View Full Version : How to Fire a Friend

03-01-2004, 11:24 AM
You would think hiring friends to work for you would be a benefit, you have a good time working together. That is until you figure out that your friends work ethic is like that of a sloth.

Was doing a combo job of pressure washing a house and spring cleanup on Saturday. I has handling the trimming and hauling, friend was pressure washing. Ask him if he knows what he is doing, of course he says "Yes you idiot". Two story house that should have taken about 3 hours to finish. I look up after doing the first set of hedges after about 45 minutes and he is walking towards me with a big smile on his face proclaiming how "easy that was".

Customer comes out sees the half a** done house and starts giving me the 3rd degree. Tells me how he is not going to refer me to anyone, that I am charging $200 to p.w. his house and it is a waste of money, etc.....

Not the first time this has happened with my buddy....

Took an extra 2hours to finish the job after having to go back and doing the entire house over again.....

Question is How do you fire a really close friend without ruining the friendship?

03-01-2004, 11:38 AM
First off you should be paying attention to what your employees are doing, check up on them , stick your head around the corner and make sure that they do know what they are doing and just didnt tell you that. Secondly if you want to fire him then just tell him he's fired, dont mention anything about the friendship, its got nothing to do with the business.

03-01-2004, 11:46 AM
Packerbacker, thats easy for you to say, try firing your best friend, it wont be that easy. All i have to say is good luck there is no easy way to do it. But it has to be done.:(

03-01-2004, 11:54 AM
Have you made sure that he knows what you expect. It is tough to work for somebody when you don't know what they expect in terms of quality, maybe he thought he was just saving you time and money.

03-01-2004, 11:54 AM
If you do fire him you may save the friendship. Right now that is @#$% with him costing you money and harming your business. I feel for you, I did just this last year and it was just hard. Now we are friends again.

03-01-2004, 12:01 PM
Never work for friends and family...and the same goes in reverse-never hire friends or family....

03-01-2004, 12:07 PM
I let him know what I wanted and how to do it, he was getting impatient which should have been a sign, kind of like I was babying him. Thought I could trust him to do a good job instead of costing me lots of extra time and also money.

03-01-2004, 12:48 PM
Reminds me of an all too recent situation I let myself get in. Actually it was two years ago........My nephew graduated college from New York where the rest of my family resides. He accepts a position at a school near me. Has to be here in June - but won't be getting paid until school starts in September. Brother asks me to hire him - I do....... Biggest mistake of my life. Laziest a**hole I ever had work for me. I tolerated it - for a month until I walked in and overheard my employees saying that "he was untouchable" because of the blood relationship. I took the bull by the horns and kicked him to the curb - and swiftly reminded the employees that no one in this company is irreplaceable......not even me ! The bad vibes are still there in my family - but they know I'm about business and that's the bottom line. Good luck in dealing with this situation - It's a tough one - but I think you know what you have to do, and if the rest of your family doesn't accept it - ask them who among them would be willing to hire you and let you do nothing in return for a paycheck. That should silence the critics.

03-01-2004, 12:49 PM
I worked for a friend a long time ago and I wasn't the saint back then that I am now. LOL He had to let me go for not showing up half the time. I knew it was my fault and it has had no effect on our friendship what so ever. In fact now that I have grown up quite a bit he has subbed some work out too me in the last couple of years. If he is really your friend he won't blame you for his mistakes. If he does he isn't your friend any way. It's far and few between friends that can work for you that don't intentionally or unintentional take advantage of the friendship in a work relationship situation. On the other hand if you get along with your employees and they work for you for long you become friends so it's hard to avoid this problem anyway. How many warnings have you given him? Try giving him a written warning first so if you have to fire him it will be harder for him not to accept the blame.

