General Question

janbb's avatar

Should I tell her about the job?

Asked by janbb (58609points) September 30th, 2014

A friend of a friend is looking for part time work and has worked in an academic library. I’m not crazy about her; I find her dull and a bit overbearing. I’m not sure but I don’t think she’s desperate for money. She had said there were no jobs posted for my college and I confirmed that but have now realized that some hourly positions in the library may be posted soon. I don’t really care to work with her but I guess in a moral sense I should tell her about the job. I see her a lot on the outside since she is often at things with my other friend. What do you think?

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45 Answers

jca's avatar

I would tell her.

If you don’t tell her and she finds out there were positions that you didn’t make her aware of, her feelings may be hurt. If she does get the job, which, in this economy, might be a long shot anyway, nothing says you have to spend a lot of free time with her. There are ways of distancing yourself at work and in your free time.

Cupcake's avatar

Are you involved in hiring? Is she qualified? Is she someone you would hire? Would she interview well? Would she be working with you? Is that tolerable to you? Do you have concerns about her ability/potential work performance?

I don’t know the answers to those questions yet… but I don’t think you have a moral obligation here.

janbb's avatar

I’m not involved in hiring at all and I wouldn’t recommend her – more because I did that once and it came back to bite me. I do think she would probably be competent in the job and qualified. I don’t know how much overlap there would be with my hours.

In terms of distancing myself from her, she is often at things with the friend I am closer to, so it is hard for me to distance myself from her in real life.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You want to see her both socially and at work? Not from how you describe things.

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso I don’t but it is an ethical question for me.

canidmajor's avatar

I don’t think you have a moral obligation to tell her, it could come back to bite you in so many ways. If she gets a job without your input on any level, no one can blame you if it doesn’t work out.
This is about your place of business. “Friend of a friend” considerations have no place here, unless you feel she would be an outstanding asset to your library.

jca's avatar

I don’t think and was not saying you have a moral obligation.

I think you can tell her about the job, and let her know right off the bat that you don’t do references, letters or anything else like that. When I said you can distance yourself, I meant you can distance yourself like if she is looking to have lunch together, hang out on breaks together. This is all, IMHO, unlikely to be an issue at all because as I said, in this economy, the likelihood of her being the most qualified candidate is probably slim to none.

janbb's avatar

@jca I didn’t think you were, that is my issue. And yes, I see what you are saying about distancing but it is a smallish place.

gailcalled's avatar

If she is competent and qualified, might she discover on her own when the hourly positions get posted, if they do? Since it is not yet clear that the job (s) exist(s), you have nothing factual to tell her.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled But I did tell her that I thought there was a hiring freeze on. Actually, a colleague said the director was interviewing today so either it had been posted or something else. Maybe what I’ll say is just that she should keep checking as jobs may come up from time to time.

gailcalled's avatar

Good and honorable compromise, Jan.

jca's avatar

To me, if this girl is part of your circle of friends, you’d not want to be in a position where they all find out there were jobs that you didn’t tell the girl about, knowing she is looking. That’s just me. Transparency and then step back.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled But @janbb was an honorable man.

@jca But it looks like there isn’t anything posted now if he is interviewing already. I’ll check with the department chair though.

jca's avatar

As @gailcalled said, if there’s nothing posted, there’s nothing to tell. Another option is you could tell her the site that the jobs are posted on and leave it at that.

janbb's avatar

@jca I think that’s what I was saying I was going to do. In any case, she has said that she has looked at the listings but didn’t see anything posted.

CWOTUS's avatar

If your conscience would bother you otherwise, then by all means tell your friend (who can tell her friend) about the possible, future job opening/s.

At the same time, talk to the person who may be doing the hiring, and give that person a very brief, factual “recommendation” for the unwanted friend’s friend:
“Wellll… I suppose she’d be competent, anyway… maybe.” If a raised eyebrow, discreet cough and shuffling feet are also necessary, then you work for idiots.

dappled_leaves's avatar

” I’m not crazy about her; I find her dull and a bit overbearing.”

I wouldn’t.

longgone's avatar

No. I think, with friends of friends, there are very few special obligations. I would do nothing except, possibly, ask the mutual friend about her dull aquaintance’s financial situation. Only if you think you could do so discreetly, of course.

jca's avatar

@longgone: I am at a loss as to why @janbb would be inquiring into the dull aquaintance’s financial situation?

longgone's avatar

^ I think it’s sweet of @janbb to consider telling DA (dull aquaintance) about the job. Then again, I also think she should be able to enjoy said job, without DA spoiling it for her.

