Q: One of your co-workers borrows $5 here, $10 there—and never pays you back. What can you say the next time?
A:...if she's higher up on the totem pole?
"Make her aware of her delinquency but defuse the awkwardness for both of you with humor—for example, 'You know, if I were a barmaid, I'd have to cut you off—you're running up quite a tab!'"
— Faith Salie, host of the public radio show Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie
"The co-worker is not being fair or responsible. Get repaid, and then don't loan another cent. Never hesitate to ask for the money back."
— Jack Marshall, president of ProEthics
...if she's lower down—and you know money's tight?
"Her financial situation shouldn't influence your decision-making. Write off the money that you've loaned in the past. Going forward, just say, 'I'm on a budget; sorry I can't help.'"
— Michele Warholic Wetherald, executive director of the American Association of University Women
"I was always told, 'If you loan money to a friend, you'll collect it from an enemy.' I give money only if I can afford never to see it again without resentment. Next time, just apologize to your co-worker for not being able to make the loan."
— Rudy Rasmus, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston
From the February 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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