Episode 21 of season one of Friends is The One With the Ick Factor. The “Ick Factor” is Monica’s relationship with a high school senior, but we’re going to focus on the story line with Boss Man Bing. Phoebe is looking for a job to supplement her income until her massage cliental picks up (she taught a “Massage Yourself at Home” class, and now her clients are). Chandler’s secretary is going to be out for a bit, so Phoebe goes to work for him.

PHOEBE: This is so fun. All right, what do we do now?
CHANDLER: Well, now, I actually have to get to work.

Phoebe, aside from playing with the speaker phone, really enjoys the job and fits in at the office. The story problem arises when she reveals to Chandler that the co-workers don’t really like him. When Chandler asks why, Pheebs tells him.

PHOEBE: Don’t feel bad. You know they used to like you a lot. But then you got promoted, and, you know, now you’re like “Mr. Boss Man”. You know, Mr. Bing. Mr. Bing, “Boss Man Bing”.
[Joey and Ross laugh]
CHANDLER: I can’t believe it.
PHOEBE: Yeah, yeah. They even do you.
CHANDLER: They do me?
PHOEBE: You know like… uh okay… uh… ‘Could that report BE any later?’

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Not being liked hits Chandler hard. He used to be friends with these people and now they don’t like him because he’s their boss?!?! He’s still the same person.

RACHEL: Where are you going?
PHOEBE: Um, oh, I’ve got a birthday party, with some work people.
CHANDLER: Work people? Nobody told me.
PHOEBE: No, I know. That’s a part of the whole, you know, them-not-liking-you-extravaganza.
CHANDLER: You know, I don’t get this. A month ago, these people were my friends. You know, just because I’m in charge doesn’t mean I’m a different person.
PHOEBE: Well, then you should come tonight. You know, just hang out with them. Let them see what a great guy you still are.

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So Chandler goes to the party hoping to please his co-workers back into liking him. He has a great time. They even joke around at the office, but…

PHOEBE: You were great. But they still made fun of you.
CHANDLER: What?
PHOEBE: You know, now you’re more like, you know like, “Mr. Caring Boss”, “Mr.”, you know, “I’m one of you, Boss”, “Mr., I wanna be your buddy, Boss Man Bing”
CHANDLER: Then, I don’t get it.
PHOEBE: Well, you know what Chandler? I think you’ve gotta face it. You’re like, the guy in the big office, you know. You’re the one that hires them, that fires them… They still say you’re a great boss.

Watching Chandler struggle to be liked by those who were once his friends reminded me of a principle seen throughout the Bible: No one who did anything of significance with their life was universally liked. Not Moses or David or Jesus or Peter or Paul. It almost seems to be a guarantee that if you step out and live your life for God, there are going to be people who ridicule, mock, and put you down. David was exiled and hunted. Moses was complained about every other page no matter what he did to help the people. Peter was jailed and executed, as was Paul. Jesus was falsely accused, abandoned by many of his followers, tortured, and nailed to a cross.

In fandom, Katniss was thrown back into the arena for saving Peeta. Bella was nearly mauled by a pack of werewolves that were supposed to be her friends for choosing to keep her baby. Harry was called a liar by the press, some of his friends, and the government because he told the truth.

If we want to do something significant with our lives, if we want to follow in Christ’s footsteps by loving others, we are not going to be universally popular. And we have to learn to be okay with that. Our job is to love as He loved, not to conform to a world bent on hate.

GERSTON: Uh, like, could these margaritas be any stronger? [They discover that Chandler is listening] Hey, Chandler.
SANTOS: Hello, Mr. Bing.
PETRIE: Loved your “Stevie Wonder” last night.
CHANDLER: Thanks. Listen, about the weekly numbers, I’m gonna need them on my desk by nine o’clock.
SANTOS: Sure.
GERSTON: No problem.
[They go away, trying very hard not to laugh at Chandler]
CHANDLER: You have to give ’em something, you know. Okay, now that was Gerston, Santos, and who’s the guy with the moustache?
PHOEBE: Petrie.
CHANDLER: Petrie, right, right. Okay, somebody’s gonna be working this weekend.

Change the parts about you that need changing so they look more like Him; but don’t change the parts like Him to conform to what all the them’s say you should be.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? ~ Matthew 16:26 NLT

Transcript from Friends.tktv.net.

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