No, actually, I wouldn’t hire them back

Someone out of my past, out of the blue, asked me to serve as a reference. For what, I have no idea.

I’m not really clear why my name would immediately come to mind as a potential cheerleader. I’m guessing that they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

They don’t expect me to be truthful, do they? Or is their perception of their own work/personality/contributions so painfully skewed that they aren’t even considering the fact that someone may NOT think as highly of them as they think of themselves?

When someone leaves a company, it’s easy to refer any future callers to H.R. to confirm employment dates and titles and stuff. But when everyone goes their separate ways, how do I transfer the call across state lines?

I realize that I often get stuck in that “nice guy” trap, that I will do people favors because others helped me when I needed — and maybe didn’t wholly deserve — it. Although there is a part of me that gave that up for lent about four years ago and doesn’t want to look back.

I learned the hard way that one favor always leads to another. And if my heart wasn’t in it? Made it that much more excruciating. Because I didn’t do favors to get them back — I did them so that my phone would stop ringing, in some cases, and because I really wanted to see someone get a leg up, in most other instances.

If I CAN be of assistance, really, there’s no reason NOT to be.

But there’s this hardass part of me now that’s like, nope, don’t refer anyone my way in hopes that I will brag about you. I clearly didn’t think enough of you to maintain any sorts of ties — not that this is necessarily an indicator because I just suck at communicating with people I DO like overall. But I have an inbox full of e-mails on which I need to hit “reply” and quite honestly, they will come first when I get to it.

I don’t know. I always knew days like this would come, when someone who I would never recommend that anyone hire even if the world were coming to an end would look toward me to vouch for them.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m well-versed enough to know that I can veil my distaste in cheerful, well-crafted phrases that won’t get my ass sued. I might not call you a 14-karat fuckup (out loud, anyway), but that you have “creative approaches to integrating a dream world with reality” can mean whatever that new employer wants it to mean.

OTOH, perhaps the goodwill I can exhibit in this scenario is my chance to thank God that I’ll never have to see you on a daily basis again. 🙂

I once got mad when I found out someone else was using my name as a reference, but then I thought, “Bring it — I’d LOVE to have a conversation about that one.” Luckily (for them), no one called.

I’m still undecided whether to laugh in the current requestor’s face, though, or seize the opportunity to use my tone of voice instead of my words to warn anyone who may call in reference to said individual, who has probably said more than a few unflattering things about me.

I dunno. How can you ask someone to vouch for you when you never valued their leadership in the first place?

Comments closed.