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Dear Ask The Black Man,

I have a friend that I’ve  been close to for about 15 years. I actually considered him a brother to me. He had a business with a few other people that would help him out with. A situation was worked out in which his company would pay me as an independent contractor.

Things were cool at the beginning but then I was not getting paid on the regular like I was before. I was owed about $3,000 dollars. I know the company was not making a lot of money but I still felt I should have been getting paid. I spoke to my friend about it and he said that he would work on getting it resolved. Time went on and it still was not resolved. I sat down with him again and he explained it was a rough time overall with the business and with him personally, but he would work it out even if it came out of his own pocket doing monthly payments.

A few months passed and I was sent a minimal amount of money that I did not feel acceptable so I rejected it. I was really hurt by this whole situation so I stopped speaking to him and decided to sue him.

We still do not speak and I do miss our friendship. Did I do the right thing?

Aaron

The Black Man:

Hi Aaron,

Mixing business with friendship can wind up getting really sticky. It is unfortunate that it had to get to this point. I can’t say that you were right or wrong in this circumstance. It just depends on which lens you are looking at the situation through and what means more to you. If you are looking it from strictly a business perspective then if he did not honor your agreement you had a valid case in doing so. My question to you is did you just sue him or did you sue the company or all parties involved? If you just solely sued him then I feel that was not the proper thing to do. You should have sued the company or all of the parties involved. The agreement was not solely with your friend even though it seems like he was the person you knew the best.

If you are looking at the situation through the lens of a friend, you would have to weigh what meant more to you, your friendship with him or getting paid the money. Three thousand dollars is a substantial amount of money but was it worth losing a friend? He did say he was going through some issues so that is something to think about. I feel that materialistic items and money can be replaced but good friends and family can not.

You have to think about what meant more to you. If getting money meant more to you than dealing with a bad  situation then you can say that you made the right decision for you. If not then you may have to rethink the actions you took.

Lastly, even through tough times if you guys are true friends you guys will speak again at some point.

That’s my 99 Cents Worth on the situation.

TBM

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