Dear Aunty B,
I am the owner a small floristry, employing just one junior staff member because I only need one extra set of hands in the busy morning period.
Recently, a friend of mine has been going through a divorce. She is unemployed and has been complaining about being bored and lonely, so I thought it would be nice to ask her to help out with some flower arrangements – to get her mind off things. There was no mention of a paid position because I know she understands I don’t have any extra cash and I imagined it would only be for a few days while she found her feet.
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But she has now been coming in every morning for two straight weeks. She hasn’t asked for money, but the problem is I don’t need her help. I like to run the business as efficiently as independently as possible and she is beginning to get in the way. She asks lots of questions and is actually making more work!
How do I tell her I don’t want her help?
Stressed Out, Adelaide
Dear Stressed Out,
Chances are your friend has no idea she’s getting in the way. She is probably really enjoying being needed by someone and having somewhere to go each day.
Tell her that she should start to look for paid work and that you will gladly act as her referee. Perhaps you can even direct her towards charity work, telling her a charity is in greater need of her time than your small business.
It is important not to make her feel like her time hasn’t been of value, even if it hasn’t. Buy her a massage or a facial as a thank you – she deserves it and you deserve a break.
You Aunty B