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Can you put in a good word?

How to deal with feuding coworkers

Happy Friday, friends! If I had a nickel for every time someone called me “Rob” in an email, I would have retired at 25. And I definitely would have enough nickels to front tonight’s happy hour tab—margs on Rob!

Today’s jam: This year, “Where Is The Love?” turns 20 years old. How is it that I can still remember all of the lyrics to that song that’s nearly old enough to vote but I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday?


So You’re Stuck In the Middle of a Coworker Quarrel

I’m on a three-person team. One person I work with daily, and the other I work with monthly. I get along with both of them, but they hate each other. Upper management has been involved, but all they do is yell at them to get along (zero conflict resolution), so I feel caught in the middle. Any advice?—K.

My advice is short and sweet: Do not get involved.

It’s one thing to break up, say, a WrestleMania-style throw-down between your cousins when you’re 13—that’s your responsibility. But it’s probably (read: definitely) not your responsibility to do the same for two grown adults in the workplace…I’m betting “play referee” wasn’t in your job description.

So don’t get involved. Shut down any gossip your coworkers may drag you into, and hit ’em with the old…

And if they won’t leave you out of it? Take it up with management (again) or run it up the ladder to HR. Let them know that your teammates’ relationship is making you uncomfortable and getting in the way of your work.

When to Give a Job Referral

I work for a company that many people recognize from grocery stores. I constantly have friends, acquaintances, and strangers reaching out and asking for a referral. I’m happy to refer someone if they have relevant work experience, but what do I do if I have a friend who’s interested in a role that they have zero experience for? —R.

Sometimes it’s really all about who you know. Like when you asked your friend for a Rent the Runway referral code to get 40% off. But referrals in the professional world can be a little bit trickier.

Here’s my advice if…

  1. Your good friend texts you asking if you can “put in a good word.”

  2. A high school acquaintance starts off a LinkedIn message with “Hey, long time no see!”

For a friend: Once, a friend asked me to refer them for a position at my company for which they had pretty much…none…of the advanced skills required for the specific role.

  • Instead of forwarding their résumé on to HR knowing they’d receive a rejection email, I was honest with them right off the bat.

  • I said something like this to follow-up: “I don’t think this is the perfect position for you, but I’ll keep an eye out for something better suited! Also drinks soon?”

For a stranger: In this wild labor market, some job seekers shoot their shot by reaching out to random employees at the desired company (not unlike me DM’ing Shania Twain on Instagram asking for life advice).

  • If they’re qualified: Forward their résumé to HR and let them take it from there. If your company has referral bonuses, you may have just earned yourself a nice chunk of change.

  • If they’re not fit for the role: Tell them to apply on your company’s website, and let them know that someone will reach out if it’s a match.

Got a Q for me to A? Submit yours here.

Things to Slack your work besties

…after getting a massage on your lunch break.

Still thinking about the time I typed “fart” instead of “art” in an email to my company’s full exec team. 🫠 Best-selling author Roxane Gay gives pretty solid advice for cringey scenarios just like that in her New York Times column, Work Friend.

Those classroom carpets with towns on them always made me feel like I was living in The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Reply to this email and let me know which of these 2000s classics makes you the most nostalgic.

Definitely not scroll TikTok pretending to be busy at work…

From the executive producer of Girls, the TV series Single Drunk Female tells the story of a millennial navigating life after rehab. Mixing comedy with real-life situations, it opens our eyes to the struggle of addiction in an authentic, raw, and hilarious way.

That’s it for today! Hope you’re able to forget about work for the weekend and do what makes you happy. See you on Monday!



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