Business relationships and friends

So in the past weeks I’ve been promoting the idea of a brick and mortar place for a fledgling business. My friend (let’s just call him Joe) got me jacked on this idea, got my gears turning, and wanted to be “partners” in the endeavor. I go through the steps of setting up an appointment with a realtor for the property that would suit, distribute emails / calendar invites, coordinate things, do every bit of the work, and the day comes to go visit this place. Joe, and another less interested party are no shows, and they don’t contact me beforehand. So I’m standing in this empty place with the realtor looking like a moron.

So Joe is/was a friend of over ten years. What am I to make of this? Is it a big deal? Should I remain friends with this person?

Have you had a similar experience with a business partner who was also a friend?

Happy Friday!

“Contracts are not made for good times, but for bad times.”

Everyone hears that from me now, whether family, friends or business partners.

It’s never hit me as hard as it has you, but it’s beyond annoying even in the “smaller”.

Everyone deserves a second chance. For me that would mean asking him one last time what good reasons he had. And there aren’t very many that I would accept in today’s digital age where you can still cancel an appointment on your deathbed ;-).

If Joe is called GP in real life, I would sever all contact immediately.

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All alarms ring, red lights flashing. If ‘Joe’ cannot offer a sound explanation, backed by evidence, drop working with the individual. This is no statement about friendship, just about doing business.

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It is a HUGE deal. Maybe remain friends but never mix business again. Other than an accident, Fire, eartqueake or similar, dont accept excuses on business. Having the precedent, it can become an habit.

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If I may add a personal experience. I worked for years with a company who’s owner and CEO I considered being a friend. The individual was however difficult to deal with in the workplace. Keyword is grandiose narcissist.
At some point the person accused me of having attacked them personally while I was talking about a process that didn’t work well and needed improvement (guess who had defined the process).
All happened on a Friday, the person made no effort to talk with me and as result I handed in my resignation on Monday. Some 4 weeks later when I handed over the keys, the person invited me to a farewell lunch with him and the team. I declined because it is inappropriate to me to sit down for a meal with someone who issued such a grave accusation and maintains it. I also suspected that this was a face-saving exercise towards his team. In the wider context all staff, except one person, had left the company until the end of the year.
It is another example of a company that is not decades old having an ex-staff list much longer than the present-staff list.

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I know, right?
And my biggest problem with this whole mess is that I think that it tells me what Joe thinks of me as a person. I think that this shows that Joe does not respect me, and does not value my time or my friendship.

You could come to conclusions once you’ve heard what is provided as an explanation. If no sound explanation is provided, then it is self-explanatory.

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it depends.

if this is Joe, then you are right

if this is Joe, then I would make an exception again.

But only if he can explain why his phone battery died before the accident.

Sorry but he kicked in your ass and fucked you up and you are asking what? If that wasn’t on purpose? Or what? I can’t get it. He was forgetting about you and I would not speak again with that person and that’s it. So fast, so simple.

Years ago my wife got in business with a co-worker/friend of hers. It went swimmingly, until it didn’t. She seemingly wanted more control and wouldn’t let my wife branch out into other areas/do things around the business. My wife cut ties with her and the business (which was just starting to take off for a “side hustle”) and we haven’t spoken to that person for about 6 years. It’s a shame but that’s just sometimes how it goes.

My lesson was never mix business and personal relationships where possible but if it does happen you’re likely to ruin the personal relationship if the business relationship fails.

In your case, I’d trust that he had a good reason to no-show but also verify that he wasn’t trying to simply use you.

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In Germany, there is hardly anything worse in business than missing an appointment without an excuse.

You are already committing sacrilege here if you are just a few minutes late. That’s always been the case, but the only thing that’s changed with cell phones is that it’s now even more inexcusable not to call ahead.

Of course there are exceptions such as force majeure. But that’s also part of the problem, if someone doesn’t show up in this country, everyone worries that something bad has happened to the person.

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About excuses after missing an important appointment:

This movie would end slightly different in good old Germany, but you know that :slight_smile:

My very personal ranking of good comedy nations:
1 United Kingdom
2 France
3 Unites States
. Germany

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Very true. Germany is the only country that has even managed to destroy French Louis de Funès films via dubbing. It has always been a mystery to me how his films could be so successful in Germany. 99 percent of the linguistic jokes and subtleties were destroyed. I have one explication: the translators didn’t get the French sense of humor.

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Is there such a thing as “A German sense of humour” ?

I cant say I’ve ever been witness to it

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Some humour simply can’t be adequately translated into a different language.
Example: ‘Les fou rires’ in Louis de Funes’ film with its double meaning just can’t be translated.
But I think the translators did a decent job within the limits of what is possible.

Humour has to be one of the hardest things to translate as it relies on cultural clues that unless those are also somehow “translated” wont make sense to non-native speakers & residents

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In the US missing something big like that wouldn’t be super tolerated. I just know my personality and I’d end up taking it on the chin and still dealing with that person BUT that’s me to a fault.

I’ve been in business with folks I consider friends

But cant say I’ve ever had any of them stand me up like this

I’d certainly ask for an explanation esp since its so easy to text or call and say “hey something happened and I wont be there”

Depending on the explanation I may or may not continue to involve them in the business
Its harder to exclude them if there are contracts etc already in place

but I would give them a chance to explain and decide from there

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