The decision to not tell DA may be easier if @janbb can be sure she isn’t preventing someone from obtaining a much-needed job.

gailcalled's avatar

I’m not sure but I don’t think she’s desperate for money. In original question.

longgone's avatar

^ That sentence is what made me think the financial situation may be important to @janbb. It would be, to me, too.

janbb's avatar

@longgone Yes, in terms of morality, it is to me but I have no sure way of asking.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Tell her. Just putting ourselves in another’s position helps clear the dilemma. If Iwere in need I would appreciate someone alerting me to an opening. As was said above, you can keep a distance if need be.

longgone's avatar

@janbb Yes, I can imagine that could be tricky.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If you tell her about the job, it’s quite likely she will ask you to provide a reference for her or put in a recommendation. It sounds as though you wouldn’t want to do that AND you don’t really want to work with her.

I’d just leave it. If she finds out about the jobs, so be it. You don’t have to tell her about the work.

janbb's avatar

It doesn’t seem clear at all at this point what the status is of new jobs; I think I will just suggest that she keep checking the ads.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t believe that you have an obligation to tell her.

janbb's avatar

Well, I saw her tonight and just said she should keep checking the listings. As I’ve said, it’s not clear to me if they are posting a position or not so I feel I’ve fulfilled my moral responsibilities.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit‘s thinking is why I made my suggestion in the way that I did: With the notification about a potential job opening coming from a mutual friend, there’s less likelihood of @janbb being asked to provide a real recommendation. So the conscience salve would be “I let her find out about the potential job opening”. But the saving to @janbb‘s own workplace sanity would be the lukewarm / cool informal “recommendation” to her employer that “I can’t actually speak against this person, but I’m not going to speak for her, either.”

And on the outside chance that she is asked to write a recommendation, then it would be time to either man up (if women do that), and flat out say, “No, I don’t want to work with you,” or be sneaky, write a glowing recommendation, and then sabotage it informally with the boss through the back channel. But once on this application track, the applicant may choose to look for the same type of work elsewhere, and the good recommendation from @janbb then might actually help her get that job that she wants… somewhere else.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think I’d feel worse about sabotaging her chances of getting a job than I would about neglecting to tell her about a job.

Plus, @janbb might be very assertive and quite content to seek out the people doing the hiring and providing an alternative view to a recommendation but I think doing so could reflect negatively on her own reputation. As the person hiring, while I might appreciate the additional advice, I might see the person giving me two accounts as sneaky and lacking integrity.

The person might never ask for a recommendation/reference. @janbb would have more sense of whether that’s likely to happen. However, I work for a large organisation and unless it’s a few hours work, all applicants need to provide references. The process calls for applicants to formally list referees and HR sends out a form that has to be completed by the referee. If @janbb were listed as a referee, she’d then have to give a bad reference. There wouldn’t be an opportunity to go through the back door and sabotage the process.

Plus, sometimes people come to me and ask for a written reference they can attach to their application in addition to their formal referees. If I don’t rate the person, I’m put in a situation where I either have to refuse their request or give a mediocre reference. Either can be awkward, but it’s better than a good reference circulating with my name on for a person I don’t rate.

Hence, if I don’t want to work with someone, I just wouldn’t tell them about an upcoming job. If they find it themselves, so be it but I don’t need the awkwardness of dealing with requests for references etc. if I can avoid it.

Here2_4's avatar

If she’s dull, I’m thinking quiet, and not very excitable. Maybe that doesn’t make for much of a friendship, but it sounds good for a library. You don’t want someone who can;t stop singing for a job like that. She could use the money? Do tell her. Let things work out or not. Who knows, maybe she will be more interesting after the ongoing exposure to culture and intellect.

janbb's avatar

@Here2_4 No, she’s talkative but I just don’t find her interesting.

@Earthbound_Misfit I have already solved the problem of a recommendation request if it were to come up. I would tell her that I recommended someone for a job here once and my boss got reamed out by the VP for recommending an unqualified person so I won’t do it any more.

Anyway, as I’ve said above, there doesn’t seem to be a job posted and after talking to her, it doesn’t seem like she is looking here in particular. I feel comfortable now with what I told her about keeping looking to see if things open up.

janbb's avatar

BTW, the above is true and not a fabrication. I would not give anyone a recommendation now where I work because of that event.

Stinley's avatar

You could also add that you don’t really look at the jobs webpage since you are not looking for a job yourself

janbb's avatar

I think I’ve handled it fine now.

CWOTUS's avatar

or finely, if you roll that way

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS Drive safe and eat healthy!

Pachy's avatar

Based on what you say, I say do not feel obligated to tell her.

janbb's avatar

Ran into her today and she asked me what the correct web site for the college is. She had been looking at the wrong site. I told her the right one. Dang.

janbb's avatar

Yeah – and I just saw the two library positions are posted. Well, she’s not terrible and if she gets a job, I’ll deal.

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