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Decided friendships at work are a bad idea


COtuner

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Change in philosophy for me, but it happened. We all know sometimes friends turn out to be less than trustworthy occasionally, if you pick the wrong person. The ramifications in the workplace of picking the wrong person seem magnified.

 

Ex gratis (made up): Major drama at a party where your BFF turns out to be sleeping with your BF is bad. Major drama in the workplace where your BFF is sleeping with your boss, breaks up with him, and spills everything bad you've ever said about him is a whole lot worse.

 

I'm in a situation where someone who helped me out during a really bad time in my life, and has come to me for help since then with her own problems, is now having trouble. She's going to lose her job eventually, even if they put her on a "plan" at first. It's a given, she's not really that good at it although she does try. So I offered the type of advice we have on ENA and gave some examples of things that I've done in the past when trying to work with a boss who's difficult. Well, now that it appears the end is near, she has totally panicked and is out of control. Unstable. There is a good chance that she will try and use my experiences in an attempt to save herself (which won't work anyway).

 

I should not have shared what I did, although at the time we were peers. That was mistake #1. Mistake #2 is that I did not turn around and cut off the relationship when I moved into a management position (elsewhere in the company, not in her area). She needed someone to talk to, and I felt I owed her. This was bad judgement on my part, but I felt as if I would have been a hypocrite to lean on her and then go "thanks, bye" when she was alone. (my weird personal code of morals and ethics) I never saw her outside of work, and even there only on occasion to say hi.

 

Mistake #3 - ignoring my gut feeling. Everytime she vented to me, I'd go home and be unable to sleep and full of anxiety because I did not want to be hearing this stuff. I started cutting it off because I couldn't take it anymore. She thinks her boss is out to get her and at first had me convinced too until more of the facts came out, that she can't actually perform her job (which she has even admitted!!)

 

Now she's somehow convinced herself that me offering suggestions based on general advice that we all offer (go look up sites on the internet about HR and how to handle your boss, document what's going on, look for a new job, etc) means I'm available to help her defend herself. I can't do that! I'd get fired! I told her so, too. But she is wanting to say that her situation mirrors my problems with my former manager (it does not - hers is from performance issues and not getting her work done, and mine was a guy who was mean to EVERYONE) and wants to quote statements I never made. One of those situations where a person has selective hearing - they hear what they want regardless of what you actually said. Or worse, they make up stuff.

 

So basically I am a nervous wreck, furious with myself, and realizing that I can no longer have friends at work because this kind of stuff can happen. Chitchat about miscellaneous stuff with people, sure, but actually trust them, no. I've been burned.

 

And now I'm scared and can only sit and wait. I did talk to my own HR rep to let her know, but there's probably little I can do if this woman starts raving and ranting while losing her job. I just have to hope no one takes her seriously. Normally it would not be a concern, except that she is part of the group where all of my abuse happened... I don't need to be associated with more drama, regardless of who or what is going on. It can only be negative for me - I've been laying low until people's memories of my own past issues fade.

 

So not looking for advice, and I accept responsibility. Just wanted to tell my story in hope that it will help someone else not make a mistake.

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I can understand you pretty well Cotuner. Yes i befriended some of my customers and yes it sometimes makes us feel like a worm on the hook. ..Ride it out and wait to see if there are repurcussions. Its not over until the fat lady sings is a saying that might help....

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I think you can have friends with work, but it's crucial to establish boundaries.

 

Not with what I do in my current position. The ramifications are just too much. My HR rep said if I was just on the staff, no big deal. But in my role, I have to be pure as the driven snow.

 

I could make excuses for what led up to this, but I won't do that. I just have to hope this becomes a lesson learned at worst. HR thinks I'm ok, but it's still an unknown as to how much this girl is going to freak out.

 

This is the only time something like this has happened - I'm usually more emotionally intelligent when it comes to workplace friendships and such. And I'm trained to handle people like this as their manager. This just is that "what if" scenario you hope doesn't happen.

 

My PTSD is making this worse. I really need to find a job at a new company, because at this point everything negative that happens here causes all my triggers to go off no matter how much therapy I've gone through. All the same faces, all the same places.

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Do you think her bark could be worse than her bite. I mean she rants to you but doesn't really have the guts to follow through.

 

I have been wanting so bad to find another job. My boss is micro management and my colleague calls me every night about her personal issues. It's hard enough having to cope with the boss let alone listen to her moan about stuff she brings on herself. She confided in me and I have confided in her. Found out just before Christmas that her and the boss went to a house party to play cards and left with the boss at midnight for a bite to eat. Sometimes I wonder if she can be trusted. She will vent off on the phone to me during the evenings about the boss being such an ass and she is out to get him and sink him like a battle ship, but acts as though he is so great at work and when he leaves the office will talk about him again. She's still in a relationship with her x who calls constantly. Now (when her phone rings) she is wanting me to be a part of her plan and say that it is a guy called Ryan (her imaginery boyfriend she met at a wedding) just to see if the boss will start some gossip and then she can turn right around and chew him up about it. It's no wonder I'm stressed out!!!!

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I empathize, wish4me. It's no fun. Your colleague sounds kind of self-destructive too. Have you reached the point of not answering the phone yet? I stopped going over to the building where this girl works and just call everyone on the phone now.

 

This girl isn't mean or malicious, just in the midst of an extreme panic attack. Anything is liable to come out of her mouth if it will save her. She also has a fiance whom I don't trust whatsoever. He has cheated on her, taken her savings, and so on. I have no doubt that he wouldn't encourage her to use me.

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I feel for you. I've had many close friends over the years that worked with me. I've never been burned once. It must be a different world with younger people. This makes me very sad that people are like that now.

 

20 years in the workforce and it's a first for me too

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Still wondering, anxiety ridden and scared. It's been a great 2 days at work, getting lots done, much praise, but I get home and I'm scared again. I'm deliberately NOT seeking information.... definitely taking a toll on me. Faith isn't an easy thing to have.

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Still wondering, anxiety ridden and scared. It's been a great 2 days at work, getting lots done, much praise, but I get home and I'm scared again. I'm deliberately NOT seeking information.... definitely taking a toll on me. Faith isn't an easy thing to have.

 

Faith in yourself once rooted in your soul is unshakeable.. Faith can then stand the tests of life.. You did nothing wrong..there is only good intent from you. You arent compromised.. Anyway good luck with it.

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