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.

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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.

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