This is a rare statement from me, but I have a “former friend”. It’s rare because I’m very good at vetting people, deciding who’s trustworthy and who’s not, who gives me bad vibes and the like. I’m good at hiring people when I have the leisure of deciding whether any of the candidates fit as opposed to having to select the best one.


thatguygil via Compfight

In this case, it’s not that I didn’t go through my normal way of checking people out. She fit all the criteria and more, and was one of my best friends for at least two years. We worked together and had fun at networking events. I can’t say I ever regretted being friends with her.

It turns out that sometimes life can mess things up. In this case, her physical life changed drastically for the worst, and it was brought on by her own behavior. I tried to help by offering advice and encouragement but, as I had to learn, sometimes people just don’t want advice or motivation. Sometimes they’re incapable of accepting it.

She went into a downward spiral and disappeared. I had no idea where she was and I didn’t hear anything from her. No one else we knew had any idea what happened. I’m not one to chase people, so I let it go and went on with life.

That is, until I was contacted by someone who said she was in the hospital dying. There wasn’t anything I could do because I was working out of town. In a way, I had been expecting the call saying she was deceased; this was about as bad as it could get.

Then, an amazing thing happened. Her brain somehow rewired itself, to the effect that she could no longer remember what she’d done or how she’d ended up in her predicament. She overcame all the physical issues, though it took some time. It seemed like things might work out overall.

Except they didn’t. While physically things worked out, mentally they didn’t. Suddenly, this wasn’t a person I knew anymore. It took me some time to figure it out, mainly because I was still out of town and only talking to her on the phone. I did visit her once when I came home for a weekend while she was in some kind of facility and her behavior was off, but I figured that was because she’d only started coming back to reality a couple of months earlier.

When I was finally home for good, that’s when the real lessons started for me. She wasn’t close to the same person she’d been before. The lies weren’t the worst part, though you’d think they would be. It was the constant pressure of asking for this or that and expecting that she was going to live with me; yeah, my wife would have loved that (sarcasm).

Psycho shower scream
Deb Etheredge via Compfight

It took a scary night on a snow slicked road, as I was going to try to bail her out of a bad situation where she’d made a bad decision (not an illegal one), lied, used me by having the police call and ask if I could come, and then when I showed up she wasn’t there. That was the night when I knew I had to initial us having some space apart from each other.

Suffice it to say, her life was bad and was getting worse. We wrote email to each other once a week, but I was hearing all sorts of reports from others that we both know.

I’ve stated here often that my three most valuable morals are loyalty, trustworthiness and honesty, in that order. I’ve also said that it’s a two-way street. I will go out of my way if a friend of mine is in trouble but is willing to work out of it.

My friend was having none of that. Every bit of advice I gave her went in one ear and out the other. Constant requests for money and lodging, even after promising me she wouldn’t ask again, had me hiding from her. Suddenly I was getting all sorts of calls from different cellphone numbers, finding out that whomever she was with she was borrowing their phones to call.

Finally, after one more incident that involved me, I realized that she had now violated my number one rule, and more than once. I had done everything I could possibly do, but I wasn’t going to be responsible for her. She has family, and they had decided they couldn’t handle it anymore. There was nothing I could do, and I have finally ended the association.

Why did I go into all of that backstory? The hardest decision anyone ever has to make is the one regarding letting someone go. Whether it’s someone who’s been a close friend or a family member living only because of a ventilator, it’s hard giving up someone who you’ve had in your life in a positive way for a long time. Yet, sometimes it has to be done for your own peace of mind.

IMG_0716
NazareneMissionsInternational
via Compfight

Every day there are leaders who have employees that aren’t good for one reason or another. Sometimes they’re lazy; sometimes they talk back. Sometimes they’re horrible at what they do; sometimes they’re violating all sorts of rules and regulations of the business.

Every day, many of those leaders, frustrated and angry, are also too timid to do anything about it. After all, who likes confrontation?

You know what? That’s your job! Being a friend or family matter isn’t; being a manager or director is. You get paid to manage and evaluate the talent working for you. You get paid to make the decisions on who deserves a push towards promotion and who’s ruining the team for whatever reason and might have to go.

The same morality lessons of loyalty, trustworthiness and honesty work in business. People who don’t give you their best adhere to none of these principles. Why would you want to keep anyone around who fits these criteria?

I’m not saying it’s easy having to let someone go. What I am saying is that life throws harder decisions at us that affect us personally. Business is supposed to be business. If you can’t handle a business decision, you’re at the wrong level.

After all, business is business… it’s never supposed to be personal… until it is.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell