The Help Desk: don't slag me, broseph

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Dear Cienna,

My friend wants to apply for a job at my bookstore and he keeps asking me to talk him up to the managers. My friend is kind of a mess — he does a lot of drugs and he’s a little handsy when he’s drunk. But I don’t want to shit talk him to my bosses, because that seems low, and it might get back to me somehow. Is it worse to flag his application as a no-go, or should I accidentally “lose” his application? Or should I just hope his uncouthness comes through in an interview?

Dean, Renton

Dear Dean,

I have a friend who, when drunk, routinely asks people questions from the New York Times’s 36 questions to fall in love to see if he can trick someone into loving him. Does that make him a bad person? Maybe! Does it make him unfit to execute his job as a seasoned mid-level government employee whose lust for life incrementally diminishes with each passing day? Nope! And who doesn’t like drugs? Did you know that fish antibiotics are virtually indistinguishable from human antibiotics once you adjust the dose by about 1,000 percent?

Perhaps your concerns about your friend are legitimate or perhaps you are being a fussy square. Here’s how you tell for sure: If your friend is a mess at his current job — if he consistently misses work or gets drunk or high on the job — tell him, “It would be cool to work with you but I love my job and can’t recommend you until you get your shit together.”

If your friend is an off-duty mess but publicly pulls himself together — what I call a bolo’d shit show — then it’s mostly none of your business how he spends his free time*. Leave his application alone and if your boss asks about him, answer honestly about his skills and personality (he is your friend) and let him earn the job on his own merits.