Miss Manners: How to dodge a job referral request from a sibling

Sisters arguing

Miss Manners: How to dodge a job referral request from a sibling

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: My father has started pressuring me to provide a job referral for my brother at my workplace. I work in management in a specific industry, and my brother is trying to break into that industry.

Unfortunately, my brother does not have the basic skills needed, and he is a very difficult person to work with. He won’t be successful in any role at my workplace.

I’ve been sidestepping the request, but the pressure is mounting. What is the most tactful way to say I won’t be providing a job referral for my brother, while avoiding straining family ties?

GENTLE READER: That we are talking about your brother means both that your father already knows how difficult he can be -- and that he will not accept that as a reason for your washing your hands of the matter.

Miss Manners recommends a constructive distraction instead: Tell your brother what he needs to do to become qualified for the position he seeks. That could be applying to schools for training or finding more experience-appropriate work -- something that, if pursued, really will improve his suitability. But also something that requires activity on his part, which, if neglected, will let you off the hook.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)



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