I got a phone call today from Kent; he was asking me for advice.
Kent has a successful business for years, and he use sub contractors regularly. Kent’s problem is with Sean; a long time friend who is also one of Kent’s sub contractor. The problem is Sean is very unreliable. Sean would go MIA (missing in action) days at a time, and often time no show at jobs that Kent had setup.
This had been an ongoing problem for years, but Kent always felt bad for Sean. That is because Sean is in a bad marriage; Sean’s wife would disappear days at a time, leaving him home alone with 3 kids. And because Sean had confided in Kent about things, therefore, Kent felt he should do his best to help him. When Sean is a no show, Kent would reschedule. Whenever Sean is MIA and inevitably Sean wouldn’t be able to make his rent, Kent would front Sean the money. The latest was Sean needed money on Christmas Eve day, so Kent gave him a few hundred dollars, and Sean promised to work it off after the holiday!
After the holiday, first day back to work. Sean was MIA again. Kent knew Sean’s rent is due on the 5th, and like clock works Sean called, asking Kent for rent money. But unlike any other time before… this time Kent said, “You come into work first, than we can talk about your rent money!”
Sean was furious at Kent and he screamed out, “How can you do this to me!? They are going to kick us out of our house!” Sean started to justify on his where about, but Kent just told Sean to come into work. So, out of frustration Sean hung up on Kent.
That is when Kent called me, he is very concern about Sean and his 3 children being kick out of their home in the middle of winter. Kent is now feeling guilty about what he had done. “Did I over react? Should I have given him the money…I have the cash!”
I told Kent, “For years by you bailing him out, you are allowing him to NOT deal with the real issues at home. Were you helping to solve the real problem, or were you helping financial just enough to prolong their situation?” The phone got silent and I said, “Do you want to give him the money, because it will make you feel better? Or do you truly believe that is going to help him?”
Would you give Kent a second opinion? What would you say to him?
Imperfect Action is better than No Action
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