In Dynamic Duos, Mumbrella each week asks two members of the same organisation with a professional and personal affiliation to share with readers the importance of workplace relationships in an increasingly hybridised world of work.
Adrian: It was a pretty standard day in the Magnite (then Telaria) office, with me juggling a million things – eyes on screen and hands on keyboard. I’d been told I had to take time out to conduct a final interview with a potential candidate to check cultural fit. Annie was the favoured candidate and I just needed to confirm if she’d gel with the team.
It’s worth noting that at the time we were working in a bland space – white walls, white ceilings, white desks, and white fluorescent lights with a (not so) magnificent view of the building across the street – a far cry from the shiny new city office that the Magnite Sydney team will soon call home!
In walked Annie with her platinum blonde mohawk. It was like we’d been hit with a ray of sunshine, energy and joy and we were immediately drawn to her. I knew she would be the perfect candidate and that her vibrant and outgoing presence would spice up the workplace and complement our mostly introverted team.
Now we’re the book ends of the business – I’m the demand side (agencies and DSPs) and Annie’s on supply (publishers and broadcasters). Our clients don’t cross over but we interact on a daily basis. In the early days I absolutely loved our daily banter in the office, so it was a challenge when we went into lockdown and started working from home, but our banter has shifted online and she’s still an irrepressible bundle of energy.
Over the years, our relationship has extended to after hours, built on a solid foundation of plant-based food and drink adventures. I’m a vegan and Annie is my work in progress – I’m trying to shift her from her mostly carnivore-based diet!
We call ourselves the Coogee crew and we catch up often. Living in the same suburb means we often share an Uber as we journey to or from work or social events together. It gives us a chance to catch-up one on one, discuss what’s going on at work and then move on to more interesting personal topics. Annie gets me. I can tell her anything and know I’m not going to be judged or criticised. She’s a great mate and thankfully her partner thinks the world of me too.
Annie: When I walked into the (then) Telaria office for my second interview I was super nervous and expecting the usual sort of challenging questions. I was psyching myself up in the lift and reading my interview prep notes.
On arrival I was greeted by a very relaxed and smiling (or was that smirking) Adrian. Much to my relief, the interview quickly transitioned to a free-flowing chat about my background, hobbies and lots of laughs. We also realised we lived five minutes from one another in the Eastern suburbs and instantly bonded over that.
I think the best way to describe our relationship is brother and sister like – we’re Yin and Yang. We both have a very sarcastic, silly, but matter of fact sense of humour, and similar interests and hobbies – socialising, yoga, trying new (vegan) restaurants and bars.
We also have a similar way of working. Essentially, we’re team players and like to get sh!t done. We butt heads every now and again when we don’t see challenges in the same way. I can get frustrated when he’s chilled and relaxed about something that I’m super passionate about. That’s the Yin and Yang thing. If I think he’s being a stubborn mule I’ll get cross and let him know. But there’s no question that my love for my old mate overrides any of the disagreements we may have.
We’re peers in every sense of the word – technically Adrian is more senior at work but not in a hierarchically defined way. We’re very collaborative and he’s more of a leader than a manager. That’s what makes it work so well.
We have grown to understand one another more and more over the past three years and often hangout outside of the daily work grind which is awesome. Luckily, my partner is very understanding of my close connection with Adrian – in fact I think they’ve become even closer mates now than we are. Adrian is my go-to on a lot of subjects, work or personal and no matter what he will always guide me to view things from a kinder, more empathetic perspective. I know for sure that regardless of what the future holds for us we’ll be mates forever.
Adrian on Annie:
One word to describe Annie: Uplifting
Most memorable moment with Annie: The moment we met. It’s not often your interviewee becomes a great mate, but I just knew it was on the cards.
Annie’s most endearing habit: Annie is a very positive person. Always. She has this ability to get people up and on to their feet no matter the situation.
Annie on Adrian:
One word to describe Adrian: Empath
Most memorable moment with Adrian: Anytime that I bump into him when he’s on a date. He’s often not so pleased to see me, and it amuses me very much.
Adrian’s most annoying habit: Adrian has an unnerving ability to get information out of me without asking me anything. It’s like an odd superpower. He’ll start the chat innocently, then sit, listen, and nod while I continue to word vomit. It’s kind of impressive.
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