Author Topic: You have to be kidding...  (Read 9041 times)

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Bibliophile

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You have to be kidding...
« on: November 24, 2008, 03:30:31 PM »
This happened to mom...

Neighbor (NL) came over to ask mom if she'd be a job reference for her son.  Mom said that she didn't feel comfortable with that since she's never met son.  NL said that of course mom met son as he came over to introduce himself.  Mom said the only one to introduce himself was the one who helped her move her sofa & that wasn't the one she was speaking of (however, it also wasn't the one who took shots at mom's dogs with a pellet gun - NL has 3 sons).  The one who wanted the reference was the stay-at-home-pot-smoking-slacker.  Within 2 days mom had a notice from some high security background check company as she was used as a reference for son.

Did mom:

a) Ignore the notice
b) Give son a good reference
c) Tell background check folks that son is a pot smoking loser and she'd not give a reference to anyone in that family

Etiquette breaches: 1) Mom asking for reference when son should've asked for his own, 2) Asking for a reference from someone you don't know, 3) Using that person as a reference when reference was declined, and 4) telling background check folks that son is a pot smoking loser and she'd not give a reference to anyone in that family (she could've just said "no, I prefer not to be used as a reference" without divulging the NL's family habits).

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Schmoopie3928

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 03:37:50 PM »
Wow.  :o

I would have ignored the reference and not responded. If NS asks why, she could say she doesn't know him well enough to give him a reference.

BittyB

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 06:37:42 PM »
Wellllll... when you request a reference, I think you get what you get.  It sounds as though she didn't technically lie, and she also was clear that she would not be giving him a reference.  Etiquette wise, I'm inclined to think that it was a bit tacky and the polite response should be have been to tell them that she wasn't able to give them a reference as she had never even met him in person. 

I suppose it might depend on who the reference was for? 

In a counter example, my mom has a story where a dangerously unstable ex-boyfriend used her as a reference to the Armed Forces (US).  This "gentleman" had attempted to hit her with his car, which of course prompted the break up.  So quite some time later when she receives this request, she felt obligated to tell them that she thought he was unstable, as it seemed pertinent given his chosen profession.  She didn't tell the story to them, but she was honest and left it at that.  She used this as her example to us growing up that one should generally always give a good reference when asked, but she did think at times it would be unethical to lie about it.


Shoo

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 06:43:17 PM »
I'm not sure I understand your post.  You say "did mom" like it's some kind of quiz.  Did she?  How would we know?

Do you mean "should" when you wrote "did?"  Could you please clarify what you are asking?


Bibliophile

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 09:55:31 AM »
I'm not sure I understand your post.  You say "did mom" like it's some kind of quiz.  Did she?  How would we know?

Do you mean "should" when you wrote "did?"  Could you please clarify what you are asking?



A quiz - i gave the answer right below it.

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Shoo

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 10:59:48 AM »
I'm not sure I understand your post.  You say "did mom" like it's some kind of quiz.  Did she?  How would we know?

Do you mean "should" when you wrote "did?"  Could you please clarify what you are asking?



A quiz - i gave the answer right below it.

Okay, I get it now.  :)

artk2002

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 05:47:59 PM »
I don't think that your mom breached any etiquette.  She told the truth.  If they were foolish enough to presume on her like that, they get the consequences.  Had she lied, then she would have been wrong.  I don't see that shading the truth was a requirement of etiquette.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Cz. Burrito

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 06:16:15 PM »
I don't think that your mom breached any etiquette.  She told the truth.  If they were foolish enough to presume on her like that, they get the consequences.  Had she lied, then she would have been wrong.  I don't see that shading the truth was a requirement of etiquette.

I agree with this.  I think that if you agree to give a reference it should be generally positive, so when asked by the person needing a reference you should decline if you are unable to reference them positively.  However, if you have either not been asked if it's okay for you to be a reference or declined to be a reference and are used as a reference anyway... there's nothing wrong with stating the truth.

katycoo

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 08:47:06 PM »
Has she seen him smoking pot?  Or is it just a reasonable assumption?
I wouldn't ahve said anything I wasn't 100% positive on.

I woudl have simply declined to give any reference, but also point out that I had been asked and declined, and they used me anyway so they could draw an inference ofhis personality from that action.

missmolly

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 09:14:22 PM »
I'd say that the son and the mother will have learned from this experience to respect other people's wishes.
This was the biggest faux pas of the story, and the stupidest move the son made. 'Hmm, lets see, I specifically told his mother NOT to put me as a reference, and lo and behold, he's bloody well used me. Well, that kind of panache deserves a really glowing reference'  ::)
I probably would've just declared myself an unsuitable referee for a complete stranger, but as other PPs have said, what your mother said about him is the truth.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

KenveeB

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 10:47:37 PM »
If someone asks me if I mind being used as a reference and they're not someone I feel I could give a positive reference for, I warn them that I would not be a comfortable to be used as a reference and if asked I would have to be completely honest about any negatives.  If they still choose to use me as a reference, they get the completely honest version, no matter how negative.  I figure it was their choice.  I don't think Mom did anything wrong, as long as her reference was based on her experience with him and not guesses or supposition.

Mahdoumi

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2008, 08:59:33 AM »
I'd say that the son and the mother will have learned from this experience to respect other people's wishes.

From what OP has posted about this family, I would think otherwise.  Mom is lucky that responses to requests for references are kept confidential, otherwise, BB gun son might not miss her dogs next time.

mechtilde

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2008, 09:02:23 AM »
I think she'd have to state that she did not know the son well enough to give a reference and leave it at that.
NE England

asta

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2008, 01:34:47 PM »
NL was rude and nervy.

BTW, most employers screen with a drug test.  And, I believe marijuana stays in ones system for 30-60 days.

During a "interested to be a police officer," the news reported nearly 2/3 walked out - the were going to be drug testing with the prospective applicant's hair, so clean unrine couldn't be sneaked for the test.

Tia2

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Re: You have to be kidding...
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2008, 11:43:46 AM »
NL was rude and nervy.

BTW, most employers screen with a drug test.  And, I believe marijuana stays in ones system for 30-60 days.


That's accurate.  It's why a lot of people in prisons go in with a pot habit and come out addicted to hard drugs.  Because they stay in the body for a much shorter time, it's a lot harder to get caught out on a random drug test.

I have to say, if an employer is doing drug tests, I would assume they are doing it properly and sneaking clean urine in should be impossible anyway!