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Cracks in a long friendship

(30 Posts)
northernstar0412 Mon 08-Jun-20 13:36:35

Sorry, this is long. A good friend landed a senior, well-paid job and offered me occasional work, with a promise of more in the future.

Working for her, I saw a different side to her - a wee bit snippy and officious, but nothing too bad. Outside office hours, she talks about work a lot.

All was going well until I performed a new task, which took me longer than expected and I forgot to follow one of the stages (which made no difference to the outcome, which she and other staff were very pleased with).

At the time of the mistake, she shouted at me. I said I was sorry and would not repeat it now I was aware of it, but was shocked at her reaction and the fact she wouldn't let it drop, to the point where I became tearful.

I have bosses at my regular job who do this and nobody likes them. I have been a boss myself and have never shouted at staff who screwed up because everybody makes mistakes and it doesn't achieve anything.

A week later we had a long chat which was friendly, but she completely avoided talking about work. I asked her about a couple of the other jobs she had previously promised me but she said she "didn't know if those jobs were happening now".

I am pretty sure she gave that work to someone else and it was money I was depending on, having lost a large chunk of my work due to Covid19.

I felt let down and avoided her for a couple of weeks until she texted asking what was wrong. I emailed saying I was upset at the way she had spoken to me and disappointed that the other jobs were now off the table. She replied saying "Sorry, I didn't realise I'd shouted at you" etc....."I value your friendship, let's chat".

So we did, and again it was all very "nice" but there was no mention of work or a proper apology.

Historically, I have some trust issues with her, as she bitches about someone we know but continues to be friends with her. In the past her mother let slip an unpleasant remark she'd made about me, which she did apologise for, and we moved on from it.

Those trust issues have resurfaced and, with the lack of a sincere apology, presumably because she feels justified, I am at the point where I don't feel like investing further in the friendship.

I don't know why I am so focused on an apology over something that many would consider trivial but without it I don't feel I can move on.

Am I being unfair and making a mountain out of a molehill?

OP’s posts: |
whatthefuckamigoingtodo Mon 08-Jun-20 13:39:21

It's okay to be friends with someone and not like certain aspects of them. But it doesn't sound like you get much positivity out of this friendship.

Mary46 Mon 08-Jun-20 13:44:01

No that friend is not adding much positivity. Not sure I work for family or friends. I was roared at down phone few years back there is a respectful way to treat people. I was upset over that.

Crazycrazylady Mon 08-Jun-20 13:53:26

I think that I wouldn't be cut out to work with many of my friends, they would drive me insane and I'm sure vice versa and I would guess she feels the same about you.
I think its clear she doesn't want to work with you again and you need to be decide that if you can get over that and just carry on with the friendship as it was before or not as the case may be.

Plantlover101 Mon 08-Jun-20 14:11:59

All very good, helpful points, thank you, folks.

Aweebawbee Mon 08-Jun-20 14:13:58

If she were your full-time boss and not your friend would you expect an apology?

She reached out to you with a genuine offer of work, but it didn't go well so she doesn't want to employ you any more. She doesn't have to apologise for that.

But clearly the woman is good at compartmentalising and wants to be friends in a non-professional capacity. From what you are saying, too much damage has been done for that to be worthwhile. I would be polite, but create some distance so that you don't ever need to trust her.

EngagedAgain Mon 08-Jun-20 14:17:42

You don't say how long you've been friends for, but I have greatly reduced contact with a long time friend, and plan on NC. Over the years I have found she depresses me ALOT. I have been through terrible times, and she has been very insensitive about my problems. Just one example, if I said I saw an item of clothing I couldn't afford, she would proceed to tell me about something SHE had just brought. It would happen on a regular basis. My regret is not doing it sooner. Her and her problems took up far too much of my time that would have been better spent concentrating on myself. Obviously your situation is different, but once you've seen a side to someone you don't like, it can and does change things. Whether or not you can see past it in a non work sense, it does seem as if working together won't work.

Plantlover101 Mon 08-Jun-20 14:28:20

Aweebawbee - thanks for your advice.

I had previously been working for her occasionally for nearly a year before the most recent incident and she had been delighted with my work. I would not expect an apology from a boss but a boss is not my friend, but greatly appreciate your advice, thanks :-)

Engaged - we have been friends for two decades. We get on well but I find I spend a LOT of time listening to her work dilemmas, and it's boring. But I listen, because that's what friends do.

I agree that working together won't work.

Plantlover101 Mon 08-Jun-20 14:30:27

And thanks for your story, Engaged. I have friends too who tell me how rich they are. I don't think they realise how depressing it is! wink I read once that if you feel depressed after talking to a friend on a regular basis, it's probably a good idea to withdraw.

lowpercentred Mon 08-Jun-20 14:34:40

Have you only been holding on to the friendship because of the promise of work? True friends don't bitch about each other so I'd have let the friendship side after the comment her mother relayed. I've terminated a 4 decades long friendship because of the friend's treatment of other people. No space for that negativity.

Ginkypig Mon 08-Jun-20 14:51:24

You have had a name change fail op I think

It sounds like you are much better off not working it's her.

Your friendship seems like it's always been on shaky ground but you have ignored or pasted over the cracks that have always been there. Are you are you don't actually want to just use this as a. Final way to end the friendship or at least step back and reframe how close you are?

Plantlover101 Mon 08-Jun-20 15:04:41

Ginky - I didn't try to name change, just one of my old names came up when posting original post, then changed - how bizarre!