03-01-2004, 12:49 PM
I contracted for a company that preached the following to all their employees from the CEO down to the mail room clerk:
The Four Absolutes of Quality
The definition of quality is Conformance to Requirements
The system of quality is Prevention
The performance standard is Zero Defects
The measurement of quality is the price of Non-Conformance

This company followed these guidelines in everything they did and they are a leader in their industry. I have adopted these principals in everything I do and it seems to work. When I'm dealing with any customer, one of the first things that I do is find out what their expectations are and evaluate if they are reasonable, attainable goals. From then on the job of pleasing the customer becomes just a matter of either meeting those requirements or making sure my employees meet them.

Ever notice how new car dealers fix minor problems after they deliver a new vehicles to a customer? A window leaks, or there is a rattle? Is this after sales service or a quality control problem at the factory? Either way, the dealer charges the factory for fixing these problems and the factory actually builds the cost of fixing the problems into the cost of the vehicle, so guess who ultimately pays the price for Non-Conformance to the standard (zero defects) from the factory?

Some manufacturers plan on a 98% defect free product and when that happens 98% becomes the standard. The manufacturer's employees know that their job will not be effected if they let 2% of their work get through with a defect.

If they are manufacturing a commodity that means that 2 out of every 100 widgets won't work when they come off the assembly line. If they are in the service industry that means that 2 out of every 100 times they perform this service it fails to meet acceptable standards. I'd really hate to know that I'm a soldier in combat and that my weapon will fail 2 out of every 100 times I pull the trigger or that I'm a passenger in an airplane and the pilot cannot successfully complete 2 out of every 100 flights he attempts.

It ALWAYS costs more to fix a problem then to do it right the first time.

Just my thoughts on quality issues, now about firing your friend... Are you sure he understood the requirements of the job and what your performance standard for completion was?

03-01-2004, 12:54 PM
my workers is a close friend of mine and my brother!

we get along great !

03-01-2004, 01:21 PM
Promote him to sales, commision.

03-01-2004, 03:22 PM
That's why you dont hire family or friends, I had my brother and one of my best friends working with me, brother gave up mid way through season, and the best friend lasted until a few weeks or so before the end of the season (money wasnt coming in the same, did this two years straight), but there won't be a third year.

If i need help there are some many unemployed people around here it shouldn't be the hard to find some temp. help.

03-01-2004, 03:23 PM
Try, Your fired! you may still be my friend just not my employee.
Chance are it will be neither.


03-01-2004, 04:39 PM
their was a guy i was friends with for about 9 years,
took him in as a partner. (Me 55% / Him 45%) we were the kinda friends that hung out 5 days a week if not all 7 days, went camping 3-4 times a year and hunted together.

within 3 months i wanted him out!
within 5 months he was doing whatever he wanted
about 6 months in he and I got into an argument and he had me by the neck with one hand and my feet were about 6inches from the ground!

told him to put me down/ let me go, he finaly did.
i said this isnt going to work, your out he got even more pi*sed and i told him to leave, and that was basicly the last time we ever spoke....that was about 2 years ago.


I still catch myself thinking about the whole thing wishing i never offered, so we would be friends still.

whats funny (well kinda) is we NEVER ever disagreed (as friends) in all the years of hanging out together not even 1 fight!

so to all the people thinking of hiring or partnering with a friend, well be fine we aways get along.....
NOT SO (at least in this case)

the only "lucky" thing for me was we had not finished the partnership paperwork that my lawyer drew up so i didnt have to give up a bunch of $$.... (keeping in mind he only put in about $200.00 cash into the company and wanted to take whatever the "weekly take" was and split it 55/45 to me and him...he didnt understand that just cuz you profited $5,000.00 dosent meen you get 45% of that...the biz has to have money too!)

He was an great sales guy, i swear he coulda went into another LCO building and get the job to do their lawn!....the kinda guy who could sell sun powered flashlights to people who live in the dark all the time!

i hope everything works out for you, good luck


03-01-2004, 05:07 PM
Just email this thread to him. He should get the point.

03-01-2004, 05:22 PM
tell him you have financial problems, can't afford to pay him anymore. but, if he wants to help u out for free, you would appreciate it. let me know how this friend handles this