A few days ago. I am working as a teacher in a university; One person will be appointed as ‘Teacher’ there. Many people started contacting various sources. One of them sent a ‘friend request’ on Facebook after contacting me twice on the phone. I accepted that.
The person performed quite poorly in the interview board. He has been working in a TV channel for several years. But he has no clear idea about the production or news department of a TV station. He has no basic knowledge of what PCR, MCR, NCA or PTO means. He could not explain these words which are daily applicable, inevitable and common, but on the contrary, he is saying that they have made up meaning.
I was very upset. I said to him, ‘You are working in the production team in television, but you can’t tell what is PCR, MCR, NCA?’
He didn’t get the job. After a few days I noticed that he is no longer in my ‘Facebook friend list’; He removed me from his ‘friend list’.
I am only one member of the recruitment board; My opinion does have value in the appointment of teachers in my department, but it is not my decision alone that will confirm or deny someone’s appointment. I didn’t think he was qualified and neither did the rest of the board.
I believe that a person’s merit or ability cannot always be accurately ascertained by an interview of a few minutes; Interviews conducted at a particular time on a particular day can be good or bad for various reasons. But the one I’m talking about, did he deserve the job? Was he qualified?
I have seen some others, they are being added to the friend list on Facebook for various reasons; Some of them are leaving the list if it doesn’t work.
Friendship may involve exchanges with or without necessity; That exchange is innocent and innocent. A friend will stand by when a friend is in need; If there is a chance, he can help with a job. But if you don’t get the job, or if you think you’re leaving the job because you’re not ‘given’, there’s never been a friendship. There was greed. And there was hypocrisy. It was a trick. Expecting such low quality ‘transactions’ and anything else does not make friendship.
I especially dislike the word ‘Facebook friend’. If someone joins the ‘friend list’ of Facebook, he is my ‘friend’? Is it so easy to be a ‘friend’?
Many of my old students still contact me for various needs including jobs. Many students from other universities contact me instead of their teachers for internships, jobs, research or book inquiries. I strive for all; Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Among these students there are some who are very talented in terms of academic knowledge and others who are very skilled in professional or practical matters. For some of them, even after trying for a long time, we have not been able to arrange any good or desirable jobs so far. But they did not leave my company because the need was over or because the need was not met; They are still there for me in any need – professional or personal. If called, they come, even if not called, they come and inquire on their own and try their best.
Even if we are not always able to provide jobs or other arrangements for them, we try to help them as much as possible in research or writing work. From time to time I try to be by their side even though I give them advice. They never demanded more. Is this not enough for friendship?
I have no ‘transactional’ relationship or agreement with them. There is no vested interest in helping them as much as I can or in their coming to my need. So, they are not my real friends?
As friends we try to stand by each other’s needs. As a teacher, I feel it is my duty to help them as much as I can in terms of job, internship or research – etc. Here we do not expect any ‘exchange value’. That’s how friendship is supposed to be. I must—friendship is not made in terms of such obligation; Whether or not I tried my best as a friend is what matters here. Not that they can always help me with all my needs; So I will leave their company? I can see, at least they tried. He is the one!
The meaning of the words ‘friend’ or ‘friendship’ is changing due to the indiscriminate use of these words on social media. The importance and beauty of these words is diminishing. Remember, words are not just words; Each such word is created to express the characteristics, depth and emotions associated with different human relationships.
About friendship, Greek philosopher Aristotle said, ‘Friendship is the dwelling of one soul in two different bodies’. Can be friends if not like-minded?
We forget, not everyone can be everyone’s ‘friend’. And, communication for the sake of mere necessity is not ‘friendship’ by any means.
Sajib Sarkar: University teacher, essayist and researcher.