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Advice: Friends and favours

Advice: Friends and favours

Salam Auntie I’m in a painful condition and need your help. The scene is that I was looking for a job last year and my friend who is in HR, offered me a job in the administration department. I didn’t study business administration and didn’t have any idea about office work. She told me that I can carry out the job responsibility very well so I accepted because I was free at that time. When I joined the company my friend told me that she would transfer me from administration to the HR department. I agreed. Now it’s been three month, and during these three months I made some mistakes which I admit, but now my friend’s attitude is changing day by day. She sometimes says ‘don’t laugh’, ‘don’t talk’, ‘do this’, ‘don’t do this’; and it seems that she is not interested in transferring me to the HR department. I’m frustrated. She wants each and everything perfect, and whenever I do something wrong she got angry. I make mistakes because I don’t have the background of a company job, I need some time to make myself perfect. Now I feel that she is not my friend anymore. Last week she was scolded by her manager. I was not totally responsible for it but just a bit. She is not talking to me in the same way as she previously did. I’m confused how do I make her feel that I want to perform all my responsibilities in a perfect way (I don’t know how things go wrong, I always try to keep things in the  right direction). I want my friend back. Please help me.

Confused Girl

Dear Pull-up-your-socks,

Let’s look at things from your friend’s point of view. She is not in a good place at work. She recruited and recommended you and you messed up. The ‘some mistakes’ that you mention are probably not small mistakes and give a sense that you are not very serious about this job. Because of you, your friend’s professional reputation is on the line. She is the one in the ‘painful condition’, not you.

As a result, she has less credibility at work. You also don’t sound like you have been very quick about learning and picking up the work. Bottom-line: She did a friend a favour, but the person she hired has not turned out to be the best option for the job, which has affected her position. You should take this seriously, realise your shortcomings, pull up your socks and make a real effort to avoid the ‘small mistakes’ and show the company what you are capable of. Stop expecting more favours from your friend. By giving you a foot in the door and putting her loyalty to you above her loyalty to her job, she has already done enough. Acknowledge that favour, expect no more and start working seriously and hard at your job. 

Ultimately, I hope your friend and others who are reading this, realise why it is a bad idea to recommend and hire a friend that you have never worked with. 

Dear Auntie,

I am 18 years old and in a good relationship with my girlfriend. We have been in relationship for the last four years. She cares about me a lot and I for her. I think she also understands my feelings, but never reacts to them. The problem is that she thinks that talking to other guys or girls means she is open-minded, but actually whenever she talks to other people there are many problems. For her happiness, I don’t say anything to her about who she talks to or hangs out with, but I’m always in fear that it may someday affect my relationship. I really love her a lot and she is my life. Whenever I don’t talk to her or when I scold her, I just don’t feel good about anything and want to be just silent.

Please Auntie what should I do.


Dear Complicated,

What is it about her talking to other people that upsets you? Does she get over-familiar with others? Does she flirt? You haven’t really explained what it is about her behaviour that upsets you.  

Whatever it is, it seems that there is a particular kind of behaviour that upsets you and she is not listening to your requests to stop. You have pointed it out to her but she has not listened to your requests to stop. 

If we assume that you are not asking for anything unreasonable and your wish is a normal one for her to stop a certain kind of behaviour, does she not listen to your requests in other aspects too? Does she push your buttons in other ways too?

You have to talk to her to resolve this. Also understand that just because she has been your girlfriend for four years does not mean that you are meant to be together. Your expectations from a relationship may be completely different. When you go out with someone, you sometimes discover things you cannot stand about each other which turn out to be deal breakers. 

Discuss this with her, but also pay attention to your gut feeling regarding this. Provided you are not being unreasonable in your expectation — if you feel that she is not listening to you it could lead to your love for her wearing down in the long term.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to: [email protected]

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, March 20th, 2016

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