Wednesday, December 14, 2005

References, Giving bad people good

Occasionally you will be called upon to provide a reference for a bad library employee or coworker. Giving a truthful response and illuminating the candidate's shortcomings means that you will continue working with this person indefinitely. No one will every hire them if they know the truth. Fudging a little and making the person sound better than they actually are allows you to pass the loser off to someone else. Always consider your own happiness and opt for the latter strategy.

And on a related note: never trust a reference from a current employer.

9 comments:

Norma said...

What goes around comes around. It's like the Christmas fruitcake, so you might get someone else's leavings.

You should be able to find something good to be able to be truthful about.

Anonymous said...

You should be able to find something good to be able to say and be truthful about ... if you are Julie Andrews.

Some people are anti-social, brain-dead lazy jack-offs who should not be rehired by anyone. But rather, kept in a minimum security prison for the ineffective and possibly congenitally retarded. I should be the warden.

unstricken said...

Must agree with the latter comment. We have a ref librarian (nicknamed "The Dullard" by another colleague) who has been trying to attain escape velocity into management at other libraries for years. Sadly, my all-too-honest boss vouches for him as "well-intentioned," but not "punctual, hard-working, smart, or knowledgeable." So we're stuck with him...probably forever. I'd trade him for some other library's loser at this point.

Sal said...

Related to this post, there's got to be a way to get loser co-workers fired. Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

Anonymous said...

To get a crap colleague fired, I'd say set them up as a library thief. Have several rare, or just expensive books go "missing" and bribe the library assistants to give eye-witness statements to said crap colleague last being seen in the area and "looking shifty"

unstricken said...

Getting someone fired? from a university library? I don't think even catching someone stealing rare books would be enough.

Andrew said...

If the person is not performing there should be mechanisms to facilitate termination. In Australia it can be a lengthy process but generally it can be done.

I believe in being honest with a person requesting I be a referee.

If I dont believe I can give a good one I suggest that they do not use me as a referee.

Giving an untruthful reference is a bad reflection on you and your organization.

It could in some circumstances also come back to bite you legally.

Anonymous said...

Finder, I think this is meant to be FUNNY, not serious advice...

Anonymous said...

I once saw an entire list of references that were technically truthful in reference to bad workers, but didn't sound bad. My favorite, fo the slacker: "You would indeed be fortunate to get this person to work for you." Or for the person who imbibed on the job, "We would often find him loaded with work to do."