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SENSE & SENSITIVITY, A COLUMN BY HARRIETTE COLE

Tell friend the truth about her new workplace

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 12:01 am

Q.: A college friend called to ask my advice about whether she should take a job at a company I used to work for. She left a message on my voicemail saying that she has been out of work for a few years, and when she learned about this job opportunity, she jumped right away. She was offered the job. Because I worked there for a long time, she had the presence of mind to check in with me before making a decision.

I need to call her back, but I'm not sure what to say. I hated the work environment. The staff was really negative, and I thought it was a toxic place. – No Endorsement, Washington, D.C.

A.: Your friend called you because she wanted honest input. That's what you should give.

Speak from your personal experience. Say what you liked and didn't like about working there. Be specific about what you say you hated.

Q. My boyfriend dumped me the day after he learned that I lost my job. I used to make a lot of money, and I always helped him financially. He has several children and works intermittently. I helped take care of the kids and helped him pay for everything, because we were a couple. – Alone, San Francisco

A.: Lick your wounds and erase his phone number from your memory bank. He is a user. Chances are that he showed signs of bad behavior before, but you chose to ignore

Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.