Got to work now but will answer other posts as soon as I can, and thank you for your advice everyone xxx

EngagedAgain Mon 08-Jun-20 15:08:43

Thanks plantlover, Yes, it's quite insensitive I think. I used to give her the benefit of the doubt and think she didn't mean to do it, but how many times does someone have to be told!

StillCoughingandLaughing Mon 08-Jun-20 15:18:46

YABU to be annoyed that she didn’t give you further work. She really isn’t obliged to hire you.

Step back a little, don’t work together again and see if you still want her in your life as a friend.

northernstar0412 Wed 10-Jun-20 03:52:39

StillCoughing - the work that was withdrawn was a specific project that had already been priced and offered to me - it wasn't some vague hope of future work. I didn't expect any work to go on indefinitely and didn't mind that it was only occasional. However, this was a specific job I'd been asked to do, which was then taken off the table. But thanks for your advice. I will take a step back and see how I feel about it all.

Ginky, sorry for the delayed reply. I wasn't using this incident as an excuse to end a shaky friendship. We have been close friends for a long time and always got on really well but there have been a couple of isues in recent years. What I hadn't noticed before but have done so recently is that she sometimes subtly puts other friends and colleagues down. There have been other things too.

Lowpercentred, I hadn't held on to the friendship purely for work as we have been close friends for a long time and always have great fun together. But the comment her mother relayed to me nearly caused me to end the friendship. The only reason I didn't is because she apologised and said she never wanted me not to be in her life. That hasn't been the case this time.

I still have so many mixed feelings. Earlier today I felt sorry for her and thought that I didn't have it in me to cut her off, as I know she feels lonely sometimes, and felt I could totally put this behind me.

But tonight I can't sleep as I'm thinking about it all and just feel annoyed again. Thanks though everyone for your advice, which has been really helpful.

OP’s posts: |
northernstar0412 Wed 10-Jun-20 03:55:32

I don't know why my name keeps changing, apologies for any confusion.

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Desertserges Wed 10-Jun-20 03:59:23

You sound aS though you’ve let her being in a position to offer you work impact on the friendship, and it’s certainly changed the power balance. Presumably, from her point of view, you missed a key stage in a project, and she no longer trusts you professionally enough to hire you again? Would you be surprised at not being offered work again in this situation, if this person were not your friend?

AlternativePerspective Wed 10-Jun-20 04:06:16

You were unreasonable wanting an apology because she’s your friend. When you’re working for her she’s your employer, and it’s important to separate the two.

It’s a bad idea to mix friendship with work for this reason, and tbh it sounds like she has recognised this hence why she no longer talks about work in front of you.

If you value the actual friendship then you need to let the work element of it go.

I have a lot of friends who are lovely, but I wouldn’t want to work for them and I wouldn’t employ them. There’s too much scope for blurred boundaries there. I wouldn’t even want to work for or employ my partner. A But that doesn’t change what I think of those people as people.

northernstar0412 Wed 10-Jun-20 04:15:06

Desertges, it wasn't a key stage in the project, it was minor procedural error which literally had no impact on the outcome of the job, which was successfully completed and drew praise from those involved.

I would not expect not to be hired again by a boss who isn't a friend for such a minor error. Without wanting to out myself, I had to send the completed work to Person A first, then Person B, then Person C, in that order, and I forgot to include Person B. Person B, when she did see the work, said she couldn't fault it and had no changes to make to it. Person A said I'd done a great job and Person C personally contacted me to thank me, saying they really liked it.

I think you're correct though in saying the power balance has changed. I think she is too BossZilla.

OP’s posts: |
northernstar0412 Wed 10-Jun-20 04:18:58

Alternative Perspective, I don't like being shouted at for minor errors. I think it's unprofessional. I have seen bosses apologise to employees they've shouted at. It's simply not on in a civilised work environment. Shouting is bully territory.

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northernstar0412 Wed 10-Jun-20 04:21:13

As for losing work, the same thing happened to my friend not long before this incident and she was furious.

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ThePollutedShadesOfPemberley Wed 10-Jun-20 04:54:39

She's a friend but not a friend friend. Fade her out of your life a bit.

A (male) friend of mine was in a similar situation to you. He had his own company and his wife had her own company. She contracted him to do some work for her and she behaved like your friend. It has made him see her in a completely new light and he can't unsee it. She used the opportunity to borderline bully him and speak to him like shit even though in reality he is far better at his job than she is at hers
He said it was like the contract between the two company's was like her taking truth serum and it's properly effed their marriage.

It's hard to see him dismantle something he thought was so strong and good but he can't live with the knowledge that there is a part of her that thinks it was OK to treat another person like that let alone her own husband. I can see his point.

northernstar0412 Wed 10-Jun-20 05:03:06

ThePolluted - that is a very interesting story, and I think you've hit the nail on the head - I've seen a side to my friend that I've never seen before, and now I can't unsee it.
I'm sorry though that your friend is going through a divorce because of it. What a sad situation.

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MittensTheSerpent Wed 10-Jun-20 06:52:07

Never work with friends. The end.

ThePollutedShadesOfPemberley Wed 10-Jun-20 14:29:14

northernstar0412 it's a bit like some recent threads have alluded to. The ick AKA the scunner. Once you get theick, the friendship changes forever and you just don't feel it anymore. It's all very well her going through the motions like an automaton. 'I am 'friends' with northernstar therefore I will do the things that friends do but a friend wouldn't speak to you like crap even in a work setting.

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