Working with Friends

Nearly everyone thinks “oh, hey, working with your best friend would be awesome!” …so when your friend says their job is hiring and you’re thinking about getting a second job you fill out an application and ace the interview. Your new boss seems cool and you’re excited for the new adventure.

As emails come in with information about the new job, you realize they’re a little disheveled and grow more worried that the job will be tough to balance with everything else you’re juggling…one job that could give you more hours, a volunteer job that you refuse to give up, a significant other who is preparing to exit the military, and trying to keep a house of three afloat, clean, and organized…all while planning on going back to school so that you can finally get a better job, a career perhaps. Not to mention, thinking about it makes your blood pressure begin to rise.

You think on it for days, comparing your options, talking to your friend about your concerns so they aren’t blindsided by your decision to possibly quit. You come to the conclusion that it just won’t work out or end well for either of you. So you spend a day and a half agonizing over how you’re going to tell your new boss about your decision…and then you finally make the call.

You apologize deeply and try to honestly explain things from your point of view without putting any blame on the new employer. “Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re doing this,” you hear from the other end. You think to yourself, “I’m just trying to do what’s best for me and my family, I’m not trying to screw you over, I appreciate the opportunity.” …but they aren’t having any of it. They start berating you, scolding you as if they’re talking to their own children. They ask if you spoke with your friend about it and you’re honest that you mentioned your concerns late the night before.

After being verbally shamed for nearly 20 minutes by a person you’ve met once, they beg you to stay and to try and make it work and to reconsider your decision, you apologize once more and are no longer hungry for dinner that has been ready for 15 minutes. Ten minutes after the call, you phone starts buzzing like a bomb’s going off. Your “new employer” and your best friend have sent you at least five text messages each. The employer is basically making a last cry for you, while your friend is essentially telling you that you betrayed them. Then, the part that hurts the worst, your friend tells you that you two are no longer friends, after nearly 19 years.

Still standing firm on your decision, you vow off texting and social media for a while and hope that your friend will come through their fog and realize its a joke to waste 19 years of friendship, especially after all of the stuff in which you supported each other.

Maybe I’m better off without the job, maybe I just made a big mistake. But I was listening to my gut, it wasn’t going to work. Best friends don’t disappear overnight.

Lesson learned. Don’t work with your best friend, it probably won’t end well.

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