Irked at scold from her brother, the boss
DEAR AMY: I'm a part-time employee for my brother's small business. He recently offered me a new full-time position in the office. I get along with everyone at the company. One employee and I have become friends. We're both women, about the same age, and have a lot in common. I received an email from my brother reprimanding me for talking with her for longer than he felt was appropriate. He added up the time we spent talking on a particular day and said we spent an hour conversing. He asked me not to make a habit of it. It bothers me that I need to be told how to act with someone and that he did so in an email several days later. I doubt he mentioned anything to the other employee, because it's easier for him to direct his anger at me. I agree that on that particular day it was an hourlong conversation, but we were discussing the recent school shooting. I haven't responded to his email. I don't want to make him sound like a jerk, and I don't want to upset my co-worker.Social Sister
DEAR SISTER: It can be challenging to work for family members, especially if you don't recognize who's the boss. Think of your brother as your employer: I think it's reasonable for an employer to ask an employee to curb time-spending behavior that he has observed at the office. When you spend an hour talking to a fellow employee, your brother loses two hours of productivity -- yours and the other employee's. Assume he is trying to lay out his expectations with clarity before you start. This saves both of you the embarrassment of having him call you on the carpet while at work.
If you don't think you can behave professionally and accept your brother's position as your boss, you should not work for him. Acknowledge the special challenge of working for him.
You don't need to discuss this with your friend at work.