Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q:Half a year ago, we bought an apartment which needed major renovations. We hired a window man, who came recommended, to change the shutters and windows in the whole apartment, but were disappointed with his work. Despite my constant reminders, he hasn’t turned up to finish and mend his mistakes. This week, he sent a young couple to my house to check out his work. I was shocked that though he knows I’m angry with him, he’s sending potential customers. Unfortunately, I had to tell them the truth: that I was highly disappointed, and that he never showed up for the finishing touches. Was I indeed permitted to share my negative experience with the young couple?

A:In your query, you didn’t specify what the worker left undone. It is common for workers to leave finishing touches for some later date. Such a situation would therefore leave no room for anger and there would be no leniency for passing on the negativity and complaints to others, even if with a constructive purpose in mind.

From your account, it seems that the worker didn’t do his work properly and was unwilling to correct his mistakes. (These points should be analyzed well with advice of knowledgeable parties.) If it turns out that your complaint is justified, then the fact that the worker sent potential customers to check out his work may be proof that he doesn’t understand that his work ethics are unacceptable, and that he is a shallow person with no responsibility.

If the above is correct, it is permissible to divulge a minimum amount of his mistakes and slapdash attitude in correcting them, in accordance with the conditions for lashon hara l’toeles.