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To NOT Give her a reference?

(38 Posts)
distantdrum Tue 23-Dec-14 16:14:40

Long story but don't want to drip feed...

A woman I met on the school run 12 years ago whom I became good friends with through our DDs has asked me for a reference for the 2nd time in 2 years.

We used to get on really well and did a lot together (weekends away, family holidays). She never worked in all the time I knew her as she had MH issues and was in receipt of DLA. She studied during this time though and got some good qualifications in computing.

Over the years our DDs had a few fall outs and we always tried to stay out of their "drama" but I began to find her more and more "entitled" as they say here on MN, expecting me to be available for her at the drop of a hat, with childcare, dogcare etc. when she never reciprocated.

At her suggestion she became a casual CM for me when I was working part time 2 days a week when DCs were 4 and 8 years and she was paid for this (by me obviously....and I would assume didn't declare it to the Benefits Office)..not judging, it wasn't much money and would have really messed her benefits around but trust me, this is relevant.

Our DDs drifted apart and they moved out of the area 2 years ago. Through a mutual friend I heard that she'd had her benefits STOPPED and would have to find a job very quickly. Despite not being employed for 15 years she managed to get a part time job as a data inputter with the NHS, on her CV she stated I was her "previous employer" based on a couple of hours unoffical CMinding a week for less than 6 months so they contacted me for a reference...she never actually contacted me AT ALL, the first I knew of it was when I got a phone call at work asking for it. I was taken by surprise but gave a good reference and was very complimentary about her, even though I diddn't actually "feel it" IYSWIM I thought it would be in the best interests of her family if she got a job ASAP as they would be well skint with no benefits coming in. The lady I spoke to said "based on the reference you;ve just given we're going to offer her the job". I contacted friend by text to tell her all this and she replied "Thanks"...nowt else. I heard absolutely NOTHING else from her, not how the job's going or ANYTHING AT ALL...so TODAY out of teh blue almost the exact same scenario for a different NHS dept has occurred, but this time it was via e mail.

AIBU to say this?..."Sorry, but I haven't seen or spoken to Mrs X for 2 years and don't feel qualified to say whether she is a suitable candidate for this post" cos that;s what I FEEL like saying?

AIBU?

mkmjimmy Tue 23-Dec-14 16:18:37

No YANBU - she's had a job in between times - so can get a reference from them. Just be factual exactly as you said.

LadyLuck10 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:19:44

Yanbu, you can't really back up her credibility for the last two years. She had a previous job so she can use that for a reference.

distantdrum Tue 23-Dec-14 16:19:54

Thanks. I don't want to be a cow and scupper anything for her, I really don't. But I also don't feel like giving her a glowing report when she couldn[t even be bothered to let me know about the job and how it was going the last time. Feel a bit used really.

Beautifulbabyboy Tue 23-Dec-14 16:23:27

i disagree... I haven't worked in 6 years. Does that mean I cannot ask for references from previous employers as I haven't been in touch with them??

The facts are she did some work for you. She needs a reference for that work. Give a honest account of her skills as a childminder. Was she punctual? Reliable? Good with the kids.

MsMarvel Tue 23-Dec-14 16:25:12

I would give an honest reference saying you are unsure whether the reference is on a professional or character description level. Say that any employment was on on a casual informal basis, so you feel unqualified to comment on that. And that you have not been in contact for over 2 years so feel unqualified to comment on any suiltibility of character.

distantdrum Tue 23-Dec-14 16:25:53

I get what you're saying Beautifulbabyboy but she WASN'T really any of these things. Once she forgot to pick my DS up from school. I wasn't that happy with the arrangement which is why I packed in the job that required her CM service and got a night job instead. My ORIGINAL reference wasnt especially "truthful", I "bigged" her up because I knew they;d have NO money coming in and she needed a job fast cos her benefits had stopped.

Nomama Tue 23-Dec-14 16:28:20

Work only give employment dates, number of sick days in their references. They won't be drawn for anything more personal. That is probably your best route! Try this, see how it feels:

" X worked for me in XXXX, in XX capacity, at which time she was timely and professional in her demeanor."

That way the new employers will have all the info they need and you won't have lied. It really isn't unusual to give reference a few years on...

Beautifulbabyboy Tue 23-Dec-14 16:28:22

Well if she was poor child minder you could say that...

I think you should simply state her positives and actually what you leave out will be telling....

