My Best Friend who is also my Colleague made a Big Mistake in office, What should I Do?

1,672 Views Updated: 14 Nov 2017
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My Best Friend who is also my Colleague made a Big Mistake in office, What should I Do?

My Best Friend is also my colleague and teammate at work. She recently made a big error at work, for which she can be sacked! Her mistake caught us a client, but no one else apart from me knows who was behind the problem. Our manager is targetting our whole team and is keen on getting to the bottom of the problem. 

My dilemma is I've been longer in the Organization than her, and I've always been a loyal worker. But, I'm a loyal friend too, who doesn't want to be a snitch, especially on her Best Friend. 

My loyalty towards both my company as well as my friend is giving me a lot of sleepless nights! What would you do in my situation? Would you show loyalty towards your company or your friend? Should I report it or hide it?

(Feature Image Courtesy: Chetor)
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Dear Reader,

Thank you for posting your query here. Although the situation you have shared is difficult and complicated, however, here are the possible solutions to overcome this problem.

Like a coin that has two sides, this particular situation also has two sides, and both of them are correct. If you look at from a professional angle, then you must report it. Because when it comes to business, personal relationships stand no chance. To honor your promise towards the company, it is important to report against the person who act has tried to tarnish the image of the firm. However, if you look at it from a friend’s perspective, hiding it is a better solution. Not because you don’t want the bad light to come on your friend, but for a simple reason that you do not want to threaten their existence in the firm.

We, personally feel, that hiding is a better solution to the problem than really reporting it. If you decide to REPORT it, it will have the following consequences on your relationship with the concerned person:

#1. You Will Share A Bad Relation

That’s true! If you report to your boss, you will ruin your equation with your friend. It will lead to animosity between the two and you both will share a negative vibe with each other.

#2. Your Friend May Be Fired

If the mistake is not worth forgiving, the chances are that your boss may fire your friend and you will have to deal with the guilt of the same for the rest of your life.

#3. You Will Be In The Good Books Of Your Boss, Not Your Colleagues

Being absolutely transparent at work is not a good option. If you report it to your boss, you may feature in their good books, but when it comes to colleagues, you may become the least favored one among them. This is because they would feel insecure in your presence and may feel that you may inform the boss everything.

#4. You Will Be Targeted

Who doesn’t make mistakes? As human beings, we all make mistakes in life. However, if you report the mistake of someone’s to your boss, be prepared to face the brunt when you commit a mistake as no one will leave an opportunity to report ill about you.

On the contrary, if you HIDE the mistake committed by your mistake, here’s what is going to happen:

#1. You Will Cherish A Friendship AT Work

If you chose to be by your friend’s side and not be a boss’ slave, you would be surrounded by friends who will also stand by you when you are in a critical situation. More than colleagues, they would value you as a family.

#2. You Can Tell Them They Were Wrong & Help Them Improve

So what if you covered for them, you are not encouraging them to repeat the mistake they made. Instead, by putting a sheet on their wrongs, you are giving them an opportunity to move over it and learn from the past mistakes so that the same mistake is not repeated. That way, you will not only help them in the current situation but guide them towards a better tomorrow.

#3. You Can Save Their Reputation At Work

By hiding the error committed by your friend, you are protecting their image at work. People will not doubt their credibility and will continue to value their work.

Mistakes are a common part of life. It’s all up to you how you wish to tackle them. We hope the information we provided above is of some use to you. Keep posting queries to us, and we will be happy to help.

Thanking You,

Team AskOpinion

(Image Courtesy: 1. She Knows, 2. The Balance, 3. Slate Magazine, 4. Nerd Wallet)

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Why would I report it? If I am a good friend, I will stand by my best friend and help them come out of the situation with flying colors instead of reporting it to the seniors. We all make mistakes and its fine. Even if the blunder is too big, I will look for ways to sober down the chaos and then look for a solution to the problem. If this sounds theoretical, let me share an incident with you that recently happened at my workplace. My best friend, who also happens to be my colleague, had to prepare a pitch for a company. She worked really hard on it and spent the entire night in making the proposal that would definitely fetch the brand to her company. The next morning, when the time came to send the proposal to the client, she did not check the file she was sharing and hit the send button with the wrong quotations and insufficient information. More so, the work she had completed by staying up at night also got wiped away as she forgot to save the file, but luckily she did not reveal this information to the seniors. The clients were fuming in anger over the act of negligence and unprofessional attitude and refused to give her any further time to make amendments and send the new file. This cost the company a huge loss, and my boss was furious, yelling from the lungs. So, instead of telling my seniors the truth, My best friend and I played along and told them that due to human error, my friend must have sent the wrong file, and she has a copy of the one with the amendments.  But since the clients are not listening to a word, she cannot do anything. Obviously, it was a gamble that we played but top our luck, we survived the lie. Our boss seemed quite convinced with our version and started to believe that the client is at fault. Well, it worked for us.  Yes, we did something wrong as workers of a company, but as a friend, I guess I did the right thing by supporting my friend in and out. This is something I will never forget!

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It's only human to make mistakes! There is another aspect to the situation that maybe you are not thinking about. Rather than reporting it or hiding it, help your friend become a better human by admitting to her mistake herself. If she is your best friend, then she will definitely listen to you and you can maybe guide her to admit her mistake to the manager. Friendship is not just about hiding your friends' mistakes but help them grow as well. Doesn't sound that much better than being an office snitch, going behind your friends back, and living with the guilt of choosing between your friend and your loyalty. Well, weigh your options against these 3 huge burdens, and you will realise your path.

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I believe there shouldn’t be any confusion in such a situation. I understand that professionalism is a thing and one should always be loyal towards the organization one has been working for long but the person who has made a blunder is your best friend. You must have spent some really special moments with each other. He or she must have been with you in your troubling times. Now, when such a situation has risen in office and your best friend is involved in it the best you should do is advise him or her to be super careful from next time. One can always learn from his or her mistake. However, if you tell your boss about this then your best friend might just have to lose the job which will leave you with a deep sense of guilt and regret.  Instead of reporting the incident to your boss, the better option would be to tell your friend about his or her mistakes very objectively in a professional manner. This way your best friend will be obliged to you. He or she will also try hard to become a better professional keeping the favor you have done for them in mind.

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