To fire a friend – literally

  Resolving Interpersonal Conflict (Post #2)

Lauren at People's Revolution

Lauren Conrad from the tv-show "The Hills", at People's Revolution.

When you try to make personal relationships professional it can sometimes result in an interpersonal conflict. The story I’m about to tell you is an example of such a conflict caused by individual differences in seriousness at the workplace and level of ambitions. This story also exemplifies how a conflict that appears to be between two persons can have more parties involved.

Lauren has an internship at People’s Revolution, a branding and marketing firm. The founder of the company is Kelly Cutrone, and she is Laurens boss. Kelly Cutrone is the toughest boss you can imagine. She is very straight forward, demands a lot from her employees, and DO NOT tolerate mistakes of any kind. Lauren has high ambitions of a career within the fashion industry and is very serious about her job. Therefore she is one of Kelly’s most trusted and appreciated employees.

Stephanie, Laurens friend, asks Lauren if she can get her a job at People’s revolution. Lauren is not sure if it’s a good idea because she’s afraid that Stephanie will be too forgetful and make mistakes. Despite this, Lauren decides to see if she can help Stephanie because she wants to be a good friend.

Lauren goes to Kelly’s office and asks her if she can hire Stephanie. Kelly doesn’t think Stephanie is good enough, but agrees to hire her anyways. Kelly makes it very clear that Stephanie will be Laurens responsibility and that Lauren will have to fire her if it appears that Stephanie is not good enough.

When Stephanie starts working at People’s Revolution she spends more time texting and gossiping than she spends working. Lauren tries to make her work more and be serious about the job, but without any success. In the end Lauren has to fire Stephanie.

Besides the individual differences between the two girls concerning ambitions and seriousness at their workplace, a cause to this conflict could be the intensions of Kelly Cutrone. This link is about Kelly Cutrone’s reaction and thoughts concerning the situation:

Lauren Conrad from the Hills (the tv-show from which I got my inspiration)

Lauren Conrad from the Hills (the tv-show from which I got my inspiration)

How do you think this conflict should be solved? And who has the responsibility to solve it?


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8 Responses to To fire a friend – literally

  1. Ms. Lim says:

    Hi Annika, this is a complete and concise post detailing an interpersonal conflict situation. You did a good job describing the conflict and the people involved.

    I would like to hear from your classmates how they would search for a ‘solution’ in this instance, i.e. you may have to ask for feedback from your readers in the form of one question so that they may response appropriately (do refer to the assignment for task).

    Thanks for the sharing!

    • Hi Ms. Lim,

      Thank you for commenting on my post. I have now added the question in the end of the post. I know we talked about how you should not make any changes after publishing a post, but we also talked about how there can be some exceptions from the rule.

      Best regards,

  2. Hi Annika,

    That is a very interesting types of conflict that you shared here. Kudos for finding it!

    I once read a saying that your circles of friends for work need not to be the same as your circles of friends for having fun. This saying really applies to what you have shared here. Seeing from the fact that Lauren brought Stephanie over, Lauren has the lack of skills to differentiate between the two circles of friends. This trait in the future can drag Lauren down, no matter how competent she is in the workplace. And Kelly really understands this weakness that Lauren has, so she allows Stephanie to enter the company.

    Conflicts will arise between Stephanie and Lauren after the send-off process, but depending on the Emotional Quotient that Stephanie has. Her “self management” and her “social awareness” will determine whether she will still accept Lauren as her friend. If Stephanie thinks about it in more depth, Lauren has been a nice friend that she allows Stephanie to enter even when she already knows that Stephanie does not qualify for it. Again, EQ of the related parties will determine the quality and continuity of the relationship.

    • Hi Adi,
      Thank you for commenting with so many details on my post. Generally, I agree that it is good to have different kinds of friends – some at work, some at school, some to party with, some to do sports with, some to shop with, some to talk about personal issues with – but I don’t think it is a necessity to keep them apart. In my opinion, it is possible to have some very close friends that you can do everything with. At least in my case it is. Maybe that’s because my very close friends are very similar to me and because we agree on most issues, at least the most fundamental ones.
      With that said, I don’t think that Lauren should mix a friend like Stephanie with anything that has to do with work – just as you think – I just have different reasons I think.

      Best regards,

  3. Kripa says:

    Hi Annika,

    I really like your choice of story. It’s very interesting to read how mixing professional and personal life could result in conflicts that are difficult to resolve. Besides, you have told your story in an efficient way, clear, concise and complete.

    In this story, I think Stephanie might get upset when her friend, Lauren, would fire her. It would hurt her ego. This would raise misunderstandings between the two friends. I agree with Adi, now, it all depends on the EQ level of the two ladies. If Stephanie has an appreciable EQ, she will definitely understand the reason that made her friend fire her, that is her lack of commitment at work, and would forgive her friend, but, if she lacks the EQ, that is she lacks the “Self Management” particularly, then it is most likely that she will be very angry with Lauren and might never forgive her.

    On the part of Lauren, I think she shouldn’t have hired Stephanie initially when she knew that Stephanie was not good for the job. By mixing personal and professional life she has led herself into a moral dilemma. So, I think it is her responsibility now to tell Stephanie why she had to fire her and have a good consoling talk with her. Here, trying to help a friend hasn’t proved much fruitful for both of them.


    • Hi Kripa,

      Thank you for the commenting so positively on my post:-). I agree that it has not been fruitful for any of the girls, and not for their relationship either, that Lauren asked Kelly to hire Stephanie even though she knew Stephanie wouldn’t be committed enough to fulfill the job.

      Best regards,

  4. Hi Annika!!!!!

    You have come up with a perfect example depicting an apt situation of interpersonal conflict.Lauren is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. In first place, she may be very disappointed for having been forced to fire her very good friend and thereby causing a divide in their very good relationship.Second of all, she has no other option but to obey Kelly.

    I think Lauren must have spoken to Stephanie and explained to her as to what is expected from her in the workplace. Lauren could have motivated her to do her job efficiently . Otherwise , as Kripa suggested she should not have got Stephanie a job in her workplace rather she could have helped her get a job elsewhere .


    • Hi Nivetha,

      Thank you for commenting on my post. I am very glad that you think I have come up with a good example of an interpersonal conflict:-). I agree that Lauren could have done one of the things you suggest. But I also think that Stephanie should have been more serious about the job now that Lauren was so kind to help her get it.

      Best regards,

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