Asking for a friend: A few months ago my friend learned that his company would be making him redundant so naturally heapplied for a few jobs. It was around Christmas time so there weren't many around.

He got interviews with 2 companies, lets call them Company A and Company B.

He really liked Company A although the pay was a bit below market value he thought the work would be interesting. It was a permanent job. He didn't get the job as he choked at the interview and messed up the programming test.

Company B was a 1 year contract and the money they were offering could only be described as a joke. My friend didn't take those interviews all that seriously but for some reason he got a job offer. As he needed a job he accepted, the plan was he would work with them for around 6 months or so then look for something else.

Here's where it gets really wierd: Company B who was extremely secretive about who their client was up until 2 days before the start date announced that the client was in fact Company A. And the workplace would be the very office where my friend had been interviewed. My friend found this out AFTER he signed up and found himself having very mixed feelings about this.

The day he started at Company A as a contractor from Company B he ran into one of the people who had interviewed him. He was reasonably welcoming and said things to the effect of "doesn't matter how, you're here now, welcome".

The second guy who interviewed him has not acknowledged anything, avoids talking to him and pretty much as been wierd about it. My friend now feels like he is not welcome and is stressing out about being there. He spoke to his manager (different project to what he had interviewed for so different managers) who said "dont worry about the past, you're doing great, look to the future".

He has been considering finding another job but really genuinely enjoys the industry this project belongs to. There is a good chance he could become permanent or get better pay in the future.

He runs into this guy every single day and is reminded of this every single day so the awkwardness doesn't seem to be going away.

What should he do? Any advice? Should he approach the guy who is avoiding him or continue to ignore the elephant in the room? Could he expect any issues in the future as a result of how he got into this company?

  • 3
    I couldn't know, but would guess that Mr. Avoidant was the person that tanked his job opportunity at Company A, and thus they hired a "pro" consultant from Company B which was... the same rejected person, but at contractor rates. In short, this guy (not your friend) is feeling awkward because he's got a big walking, talking reminder of how he barked that someone wasn't good enough, only to be proved against his argument that someone was!
    – Edwin Buck
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 6:24
  • Not only at contractor rates - also while paying him supposedly less than Company A would directly. I would basically terminate immediately - talking LOUD in the office of Company A and walk out telling them that if I work as hooker, I get hooker rates. Yes, burning bridges - there is no sense being agreeable when one is taken advantage of. I would burn down the whole building (so to say - obviously not in physical form).
    – TomTom
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 14:50
  • @TomTom I guess that would be a little extreme, my friend still has bills to pay and money doesn't grow on trees.
    – solarflare
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 23:29
  • @DenizC Actually my father always said Money is lying on the street just most people are too stupid to pick it up. I would rather work a couple of months at McDonalds than being abused like that. But point taken - not everyone is putting himself into the same position I am.
    – TomTom
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 3:56
  • @TomTom ok, my friend was a little melodramatic, "being taken advantage of" means he's getting paid around $10,000 per year less but in return a year with this company will look fantastic on his resume not to mention they will most likely extend his contract at better rates and maybe even offer a permanent position in the future. Did I mention he loves this line of work? Dumping this job and going off to McDonalds is hardly a smart response. In fact, it could be seen as a very juvenile thing to do...
    – solarflare
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


At the very least, the worst case scenario has been avoided: Company A simply refuses to accept your friend - and Company B therefore lets your friend go. Surely, awkwardness is preferable to firing.

One can never completely avoid awkwardness through an entire career - so one needs to deal with it. And the best (and perhaps only) way is simply consistently delivering the goods.

So basically, it seems the problem is that one single person is not immediately positive towards your friend? There may be a multitude of reasons for that. The person may be introvert or the chemistry might just not be there. The bottom line is: That person is not undermining your friend's working experience; your friend is doing that by himself.

Stop fixating on everything having to be perfect; it rarely is. Concentrate on aspects which your friend controls - like actual work performance. That is all one can do to affect others perception of oneself. One can never demand others embrace you whole-heartedly; one can at the very least expect they are civil, which it seems this person actually is.

And finally, this is not (yet) a managerial problem - so don't make it one. It's all in your friend's head and may be resolved by himself.

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