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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

3/11/2021 7:25:00 AM
Brother and friend fight about job performance

DEAR HARRIETTE: A good friend of mine hired my older brother as security for an event she was hosting, and apparently he did a horrible job. According to her, he was drinking on the job, wasn't paying close attention to the guest list and let people into the event who were not supposed to be there. She called me and told me that she thinks it's necessary to dock his pay. While I don't necessarily think it's right to pay him less than the agreed-upon amount, I support her decision because he should've done a better job. There is now tension between the two of them because he sincerely believes that he didn't do anything wrong. He says he worked longer than he initially agreed to work and didn't drink anything with alcohol in it. I don't know who to believe or how to make them resolve this issue. How do I help them resolve this, and how do I avoid taking sides? -- Caught in the Middle

DEAR CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: You need to stay out of this entirely. Even supporting her decision to dock his pay is more than you should have done because you were not there, you were not involved and they need to handle this themselves.

Speak to each of them. Express your disappointment that things didn't go smoothly. Let them know that you do not want to be in the middle. Tell them that they need to resolve this matter independent of you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I agreed to let my friend run the social media aspect of my company. I was very specific when explaining to her what her duties would be. I created content templates for her, gave her a posting schedule and gave her every possible resource she could need, but she is still falling short.

Running my website isn't something she volunteered to do out of the kindness of her heart; she needed a paying job, and I was ready to hire her. I had many other applicants to choose from when hiring her, and she promised me that she was the best person for the job. Some days her posts will be way behind schedule, and some days she simply won't post anything at all. I think at this point my only option is to find someone else. Do you think that this will ruin our friendship? -- Hired My Friend

DEAR HIRED MY FRIEND: You have experienced something that is all too common. Hiring friends to work for you can easily backfire. I have learned that when hiring people, you must follow the same rules and guidelines with friends as with people you don't know. People need to prove that they are the best; they cannot just say it and expect you believe it.

Now your friend works for you. Talk to her about what is working and what is not. Be clear about what you need in order for her to continue to do this job. Outline the requirements and deadlines clearly so that she understands what she must do. Explain that if she is unable to fulfill those duties, you will need to replace her.

You can let her know that you care about her as your friend and hope that your friendship will remain intact, but you cannot keep her if she cannot do the job efficiently. Be kind and clear. That's the best way of preserving your relationship.

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