I cannot in all honesty act as this person’s referee.


Shortly, I fear I am going to be asked to be a referee for a  friend, who is applying for a position in a State government agency. Normally, if I am requested to provide a reference for someone, I am fine with it because I have my own list which I adhere to before I agree to any such request.

1. I must actually know them and know them  well.

2.I must be convinced that they have the skills set to perform the job , for which they are applying.

3. I must believe in their integrity, reliability and work ethic.

4.My own integrity will not be damaged by acting as referee.

Here comes my dilemma. I cannot in all honesty act as this person’s referee and must decline her request.I must also provide her with a truthful reason for my decision because she will ask for a reason. I suppose the only thing I can do is be honest, and suggest she ask another person to act as her referee.

It is cold and wet here today but not wet enough to make a significant impact on the storage levels but it all helps. I have been busy with work here and I do not have any appointments today , so I will not have to venture out into the elements. I dislike winter and the cold so much. I would never survive the cold  and snow in other countries. lol 🙂

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7 thoughts on “I cannot in all honesty act as this person’s referee.

  1. I totally agree. I’ve been asked before to write a reference for someone who wanted to rent a house and wanted me to say they had boarded with us (even though they hadn’t). Although I knew a lot about them, I didn’t want to write something that wasn’t true. I declined and told them I couldn’t do it – they weren’t too happy about it, but respected my decision. I hope your friend understands 🙂

  2. Hi Barbara,
    Thanks so much for your comments. it really can place one in a difficult position can’t it?
    Best wishes
    Maureen 🙂

  3. Absolutely, you should stand by your beliefs and act accordingly. It sounds as if this person may be totally unaware of why he or she does not deserve a reference, living in one’s own reality so to speak. It would be a kindness if when you say no, you explain that while you like her and think that she is a god person, you don’t really agree with her work ethic and why you don’t agree. I’m just assuming here as to the circumstances, but I find that when you say no to someone for something like that, they will just become huffy and not care as to the reasons why, even though knowing those reasons may help them to get a job and be better at it in the future.

  4. Hi, I just found your blog… actually, someone (myhouseinthevillage.blogspot.com) pointed me this way.

    This happened to me!! Seriously! I had this “friend” who I honestly didn’t really like, but I felt bad for her so I never turned her away when she wanted to do things. Anyway, she was a terrible mother to her two kids, divorced and very neglectful! She then remarried one of my friends, they had another baby together, he got wise and left her taking their baby with him. She was planning to fight for custody and wanted me to write a character reference that said she was a wonderful mother for the courts. Talk about a rock and a hard place! I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t compromise my integrity that way so I told her no. After throwing a huge tantrum she wanted to know why, and I told her that I thought she had some problems she needed to work out before I felt she would be a good mother.

    She still won’t talk to me… not a huge loss, sorry to say.

  5. Hi Cat and welcome!
    You really were put in a difficult position but you were true to yourself. I expect that the person to whom I am referring will react in the same way as the person you mentioned.
    I just visited your site and it’s charming. I have bookmarked it and will revisit often.
    Best wishes
    Maureen 🙂

  6. After reading your story and Cat’s story, I just can’t envision a scenario in which the refusee would not react negatively.
    But in the long term, it seems like you have been brave enough to gift them with the best of favors.
    Insight doesn’t always come without pain and it may not come at all if people just tell us what we want to hear, but when it does come it can help us overcome obstacles and be the best person we can be. Sometimes it takes many years to appreciate that person who tells us the truth.

  7. Hi C.J,
    I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written.Thanks for your comments. You are always welcome here.
    Best wishes
    Maureen 🙂

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