wwyd with friend situation(106 Posts)
My friend is lovely but I am concerned about her. I have known her for five years but recently she started working for my organisation and therefore I am her manager. I didn't anticipate any issues with personal life/friendship because she's good at her job but others have started commenting on her appearance.
She has been wearing strange clothes for the weather, sundresses with no tights, never wears a coat or scarf or gloves. Ballet pumps when it's tipping down with rain, always. Never wears makeup or bothers to do her hair nicely (it's yanked back into a ponytail which isn't flattering to her.) clothes are frequently ripped or torn. Huge monobrow. Bad body odour and hair looks frankly like its been dipped in chip fat.
Yet her nails are always manicured, her hair is always highlighted (just not clean!) , I can't make sense of it.
How on earth do you raise a subject like this? The problem is there isn't a formal dress code as such although smart casual has always been the generally accepted rule. What she wears would be fine in June but is odd in December, and then there's the tearing and clothes are sometimes stained as well. She generally rotates the same 3 outfits.
I'm genuinely concerned about her as a friend and anxious about how quickly it's escalating.
I think you should start the conversation with the words you used earlier.
I've thought more about this. You know what? Sod being her boss. Be her friend. Take her out for a drink. Tell her this is nothing to do with work you are there as her friend. It is obvious to you that she is going through something intense right now and if she wants to talk about it great you are there for her and if she doesn't then that's ok too you are still there.
If she asks why you think there is something wrong say that she is just not looking herself lately, that she doesn't seem to be taking care of herself as she used to be. This is like the person you knew and you were worried. If you are wrong then great! She won't mind - I know I would rather friends showed they cared about me.
I'd just get her in for a formal chat. Ask her how she is, maybe say you're concerned because you've noticed she doesn't look so good, said the right way and with empathy it won't be half as hard.
I had to speak to one of my colleagues and it was uncomfortable. I ended up asking her is everything okay, it's not like you to be like this...She ended up having a cry to me, opened up about what she was feeling and that seemed to help her really.
Is there actually a dress code you are obliged to enforce? This is what isn't clear to me.
The difficulty with a chat on a friends basis (which I agree is appealing) is that if she doesn't leave the discussion with the idea she needs to do something to address the situation then you need to think about whether you are still on the hook with having to have a formal discussion with her as her manager. If you feel you would be then maybe don't blur the lines or make it clear that it's an off the record heads up to take action so you can avoid anything more formal happening at work. I can imagine feeling a bit betrayed somehow if I worked with a friend who approached a problem at work with me as a friend which later became a 'formal' issue if they hadn't made clear their interest in the issue was really friendship AND professional, if that makes any sense.
If you came into my office with greasy hair, BO wearing dirty ripped clothes you would be sent home to "revise your outfit".
This isn't unusual in my profession and I can think of several law firms who would do the same.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.