I hired my friend but her work is terrible. What do I do?

How do you break off a work relationship with a friend? Claudia Dey helps you do damage control.

two women at work friends

Photo, Masterfile.

Dear Claudia,

My friend started freelancing and my company had a project I thought she’d be perfect for. Wrong. Her work sucked. I had to redo it all. How do I tell her there will be no next time?

Dear Boss Lady,

Give yourself some space to be resentful. Women are fixers by nature, but what you need right now is a place to holler and rant. Take a brief vacation from the friendship. Then, when another opportunity arises to freeload — er, freelance — with your company, tell her that she will not be hired again; her work, unfortunately, did not meet the standards. Stick to the facts and pay attention to your tone (warm but unequivocal). Draw a clear line between your brief stint as co-workers and your long-running gig as friends. Yes, this is awkward, but if you’re measured, she might just step up her game. N.B.: Do not use the word sucked.

More damage control from Claudia Dey:
I can’t stop creeping an acquaintance’s Instagram
My boss caught me rolling my eyes at one of her ideas
I insulted and embarrassed my brother in front of our parents



Claudia Dey is a novelist, columnist and Governor General’s Award–nominated playwright. She is the author of How to Be a Bush Pilot: A Field Guide to Getting Luckier.

Submit your questions to Dear Claudia at


Get Chatelaine in your inbox!

Our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers. Delivered a couple of times a week.