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I Was Promoted Over My Friend At Work. Now She’s Spiteful and Has Turned On Me. My Boss Wants Me to Fire Her, But I Fear Losing the Friendship.

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My co-worker and I have become besties over the past year of working for the same law firm as paralegals. She had already been there for roughly three years when I got hired, but I quickly learned the ropes and found myself in a position to aid her with her mounting workload.

She’s highly intelligent but just works at a snail’s pace, and once my work is done, I can’t bear to watch her struggle to finish hers. So it’s nothing for me to find myself working on multiple files that I see piling up on her desk so that she doesn’t get further behind. 

Stressed black businesswoman working on a laptop in an office alone. (Stock Photo: Getty Images)

Lately, I’m being recognized by our boss for my speedy delivery of assignments, and I was called into a meeting and offered a supervisory position. I’m over the moon for the new opportunity. In addition to getting a rundown of my new duties, upper management presented me with a “watch list” of employees who are regularly tardy or late turning in assignments. My bestie was at the top of the list. 

After work, I told my friend over drinks about the promotion and also broke the news about the fact that she’s at risk of being written up if she can’t pull it together. Her response was different than what I expected. She didn’t take responsibility for her tardiness or getting assignments completed behind schedule; she had no accountability whatsoever.

I had a serious talk with her and even helped devise a plan for her to manage her time better so that we can hopefully avoid her being written up. The very next day at work she had the nerve to be late. I called her into my office and politely wrote her up. If looks could kill, I would be dead. She left my office on the verge of tears and hasn’t said more than “good morning” for the past week. 

Our usual night to get together is Wednesday evenings, and we generally do lunch on Mondays. To my surprise, I didn’t get a reply from my friend when I asked about going for hump-day drinks this week, and she has been slow to respond to other texts. My son, her godson’s birthday, was on Thursday, and she normally calls him on his special day, but we didn’t hear a peep from her.

Meanwhile, her incompetencies are glaring. She is also giving me the cold shoulder at work –– barely giving me eye contact and not responding when I asked for updates on assignments. At one point she abruptly took lunch when she saw me approaching her desk to inquire about files.

I’m in a tough position. Unfortunately, I must consider firing my friend. I feel responsible to a degree because when I was helping her with her workload. I was actually enabling the negative behaviors, and now it’s all catching up to her and me. She continues to commit fireable offenses and asks for leniency, taking advantage of the fact that we’re friends. I refuse to lose my job in an attempt to help save hers and must make a decision about how to proceed as her boss and her friend. 

I can no longer coddle my friend and must make some hard decisions, taking her lackluster work ethic into full consideration. The friendship feels like it’s over, and it may just be for the best.

Should I officially end the friendship and fire my friend or should I prolong the situation and try to give her time to tighten up?

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