Furious and frustrated by scheming, selfish friend

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Furious and frustrated by scheming, selfish friend

Postby bbrown116 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:58 pm

My apologies that this is going to be a long one, this is the only place that nobody I know will read this so its just about the only place I can let off a bit of steam. I really need some kind of advice or reassurance so i hope you can bear with me a bit.

Here goes:

A year ago, a friend introduced me to a girl she knew. This girl seemed to be really full of herself, constantly boasting about the things she'd done that the rest of us hadn't or complaining. She was loud and bossy and to be honest I didn't like her. Unfortunately, my friend knows me a bit too well. She took me to one side and explained that this girl was really a very nice person who gave a bad first impression and as a result had very few friends. Despite my better judgement, I invited this girl to join us at a few parties and get-togethers.

Somehow I found myself spending more time with her and introducing her to people I know. When I tried to arrange things without including her she would burst into tears and my friends would tell me how cruel I was to her. After all, they kept saying, we're her only friends outside of the internet. I wouldn't say that we became friends but I got used to her and after a few more months, when one of our housemates moved out, the men I live with invited her to move in.

As soon as the contract was signed, she started planning changes. Everyone had to throw away things to make room for hers and the guys had to redecorate her room for her, all before she even moved in! Then, she started a relationship with a man she met online. Instantly, she stopped visiting and any plans to see anyone else were cancelled at an hour's notice. When one of my friends pointed out that it was rude to cancel with no notice just because her boyfriend wanted her to go somewhere else and that we could have taken someone else if we'd known sooner, she decided that I had asked my friend to say this and sent me an e-mail asking why I was trying to sabotage her life, her relationship and her degree.

It gets worse...

When she broke up with her boyfriend, she demanded that we all spend time with her, accusing us of being selfish if we didn't cancel everything at a minute's notice. She set up a blog in which she told everyone how he broke her heart and posted lots of links to it where he would see them. Unfortunately, she now had a key to our house, so I couldn't get her to leave, so I ended up listening to endless rants. On top of this, she decided that she couldn't afford the rent. Unfortunately, the only way we could afford to keep living in our house was for me to give her a job in my business. Of course, the work I gave her wasn't ideal and she quickly started to complain about, to name a few things:
-Being given too many breaks and at times she didn't want them
-Having to work too hard
-Not getting enough hours or enough money
-Not being put in charge of staff who worked with us for over four years
-The customers being rude

We received over forty complaints from customers within a few months, my other staff refused to work with her and she lost me so many customers I had to borrow money from family and friends just to keep the business afloat. In a rare moment of kindness, she offered to lend me a small amount I needed after these loans to make ends meet for the next three months. Where she got this money from if she couldn't pay the bills and I didn't pay her well enough I don't know, but it was either accept the loan or go bankrupt.

Only a few weeks later, as things picked up, I managed to pay her back a fifth of the money we owed her, but suddenly she decided that I had promised to pay back the total amount in three weeks. Additionally, when she asked for a pay rise and I refused, her behaviour at work deteriorated and after I had to discipline her for losing me a big customer through negligence and screaming insults at another in their own house, she was suspended from work and had to find another job. Eventually, she found a new job and quit working for me with only a few days notice.

During this time, she started to feel ill and, after looking online diagnosed herself with IBS. She also seemed to be drinking heavily and was often sick throughout the mornings. My partner suggested to a friend that she might have an alcohol problem and unfortunately my friend felt it was important to find out if this was true by saying to her 'X thinks you have an alcohol problem'. Instead of talking to him about this, she just started to tell everyone how cruel my partner and myself were to her. For some reason, she felt that my best friends wouldn't tell me what she was saying about me; either that or she just wanted me to find out without having to actually tell me herself.

A few weeks ago, she was admitted to hospital with extreme pain and sickness and was finally diagnosed as appendicitis. When she came out of hospital, she decided that instead of coming home she would stay with a friend of mine who she had become close to. Through other friends I found out that she was trying to sue me for late payment even though it had been only two months and that she had decided to secretly move out of our house. She managed to convince some of my friends that my partner and myself were out to get her and get them to help her move her things, and also posted on the blog she set up for the purposes of her ex lots of nasty comments about us being liars and how cruel and sneaky we were. On the day before I found out she was planning to secretly sue us, I payed back the last of the money we owed her. I have also managed to arrange for someone to take her place living with us.

