Q. I was offered a full-time teaching position and asked to recommend a friend for a part-time position. I did so. The director ended up...

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Q. I was offered a full-time teaching position and asked to recommend a friend for a part-time position. I did so. The director ended up hiring my “friend” for the full-time position, and she then offered me the part-time job. Should I take the part-time position, and how do I handle this?

A. The director who hired you behaves unethically. If you take any job with her, you’ll continue to be treated in a disrespectful manner.

There’s a myth in the business world that bad things don’t happen to good people, so if bad things happen to you, you must have deserved them. The truth is, bad things happen to good people all the time.

Smart people try to learn how to avoid the same problem twice and don’t blame themselves for occasional trouble in life.

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The lesson to learn from your situation is next time, make sure you get a detailed job offer in writing before you believe you are “hired.” Verbal contracts in business are usually worth the paper they’re not written on.

Both the hiring director and your “friend” are clearly opportunists who would sell their mother down the river if it helped them. There’s an old Arabic saying I like to use when advising clients to be less naïve in business: “Believe in God, but tie up your camels.”

It’s fine to believe that most people are good, honest and well-intended. It’s also intelligent to tie up your business affairs so people can’t hurt you.

As far as your “friend” goes, you found out the hard way that she has no loyalty. Next time, pay better attention to how a new “friend” has treated others. You’ll eventually be subject to the same conduct.

You can’t change the director or your “friend” into decent human beings. You can make some lemonade out of your sour circumstances by behaving more wisely and self-protectively in your future business relationships.

The last word(s)

Q. Is there ever a good reason to lie on a résumé?

A. Not if you value your credibility.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube