Problem Employee is Also A Problem Housemate!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about housemate without a job: I am afraid that he will never get hired again.

I have a friend who has a problem with every employer he has ever worked with. I suspect he has the Peter Pan Syndrome. He cannot get along with others, does not have any friends and is lazy, (among other things. He recently got laid off/job elimation. (Right!) I think that this person has a problem with anyone he considers a threat. He has been putting out fliers for jobs for quite a while. I am afraid that he will never get hired again. (Peter Pan Syndrome is a person who will not grow up, accept responsibility of any kind,is lazy, overweight, and unkempt, etc.) I need to know this soon so I will not end up paying his bills or mortgage, and remove myself from the house before he loses it. I am ex-military and it is hard for me to deal with him!

Signed, Want Out

This site focuses on workplace issues rather than personal ones at home. But, the book on the Peter Pan Syndrome has been used to explain some employee problems, as you mentioned. Work problems have an effect on home problems and vice versa.The book about the “Peter Pan Syndrome’ is not a scientific one, but as a pop-psychology analogy about some men, it certainly caught the imagination and interest of readers–especially female readers.

Whether or not your friend should be labeled in that way is not the real issue. The issue is that you are afraid he won’t get another job, and he apparently acts some of the same ways at home that he acts at work…and you’re tired of that.You know what you want to do. You want to get away from this person who seems to be very ineffective in his work relationships and apparently not effective in his friendships either. If you are being accurate in your description of him and you think he will not improve, he probably has problems you can’t solve even if you try to help him.

Your best action is to give him a few weeks to find another housemate, then move on. Have another place already set up so you can’t back out and he can’t talk you out of it.You can say you want to “find yourself” or that you want to be closer to work, family, friends or something else.Keep this in mind, when you’re trying to figure out what to say to him and how to get yourself out of the situation: Paul Simon was correct that there must be 50 ways to deliver bad news like that. The best way is quick, to the point, then leave. Don’t argue, don’t give in and don’t spend too much time explaining. Or, move, then tell him. Rather than trying to find out the cause of your housemate’s problems and assign a label to them, just go with the fact that you want another living situation–and move.Best wishes!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.