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Friend betrayal

(147 Posts)
Emm14 Tue 30-Jul-19 08:38:27

Hi ladies. Wonder if any of you would be kind enough to give me your opinion - and tell me if I am overreacting?
About 9 months ago, I asked an ex colleague and friend if she would like to come back to work in my health care team as an excellent, very well paid opportunity had arisen -and she was first person I thought of to ask. She was delighted and returned to work with me. The rest of my team soon got to like her and things had been going well. However, I have found out recently that this friend has been disloyal to me. I had a recent disagreement with another member of my staff ( requiring disciplinary action) and have found out that my friend has been her sounding board - and had helped her draft a letter to me in regards to the disciplinary matter. I was flabbergasted. This friend recently told me in all innocence that she had heard I had disagreement with this staff member and did I want to talk about ( I didn’t)? Little did I know she knew all about the matter and was supporting this person. I feel so let down and betrayed. I have been friends with this woman for 15 years and helped her through some awful times she has had with her family (estranged from her adult daughters). I’ve been there for her and a been a really good friend. The trust has now gone for me. I’d be interested to know your thoughts?

EllanVannin Tue 30-Jul-19 08:53:01

I'd approach her and ask her why she felt the need to go behind your back like this and see what she has to say. Her answer should then speak volumes and then you can decide for yourself whether you continue the friendship or avoid like the plague.
I've met people like this during my working years and they're what I call toxic. They yearn for friendship but they are shallow people who tend to " stay on side " with their seniors rightly or wrongly and will report you at the drop of a hat------horrible, two-faced people.

Urmstongran Tue 30-Jul-19 08:54:05

Is ‘your’ healthcare team a private concern or are you a line manager in an NHS set up?

I ask this because it would give a different perspective on the situation in my opinion.

Sara65 Tue 30-Jul-19 08:55:41

I can certainly understand why you feel betrayed and hurt, horrible situation to find yourself in

Lessismore Tue 30-Jul-19 08:56:29

God, people are vile.Sorry that's not terribly helpful.

Emm14 Tue 30-Jul-19 09:04:52

Thank you all very much. I know, it’s horrid thing to do. I feel sad. I am a healthcare manager in public health system. I have team of health professionals. This friend is a counsellor

Missfoodlove Tue 30-Jul-19 09:09:11

You are somewhere between a rock and a hard place.

Both your working and personal relationship are at stake.

I would say nothing and keep your working relationship on an even keel but distance yourself on a personal level.
Your job cannot be jeopardised due to this woman’s actions.
Is there someone senior you can discuss this with to cover yourself?

This woman is very dangerous her Machiavellian behaviour will eventually get her in big trouble.

There is probably very good reason her daughters no longer speak to her.

This is an awful situation to be in, I hope you find a solution.

Septimia Tue 30-Jul-19 09:09:17

It's not a nice situation for you, but I wonder if this 'friend' asked if you wanted to talk about the disagreement so that she could come clean about helping the other person. On the other hand, she might have thought it a good way to get some inside information to pass to the other person.

Either way, I think you need some clarification and to be very careful about what you say to this friend in future.

crazyH Tue 30-Jul-19 09:16:40

When I am aggrieved about something I always like to talk it out with the Paterson concerned. Sometimes it leads to an understanding of the whys and wherefores. On the other hand it could end the friendship. It's an awful situation to be in. Good luck !

Emm14 Tue 30-Jul-19 09:27:08

Great advice from you all, thanks so much! I think I will definitely keep my distance personally but remain professional at work. I don’t need friends like her. I won’t miss her; no great loss to me. It is just the disappointment and sadnesss I feel a how she has behaved. There are some really nasty, mixed up and pathologically damaged people in this world, people who masquerade as friends

TwiceAsNice Tue 30-Jul-19 09:38:53

As a fellow counsellor I’m disgusted she has such appalling ethics

Emm14 Tue 30-Jul-19 09:58:48

Absolutely agree TwiceasNice She also has very poor boundaries. I have only recently realised this, to my regret.

Urmstongran Tue 30-Jul-19 09:59:34

You helped her get the job by telling her about it. I assume she had to be interviewed (and was successful on her own merits).

You now both work in a team where you are her line manager. You don’t however pay her wages. You both work for the same employer who pays both of you.

As you have been so good to her in the past, I’d be interested to hear her reasons for doing what she did.

It might not be personal per se.

B9exchange Tue 30-Jul-19 10:03:10

It is a betrayal, I am not surprised you feel so upset. If you still see her socially, I would be tempted to invite her for a coffee and ask 'what on earth was all that about with X?' then go on to say that you gave her the job out of friendship and felt betrayed, and see what her reaction is.

