Working for My Friend


This post is a cross between a rant and an observation. There are a lot of good things about working for my friend. In addition to the obvious perks of having a boss who doesn’t just see me as an employee, I like the job itself. However, there are a lot of complications that come with the territory.

Before I took the job, my friend said he would be with me every step of the way, from training (which he paid for) to the sales floor. I knew I would still have to be committed to the job, and I planned on only leaning on him when it came to coordinating things that I, as a rep, couldn’t do on my own. From day one of training, I was practically on my own. I was a little panicky, since I didn’t want to fall behind, but I managed to use my best judgment and keep up with my trainer’s instructions. Still, I was a little annoyed with my friend. He had been flaky when he promised to be supportive. Regardless, knowing how overwhelmed he is with work, I told myself things would even out and brushed it off.

I was wrong. He consistently neglected to provide me with important information that I could not obtain on my own. I learned very quickly that I would have to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible. I was constantly asking him questions about work, trying to get things resolved, but it was like pulling teeth trying to get a response half the time. I still reminded myself that I should be empathetic, and that he was doing the best he could. I knew he was, but it got harder and harder to be compassionate when I was bending over backwards to learn how to do a job for which I wasn’t being given adequate guidance. If he weren’t my boss, I would still be pissed, but since he was my friend, I was also offended on a certain level. I wasn’t expecting special treatment, but it felt like he was saying I wasn’t worth the effort it took to follow through on his promises. I guess since I wasn’t totally dependent on him and had a better grasp on the material than some of his other employees, my questions and requests were not important. It was extremely frustrating, and I got sick of feeling like I was bothering him or at risk of sounding ungrateful for the opportunity. I still am extremely grateful for the opportunity.

I guess my central grievance is that he didn’t set proper expectations for me. Had I known from the beginning that it was pretty much up to me to make this work, I would have been better prepared, and only half as stressed out. You shouldn’t make promises you know you can’t keep, whether it’s to a friend or an employee.

posted under Rants
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