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employers being difficult about reference...

(7 Posts)
vannah Thu 23-Oct-08 10:02:02

really need to understand if I have the right to be annoyed about this or not.
I worked for an awful education company which is linked to a london borough for 4 years: half of the week for the consultants dept and the other half for another project. Both of my managers apparently liked me. But both are being cagey about giving me a reference that I can take away with me

One of them is pretty old and could honestly could die any time soon, she is retired but insists that if i find a job I like, that I have her home number and her email address...etc.
I would be happier with something on paper incase she does die, and with the other manager again something to keep with me now so that I never have to have anything to do with this company again. (long story)

Work wise, my work was outstanding so they both should be able to give me very good references.

What do you think?

ilovemydog Thu 23-Oct-08 10:10:20

I've recently had to apply for a training place, and the employer wanted to contact the referee themselves, so a hard copy reference may or may not be the norm.

SqueakyPop Thu 23-Oct-08 10:17:09

Do you think they want to give you a poor reference? Usually saying they can phone is a way of not writing anything bad on paper, but indicates there is additional information.

Some companies have a policy of only given dates of service and final salary, and will not give any performance info or personal opinions.

vannah Thu 23-Oct-08 10:33:58

i just think neither of them will be there for very long, the company will close down at some point and i will have nothing to prove what kind of work did...

squeaky you may be right, but it would be personal and not work related - ie my work was very good, but I was the only person working for this huge company who made it very clear that I thought the whole thing was a scam. Consultants and 'school improvement officers' being paid an absolute fortune to go into schools and bully the head teachers and teachers. Everyone else kept quiet, I complained at every meeting that we shouldn't be bullying. So yes, I wasnt personally liked.

flowerybeanbag Thu 23-Oct-08 10:56:25

Personally when recruiting I would always want to contact the referee directly rather than rely on a hard copy letter which, lets face it, could have been written by anyone and wouldn't necessarily contain any or all of the information the new employer wants.

I would prefer to take references up by phone with the individual or at least write to them directly and ask questions/send form to complete.

As lots of companies only give very basic ones as a policy decision anyway I wouldn't worry too much about being able to 'prove' what kind of work you did.

RibenaBerry Thu 23-Oct-08 11:05:48

I agree that a hard copy 'to whom it may concern' reference is pretty worthless, so I wouldn't get too worried. A reference is only really worth something if the new employer goes direct to the old - otherwise how do you know that the employee didn't print it out themselves on company paper before they left?

vannah Thu 23-Oct-08 12:12:44

thanks this is very reassuring...

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