EustaciaBenson Tue 23-Dec-14 16:28:48

Its a bit tricky, there are all sorts of rules and laws around references and you wouldnt want to find yourself on the wrong side of them. Plus a lot of employers ask for the last two job references. When she worked for you was she punctual, a hard worker etc? I think yab a bit unreasonable not to mention a few of her good points even if you havent seen her for two years. Its 2 and a half since I moved jobs and I would be very unhappy if my last employer wouldnt give me a reference

Beautifulbabyboy Tue 23-Dec-14 16:29:24

Agree with nomama.... Easiest thing to do. I asked once for a reference from the civil service and it was just like that...

distantdrum Tue 23-Dec-14 16:30:43

Cool. I;ll just stick to very basic facts, dates and nowt else. Job done.

lougle Tue 23-Dec-14 16:32:14

Just give a factual reference. "X minded my children part-time from <date> to <date>."

The fact is that the NHS require candidates to supply details of their last two employers and you were her employer even if you didn't do things by the book and neither did she.

Nomama Tue 23-Dec-14 16:33:12

Oops x-posted.

You could just not respond, but maybe you could modify my first post

" Between XXXX and XXXX MrsX worked for me as a childminder. In this time she had X sick days."

That would be it. Just the facts. No value judgements and no problem with any Moaning Minnie comebacks or a sense of having given her another unintended / unearned leg up.

OfficerVanHarkTheHeraldAngels Tue 23-Dec-14 16:33:12

It's good manners to contact people you want to use as references in advance, I agree.

But you seem disproportionately affronted op. You were her most recent employer, whether she worked two hours a week for you or ft. Many application forms require two references, so it stands to reason that you would still figure there, although I agree she could have contacted you in advance. All the stuff about her history on benefits and your dds' friendship dramas though - I'm not sure what to make of that? What does that have to do with the price of fish?

I'd do the reference, jeez, why not help a person out if you can. I know from recent experience it's tough getting back into he job market after a break, and she sounds like she's worked hard and done well for herself. They don't want to know about what she's been doing for the last 2 years (presumably her current employer will fill those blanks in), they want to know how she was as an employee for you.

distantdrum Tue 23-Dec-14 16:33:23

Seems fair lougle. Cheers.

WD41 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:33:42

Yabu. You were happy at the time to entrust your children to her rather than pay more use a registered childminder, but a couple of years down the line you don't want to give her a reference?

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 23-Dec-14 16:34:12

I'd respond with 'what do you want to know?' and answer each honestly.

OfficerVanHarkTheHeraldAngels Tue 23-Dec-14 16:35:14

X posted with everyone else.

Cocolate Tue 23-Dec-14 16:37:18

I haven't worked in ten years but have asked two people to allow me to use their names as referees. They agreed on the assurance that I will let them know for each and every job (awkward as I've applied for buckets - unsuccessfully-so far!) Anyway I get their wanting to know and also every single job I've applied for has said they will let ME know before they contact my referees presumably so that I can remind forewarn the referees.
YANBU

ProcrastinaRemNunc Tue 23-Dec-14 16:37:19

Your details are probably just still on her CV from last time. I would say it is normal to add further experience and references, rather than remove old ones every time newer ones are added. A prospective employer wouldn't necessarily expect you to have had recent contact.

Based on this, I'd say go ahead and give her a ref, this time.

I do think you have a right to feel disgruntled by her lack of communication (and appreciation!). So following this reference, contact her and ask her to remove you from her CV.

IDontDoIroning Tue 23-Dec-14 16:41:32

You can say
I was aquatinted with Mrs x from xx date through our daughters being in the same class in school, Mrs x worked for me as a casual child minder approx x hours per week from z date to y date when I cased to use her services. I found her to be on the whole to hardworking during that time.
I have not had any contact with Mrs x since x date as she moved away from the area and I cannot add anything further to this reference with regards her suitability for employment by your organisation.
It's factaully accurate.

I would have thought she would be asking her current employer or people who have had more recent dealings with her. I wouldn't really say that having someone do a few hours of (not very reliable) childminding is employment as such. I do appreciate it's difficult if yiuve been out of work but she's hardle been a great friend and wasn't all that good as a childminder if she forgot to do a pick up.

You could text her to say - just had a reference request for a job for you. As you know you only did casual childminding for me which stopped after you forgot to pick ds up one day and I went nights and we haven't really been in contact since youmoved away. Please don't give my name for any other job applications. Thanks.

distantdrum Tue 23-Dec-14 16:42:26

Thanks Cocolate and Procastina...you seem to have clocked how I feel about this.

Will advise them to remove me form the CV. Good idea and thanks.

1981 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:43:14

I would do as MsMarvel advises. I also wouldn't have lied (bigged her up) on a reference before, I would have been truthful or, if I felt and honest account would scupper her chances, simply declined to provide a reference at all.

myfurbyisalive Tue 23-Dec-14 17:05:43

I think the woman is a bit ungrateful/cheeky, but also YABU.

The woman has a got a job and isn't taking money from the pot anymore. Be happy, you helped someone.

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