Tuesday, March 13, 2007

And the Point is....

Don’t ever, ever work for a friend.

Didn’t I write that last September?

“Don’t ever have a friend for a boss or a boss be a friend. It doesn’t work out.” Words of Wisdom, Sept. 5th, 2006.

A friend offered me a job today.

The last time I worked for a friend it ended horribly. I don’t ever want to do that again. Ever.

Why am I such a sucker for sweet talk? Do I really think so little of myself that when someone says, ooo, you are smart I automatically feel obligated to do whatever they need me to do?

How have I managed to work with two friends for years and years? I don’t work for them. They don’t work for me. It’s an even playing field. That could be a part of it.

They don’t need me.

We’re good friends, I respect them, I know they respect me but… there is no need. No pull to take care of them just to do the work, do it well and be as thoughtful as possible.

When I took what ended up being a sabbatical, they were sad and wished me well. When I came back, they said, Hooray! Let's get to work.

I felt so pulled to help today. Do the right thing. When a friend asks for help, you help.


Even if it’s something you don’t want to do?


A very good friend said to me last week, you are not ready to take any job. You don’t know how to say no. You respond on impulse, not thought. And you think nothing of giving yourself away because you don’t really think you’re worth much.

Uh… and your point?

Working with a friend has worked out for me. In an amazing way, it’s worked out. I am so proud of the work I do with them. As we approach the second decade of taking on public education together, we grow as friends and colleagues. We push each other and respect each other.

How do I learn to know the difference between someone needing and a positive work environment?

I’m going to have to say no to a friend. It feels awful. But honestly? I know I don’t know the difference. I know the boundaries set with the relationship that has worked weren’t set by me.

I guess that is the point.


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