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Giving an old coworker a reference

Yesterday, out of the blue, a former coworker called to get our manager's email address to send a reference form to. After catching up for a few minutes, he asked if I would give him a reference as well. Without thinking I said yes.

After a while I got to thinking - first, I don't particularly like this person. He's a lazy worker, is manipulative and a gossip monger and personally caused me job difficulties. Second, I don't even think he is that great of a nurse.

This is my question: since I already agreed to give him a reference, should I just suck it up and do it as best as I can without lying, or ignore his request?

Answer Question

Asked by katiemomNY at 10:58 AM on Jun. 19, 2011 in Money & Work

Level 25 (24,429 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • DO IT bosses are soooooooo bad when they can't get promisses done .. you like him or not just be profetional ;) gd luck

    Answer by caramelH at 11:14 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Since you agreed, I would do the best you could without lying...if it even comes down to him needing one.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 11:15 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I would do it; just be as general as possible, but still flattering.

    Answer by beckie66 at 11:16 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Do the best you can without lying. Unless he's abusive or neglects the patients, then I'd say I wouldn't recommend him.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 11:28 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I had this problem when my manager asked my opinion on a person who had worked for us a long time ago, and I had been working there at the time and the manager hadn't. The owner of the company (it was a small, family run place) knew that the girl in question had been gossip-mongering about me when we had worked together. Basically, she was friends with my ex-boyfriend and thought it would be fun to tell co-workers that I was a lesbian....Not true, but it was hurtful for me and I had a lot of problems because of it.
    The fact was, it was 5 years later, she was now married and had a kid, and I hoped she grew up. I never mentioned the personal stuff to the manager, but told her that the former employee had been a very good worker (which she had). After this, the manager discussed it with the owner and he told her about my previous issues with the girl. They were both impressed that I was able to rise above the past.

    Answer by alphamom26 at 11:46 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • You can CONFIRM what he wrote on his application.... job title, length of employment, ect. WITHOUT giving a direct reference. IF they ask for a direct referance tell them you were NOT his supervisor (if this is true) and that you dont feel qualified to answer that question.

    You are not lying... but you did give factual info.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:49 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Oh, and the owner told my manager NOT to hire the girl back, based on the incidents with me in the past. He always hated gossiping, especially hurtful, made-up stuff. He personally took the former employee into his office and closed the door. After her interview, she left crying, apologised to me for causing me trouble 5 years ago, and said he had left it up to her and she had decided not to work for us again. Afterward, the owner told me she was lying and he had told her he would never hire her again based on what he knew about her personality. Some people never change, but you have to give them the benefit of the doubt :)

    Answer by alphamom26 at 11:50 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I had someone give my name as a reference before without asking me first, I couldn't believe it when I got the call from the prospective employer. I didn't think highly of the person at all so was stuck right there on the phone trying to figure out how to handle it mid conversation. LOL I just answered what was asked of me and nothing more.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:05 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Do it. Base it on the good facts of the person like if you saw him really good with the elderly or children or something. Find 3 strong points and beat them to are sending him the copy of it right? So if he reads it and not happy he can not use fulfilled your end of the bargain.

    Answer by Jazmineamomma at 1:19 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

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