Unfortunately, as I have been asked by my friends not to cause a scene or let on that I know whats being said or done I am now having to pretend that she isn't walking past my room with boxes of her things and not confront her with what I know. I know she's going to be someone else's problem now but it isn't like me not to talk things through and I'm struggling with behaving in what seems to be a deceitful way. Also, her new job have sent me a form to fill in as her reference and I don't want to lie to them but even after everything that's happened I don't know if it would be right to cause her to get fired. Should I confront her or just let her leave? Should I be honest on her reference or not? Any advice or ideas would be welcome and thanks for bearing with me.
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Postby bunnikins » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:58 pm

It sounds like your friend has taken full advantage of your generosity and now that you have nothing left to give (or refuse to give more) she is dumping you for the next meal-ticket. You are well rid of her. I would say that you need to be a little careful what you put on the reference only because you have a lot of personal issues with her and are very angry. I would stick to references to lateness, sickness, punctuality and business impact (loss of customers) - maybe you could word this as 'I would recommend Miss X for supporting administration or general office duties only, as this is where her skills can be best utilised' thus you are trying to say she is unsuitable for customer interface without saying exactly why. I think if I read something like that on a reference I would read between the lines, and if she does happen to see the reference and you are wary of a retaliation, she is less likely to see a straight forward negative comment from you. Like I said, you are well rid of her in every way - look at this as a positive :wink:
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Postby Bel Bel » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:17 pm

I was getting a little confused with b and /b but I think I have it

If you suspended her it is going to be awfully difficult to write a glowing reference
I suggest as bunnikins said stick to as little information as you can thats good
Like - B had a good sickness and attendence record -and also the other bits bunnikins suggested would be great. Your not actually allowed to give a bad reference anyway.
Look as you said she will be well out of your hair so I'd just be grateful she is going and move on from this whole thing. You can't go back and change it
And NEVER employ anyone you know however you get on with them it always causes problems, but I suspect you already feel this way anyway after all this.

How have you and b come out of this.
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Postby Alicat14 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:13 pm

I would do as the major banks do, which is to only state when she worked for you and the position she held. You then leave out any other information, as you aren't a personal reference. That way you avoid having to give any real information on whether she is good bad or otherwise, and save yourself hassle.
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Postby Millenia » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:15 pm

If you can't actually write a bad reference, can he not phone up her new emplyment and say 'sorry but i refuse to write a reference for her' and then leave it at that?
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Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:08 am

I think you should be semi-honest on her reference, you don't want her to do the same thing to someone else as she did to you do you? Don't go into detail about it but I'd certainly mention something like bunnikins suggested.

One of my (ex) friends (E) was a bit like that, she moved in with other friends (C) and I didn't have the number of the people she was moving in with to not put them off her but just to tell them how her last 3 sets of flatmates had all arranged to get a new house and "forgot" to tell her. Anyway my other friend (D) didn't tell C about the potential problems (C is a lovely caring girl), anyway E moved in, locked herself in her room and got her bf to come down and scream and C that they weren't letting her out of her room (now I know I wasn't there but I do not believe C could do anything of the sort, and I do believe E would stir it to get her own way as she always did).

Its the same principle as above, if someone had told C about E (in a polite way) then C wouldn't have had to put up with her for a year and wouldn't have had her life made hell. My point is, if you were employing her then wouldn't you want someone to give you a semi-honest reference. I'd maybe say she's ok at work, except she's not very good at dealing with customers, she lost me a few customers. I do think her abilities are catered for XXX role. Her attendance is XX, sick XX, time keeping XX.
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Postby Bel Bel » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:32 am

please do not write anything bad you can get in trouble see link which might help you

http://www.businessballs.com/references ... amples.htm
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Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:14 pm

I've also looked at the link Bel-Bel has sent for you.

To me it seems silly if you employ someone that you can't say they stole from my till and lost me all my customers, instead you have to say, they were punctual etc....

It seems like a silly law to me. Well it seems references are pointless as well.
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Postby Bel Bel » Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:16 pm

yes unfortunately the law is against the employer in most cases
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Postby peecee » Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:34 pm

That's true, Bel Bel. :(

But pwif and Moose both advised me (hopefully they'll be around soon to comment on this thread, they're both excellent in this field) that as an employer, I can contact the new employer and say "this person worked for me. I do not wish to give a reference". The new employer can then draw their own conclusions.

To give a tiny bit more detail - one of our employees gave us as a referee a couple of years ago; she was a complete nightmare when she worked for us, so I told the new employer that I wouldn't give a reference. They phoned me in confidence, and I told them in confidence, what she had been like. They still took her on (because they were desperate for staff), sacked her shortly afterwards, she took them to the tribunal and made their lives hell. They phoned me afterwards, wriggling and squirming, to apologise for ignoring my advice.

You do NOT have to give a good reference if it's not justified, that would be wrong, and unfair to the potential new employer - what if it happened to you? Do NOT lie, just DON'T give a reference.

*pee lies down with a damp dishcloth on her forehead.*

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Postby miaow » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:06 pm

New employers can usually read between the lines when it comes to references. They can tell when they get a glowing reference and when they get one that is just stating the basic formalities - sick record, punctuality, etc, even though there is nothing specific that is 'bad' on it.
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