You know the saying well… don’t mix your personal life with your work life as things are bound to get sticky.
Well… I’m feeling that way right now.
I hired one of my best friends to work for me as an office clerk and at first it was great. She was working on a team within my office so the majority of her work was being supervised by one of the admins. That made it easy to separate work from our friendship. There was a clear distinction between me as her boss and me as her friend (which was kept outside the office).
Now fast forward to today… the team she was working on didn’t work out. The admin in charge didn’t mesh well with her and simply told me “fire her and find someone else”. Now, my friend is a temp, so technically that’s how things worked in the past. However, I don’t like letting people go without valid reasons.
So I decided to kept her… and I’ll admit that I am feeling regret.
I moved her to work on a different team in the office as I saw a need for an additional office clerk to assist with set tasks I saw needed to be streamlined. My goal for this role is to make her the “jack of all trades” so she can do a little of everything. This office is TOO BUSY not to have someone in that role to be quite frank.
So I began to give her tasks, one by one. Simple. Yet when coming back to her to check progress, I find that it turns out WAY MORE complicated then it has to be. Which frustrates me.
I asked her to create a basic “how to” guides on the stuff she learns (as unfortunately my company is lacking in them 🤦🏼♀️) so she can have them as references and for new hires to utilize as well. When I think basic, I would assume she would come back to me with a word document that has the list of the steps. However she cane back to be with a mother fucking Power Point presentation with screenshots and shit.
Now… don’t get me wrong. What she created was EXTREMELY helpful and I’ve forwarded it to HR to add to our training material. Which is great! However, it wasn’t what I asked for at all, and that bothers me. When I asked her about it, she said she created it this way as “her brain works this way” (aka she’s a creative) and she understands it better. I get that… but I don’t at the same time. A simple task of learning how to do something and creating a basic how to which should have taken less than a week has taken two.
I have also mentioned to her my thoughts on this role and where I want it to go… and to be honest, I genuinely am starting to feel like she won’t be able to meet the standards I want to set for this position. She’s mentioned a few times that she’s mostly here because of me. As flattered as I am by that, it doesn’t help me, it hurts me. As this is a career for me while it’s just a job for her.
My boyfriend told me that I have to really look at this situation and think about the future and what keeping her around means. As the role shift has slightly caused tension amongst my office, along with her not taking this job as seriously as I need her to and me finding it difficult to manage her as just an employee.
I’ll elaborate further…
When I started this job, there was such awfully toxic vibe that was so thick you could legit cut a knife through it! The last manager didn’t like to deal with office politics. As you could imagine, walking in you could see all the dirt that was swept under the rug. My main goal has been to clean it up. And so far I’ve done an excellent job, things are almost at a 180 with how it feels. Though there are still the few that are too into the drama and gossip so they are always “clucking” behind closed doors. But every office has that. However, this role change for B has caused the clucking to unfortunately increase. Why? Because I’m still trying to hammer out what Bs duties are and get her trained on it. So those “high school” employees (I’ll call the cluckers) are on vigil watch on every move she makes. Which is bad.
Especially when B isn’t putting in 100% everyday. I know this because she doesn’t look at me as a boss, she sees me as her friend here at work.
Example: she comes in to my office to “take a moment away from the office” or to share with me intel about her life that’s “causing her to loose focus”.
Have you ever done that to your boss? I sure as hell haven’t.
And that bothers me she feels it’s ok. It bothers me that I don’t say shit in the moment to correct her on it… which is another issue having her work here.
I’m struggling to be the manager I know I can be because of her. So many red flags I’ve honestly ignored because of the friendship as I know what’s bothering her… but again, this is hurting me in the long run. As if the office sees her not “fighting to keep this job” (as one of my admins told me) that’s going to cause issues. And I can’t and won’t have that.
I am giving her another two weeks to see how it goes before making a decision. I truly hope she starts to pick up on this and masters it.
As I need her fully functioning. I can’t have a half player on my team.
However, it all starts with me. I’m going to sit her down and be completely honest about what I see happening. I can’t expect her to know what I’m feeling when honestly I haven’t told her.
Though, at the end of the day, I have to make the decision that is best for me in the long run.
As, like I say to all my friends and family:
“I’m the CEO of my own life. I choose who is involved in my company of and sit on my advisory board to help me navigate life’s challenges. If my people aren’t benefiting me, I must let them go as life is the one thing I can’t allow go bankrupt… or else I’m dead!”
Have you ever been a boss to a really good friend? If so, how did you separate business from pleasure?