A woman feels like a friend is putting her in a lose-lose position because of their work relationship.
I am in a position where I commission work from artists. I have commissioned quite a lot of work from a friend because he is talented (although difficult to work with) and needs the work.
In fact, he is the artist we work with the most. Recently a client cancelled a commission. My friend sent me an angry e-mail accusing me of not fielding enough work his way, and putting him on commissions with unreliable clients (all are clients are unreliable in the sense they can decide to cancel things at the last minute). His complaints are just not true.
I am seriously fed up with dealing with this friend as an employee but know he is in a tight spot financially. I have approached this subject with him before without any results.
I feel he is putting me in a lose-lose situation: Either no longer work with him, lose a friend and feel guilty, or work with him and have to put up with his bad behavior. I just don’t know what to do.
Mixing work and friendship can get messy. Commissioning work you need from a talented friend is a win-win situation. But your friend seems to have overstepped the boundaries of friendship, getting angry at you over things beyond your control.
He does have the option of working for someone else. Even as a friend, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the problem of him being in a “tight spot financially.”
Is it possible for him to simultaneously work for you and other companies? This would lessen the friction in your friendship and give him an additional source of income. If so, you might let him know that he can’t depend on your company entirely and should seek out other commissions as well.
Or is there another person in your own company who could substitute for you and assign work to your friend?
Also, I would tell him once again that you aren’t going to allow him to make you the target of his anger and frustration. If he can’t treat you professionally, you’ll need to sever your work relationship.
If you can’t resolve this conflict, you and your friend may need to choose between remaining friends (without work interfering with the friendship) or remaining colleagues (without your friendship interfering with the work).
Hope this helps.