It does happen, I knew a fellow manager in the area for many years, when she told me she was thinking of applying to join the Trust I worked for. I helped her with her application, gave her a reference, and once in post she did everything she could to undermine me, sending emails copied to all saying I was inefficient and making mistakes (which I wasn't, but she was after my job!)

Just don't understand some people....

Emm14 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:06:11

Thank you Urmstongran . She was formally interviewed and yes did get job in merits but she had history with us so it was a formality ( it is temp contract for counselling). Good question as to why she has behaved this way. My feeling is she is a person with no loyalty, loves drama and gossip. Also makes her feel special, I think, when people seek her out for advice. She doesn’t have much integrity. She was likely approached by my staff member for support after the disciplinary action; the friend should have told her it would be unprofessional of her to get involved as referred her elsewhere. I feel sickened about it, the more I think of it.

Emm14 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:09:16

Oh my goodness B9exchange, that is bad. Some people are really horrible. I would like to confront the friend but I will break a confidence if I do. I promised the person who told me I wouldn’t say a word.

silverlining48 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:22:22

While i perfectly understand why you feel let down, this person is a counsellor @nd may have been asked for support by her colleague which possibly put her in a difficult position.

I suppose it might depend on the sort of complaint which instigated all this. Might she have seen it as being unfair?

You are clearly upset, but might it be an idea to speak with her?

silverlining48 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:23:10

Oh, taking too long and your post overtook mine Emma.

seadragon Tue 30-Jul-19 10:26:13

Would a general session for the whole team on professional boundaries and the difference between confidentiality and secrecy/power! at some time in the not too distant future be too obvious?

jaylucy Tue 30-Jul-19 10:27:14

In her mind, she was doing her job by supporting the other employee but as you are very much involved, she should have not .
I know to my cost, how convoluted employee relations can get in the healthcare system - it is not as supportive as it should be and there is always someone ready to stab you in the back.
I assume you must be in at least a team leader position, if not managerial and it could well turn into a minefield if you are not careful. If you say to your "friend" that you are very disappointed in her actions and that she stepped over the line with her support of the employee, you may find it ends up either as disciplinary for this "friend" or even worse for yourself. Away from work, I'd certainly steer away from any further time spent with this person. If they wonder why, just tell them that you felt that her actions were inappropriate under the circumstances and how let down you feel. The only good thing is that her contract is temporary so after that , you need have no contact with her at all !

GabriellaG54 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:30:02

Do you expect your friend (because of the fact that you offered her a very lucrative position) to always side with you or, is she allowed to listen to other colleagues and be impartial?

I would think it entirely wrong for you to curtail her impartiality simply because she is a friend or do you seriously think she 'owes you?

BradfordLass72 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:31:53

This lady doesn't actually owe you anything really, does she? Even if you did facilitate her getting the job, she got it on merit.

Did you know beforehand that she was "a person with no loyalty, loves drama and gossip"? After all, you've worked with her before.

She surely has a right to be friendly to whomsoever she wants? And also, as a friend and your clinic's team Counsellor, to advise a colleague how to write an official letter to you about disciplinary action which must have been distressing to the woman disciplined.

I actually don't see what is wrong with that.
Especially as she gave you the opportunity to speak about the issue and you turned it down.

I don't know why she should not, "feel special when people seek her out for advice" - that's her job as a Counsellor, isn't it? I'm assuming you feel special when you have helped someone - and why not?

You expected her to be loyal only to you and not the other members of the team and especially not to support someone whom you were disciplining.
But I still don't quite understand why you expected this. You cannot dictate to people whom they like or to whom they must be loyal and supportive.

Happilyretired123 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:34:16

I can understand your hurt. A similar thing happened to me when I was at work. It is upsetting when someone you considered a friend proves not to be.
Unfortunately some people become toxic in the work place as “stirrers”.
I think you are taking the right approach-remain professional but put distance between you personally, and do not trust her.

Craicon Tue 30-Jul-19 10:35:25

I can’t believe that you contacted an ex colleague and offered her the job! Aren’t there formal procedures in place that you’re supposed to follow when recruiting?
A good manager treats all staff equally and doesn’t have favourites.
I think you overstepped the boundaries when you recruited her so I can’t help feeling Karma has bitten you on the bum. confused

FC61 Tue 30-Jul-19 10:37:18

That’s so horrible ! You’re doing the right thing to cut her off personally , no explanations, and tell her she knows why if she’s daft enough to ask why you withdrew. Some people are just built like it. It’s like the crocodile who came up in court for biting a mans leg off. The judge asked why did you do it? The crocodile looked baffled and said ‘because I’m a crocodile’.