Office Politics 101: Neither a lender nor borrower be

A co-worker borrowed money and won’t pay it back. What should I do?

Q: A co-worker in another office borrowed $500 from me a few months ago.  I’ve Emailed him and left messages a number of times but I’ve heard nothing.  I’d like the money back right away.  What can I do?

A: Your situation is unfortunately not that uncommon.  It would be more accurate, I think, to make the point that you made the loan rather than stressing he borrowed it.  It was your decision.

My guess is that he made a rather dramatic appeal to you – perhaps based on some personal or family tragedy – and promised to pay you back in a matter of days.

The months have passed and now you regret lending him the money even though your motives were honorable, even admirable.  You may even be wondering whether he fabricated his plea in order to persuade you to make the loan.

You might be surprised to learn that he could have convinced others in the company to provide similar financial support although, even if true, it obviously would provide little comfort for you.

You’ll need to be convincing in making your appeal to collect your money.  He must pay his mortgage or rent to stay in his home, and is obliged to keep up with his monthly utilities.  His lifestyle, however, will not change if he fails to pay you back.

Emails, text messages and phone calls will not influence him. (“Delete” is a very easy button to press.)  You must meet him in person at the earliest opportunity.

Plan to drop by his office unannounced as he almost certainly will feel uncomfortable meeting you.  A colleague may informally tell you when he is available.

Your presence – your body language, tone of voice and eye contact – will have a significant impact on persuading him that he must pay you back immediately.

Professional collectors will often employ silence – noticeable gaps between appeals – as a technique to menace errant borrowers; you may also use this technique to capture his attention.

Give him the opportunity to explain but request the full amount.  Allowing him to “think about it” or “get back to you,” should not be acceptable.  Your message: he can make things right only be paying back the loan immediately.

You’ll need to be forceful and even uncharacteristically aggressive to collect your money.  Show him a measure of respect but ensure your meeting is successful through persuasive body language and a cogent demand for full payment.

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life here.

 

Just Posted

Bizarre Review: Fighting with my Family packs a punch

Every now and then, a movie preview catches my eye, and I… Continue reading

Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Southeast Fire District

The prohibition will take effect at noon on Wednesday, June 12

Editorial: We’re already ambassadors to our community

There are many ways to spend your extra time in Golden. Have… Continue reading

Data shows nine years of Tourism Golden growth

Tourism Golden has seen its ninth consecutive year of substantial growth in… Continue reading

Protecting small mammals after logging near Golden

A team of biologists are keeping an eye on small mammals in… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read