s no sense that a partnership has to be perfect, it just has to work for as long as it works. And when it doesn’t work, you find another way. It’ll probably work next time.
Sometimes it feels like SCA is as much about partnering as it is about the work. The anxiety-inducing fumbling around for the right partner is almost certainly as absorbing as the endless briefs and bollockings. But it’s not just any partner. It’s the right partnership, the perfect union. Gadzooks. Talk about killing the vibe.
The copy scores 72.2 in the Flesch Reading Ease test