Author Topic: Quitting on a Friend  (Read 5544 times)

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RavenousEdenFleur

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Quitting on a Friend
« on: October 17, 2012, 09:28:04 PM »
I decided to pick up some freelance work in the last year or 2 to earn extra money :)

My friend Joe runs his own business and needed some part time help with his online work and some other misc. things that were easy to do.

However over the past 6-8 months I have found myself taking on more and more work from Joe that I simply don't have the time for, or it out of my realm of knowledge. I have become more of his personal assistant and he has been expecting me to be on call 24/7 for him whenever he needs something with his phone, or if he needs dry cleaning picked up... and I never agreed to this so of course I refuse  the things I cannot do. I have been so stressed and losing out on other projects that would pay me more and are more in line with my career.

When I bill him, he will disagree with the hours I worked and claim he did not give me that much work, I have gone over my minutes on my cell phone plan because of calling places for him with no reinbursement and honestly, I miss my friend. I have grown annoyed and resentful towards him. One minute he wonders why he hired me in the first place then the next minute I help him SO much...

I now have some steady work coming up that will give me set hours and more money, which is much better for me. I tried to tell Joe that I would be available from say 10am-2 every day but he said it wouldn't work since he may need me earlier or later. Well, this doesn't work for me. I need set hours when I work and the rest of the time I need to do my other projects and other personal things!!

So I was wondering a good way to either set more ground rules for this arrangement or a good way to cut ties business wise. I can put feelers out and help him find someone else, but it's just not for me anymore. Especially working from home, I need a place to go to every day!!

LeveeWoman

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 10:45:01 PM »
I hate to be harsh but, this does not sound like a friend.

Deetee

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 10:55:24 PM »
I agree that this sounds less like a friend and more like a pretty dreadful boss who gives you too much work and argues about the fees.

Be businesslike, clear and firm. This is your availability. He can accept it or he can hire someone else.

gramma dishes

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 11:01:27 PM »
Frankly, it sounds like you've let your friendship morph into a boss/employee relationship that isn't working for you.  He thinks you should be at his beck and call whenever he decides he needs you, sometimes at your own expense!!  and he's taking advantage of you.  Period.  End of story.  This is neither a real friendship nor a real employer/employee relationship.

I think you should just tell him that you can't work for him anymore on the basis that you are now.  You have taken on other jobs and can only be available to him between such and such hours -- or he needs to hire someone else.  Expect him to be cool to the idea.  I expect that will happen.  Therefore be prepared to get "fired".  He may actually hire someone else.  Let that someone deal with his erratic hours, his unrealistic demands and the bill for his unreimbursed ??? phone calls.

Kaypeep

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 12:07:39 AM »
I'd go with a white lie and tell him you have more full time work  again and can't do the freelance stuff anymore.  I'd give him specifics on wrapping up any current projects and a timeline so that he's not left short, along with a few contacts of other people who he may contact about carrying out any future needs. 

If you can comfortably do so, I'd even say something along the lines of "I'm looking forward to going back to just being full-time friends again, though. It will be fun to hang out and talk about (insert mutual interest/hobby here) instead of talking shop most of the time. In fact, why don't we make a date now to do (hobby/activity) before the holiday season comes and we're too busy with other stuff."and then set a time to hang out like old times and try to re-establish the friendship back to the way it was.  (It might never be that way, but you can try to get back to something close, if you want.)

artk2002

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 12:14:32 AM »
LeveeWoman has it right. This isn't a friend, this is a user. Drop him like the hot potato he's become. I wouldn't lie, either. "I'm sorry Joe, but you have become very unpleasant to work for. Please find someone else to help you."
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Slartibartfast

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 02:57:55 AM »
"Hey Joe, I've finally got some more long-term freelancing work so I'm not going to be available to do odd jobs for you anymore.  And honestly, I kind of miss being just friends, you know?  The whole boss-employee thing can be a bit weird.  Anyway, I can still do 10-2 until X date if that helps you ou t until you find someone else or make other arrangements, but if you don't need me, no biggie."

Bethalize

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 03:13:16 AM »
Set boundaries. Either Joe accepts them and you have a civil, respectful working relationship because of them, or he doesn't accept them and you are free of him. That's a win-win.

Don't concern yourself with making Joe happy or getting him to say he's happy about it. He doesn't have to like the way things are, he just has to accept them.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 04:19:18 AM »
POD to everyone who posted before me.  Be firm, and don't let him guilt you.  There are times when a person can do something, and times when they can't, and he's not respecting the fact that you can't.  The friendship (if it still is one) might still survive this, but it sounds like the business relationship has already died on the vine.  It's also not as if you're quitting without notice, so he can't claim you left him in the lurch.  Some people need a reminder that circumstances can and do change, and that no means no.

blarg314

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 11:55:40 PM »

I think you need to approach this in a business fashion, not a friend fashion.

Send him a polite but clear letter, telling him that you will be taking up a new job, and therefore will be cancelling your prior arrangement with him. As of X date, you will not longer be available for work.  Give appropriate notice, so he can find someone else.

How he responds to this will go a long way in telling you if there is a chance of becoming friends with him again. If he throws a hissy fit, refuses to take no for an answer, or keeps guilt tripping your or harassing you over it, then you know that there isn't much of a friendship left. Back off, and let him make an overture if he want to when he calms down.

Make sure to refuse *completely* if he makes any more work related requests, even if it's a minor favor. You've set a precedent of letting him take advantage of you, both as a friend and as an employee, so it's going to take work to break that habit. He's got a pretty sweet deal right now - a personal assistant, on call, whom he can stiff for salary and expenses. He's unlikely to find something as good, so it's in his interest to push for it.


Pippen

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 12:01:31 AM »
Can you turn it into a contract situation if you still want to keep him on board? He sounds like he is using you for all sorts of mundane things which are well outside your brief. Being at his beck and call is going to do nothing for your career or income and if you are happy to do work for him but need to free up your time for other work up your fees and then see how important this work becomes to him.

Morticia

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 09:46:05 AM »
I'm with the previous posters that say he is not acting like a friend. He is ripping you off and treating you like a serf. Don't continue working for him at all, because he has shown you what kind of employer he is.
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bopper

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 09:47:15 AM »
You could also tell him that he can have you able to do things for him at any time of the work day, but he would have to hire you as a full time employee.   Also you would need a work phone as you are using up your plan without reimbursement. As a freelancer, you need jobs that can be done on your own schedule. 

Morticia

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 11:43:17 AM »
Any update?
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
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My travel blog: http://www.stepmonster.ca

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Quitting on a Friend
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 04:09:17 PM »
Can you turn it into a contract situation if you still want to keep him on board? He sounds like he is using you for all sorts of mundane things which are well outside your brief. Being at his beck and call is going to do nothing for your career or income and if you are happy to do work for him but need to free up your time for other work up your fees and then see how important this work becomes to him.
I think this is a great idea. You can state the parameters you are willing to work under, and if it doesn't work for him her can say so and you can part ways.