While I won't go into huge details regarding the person I'm irked at at the present time, said person was a former co-worker of mine at a previous place of employment. Yes, I liked this person personally, and he did good work while he was at my former place of employment. Unfortunately, he left under less than "professional" terms -- actually called in and quit, minutes before his scheduled shift was to begin, leaving us in one hell of a bind, and his attendance, while he was there was, to put it kindly, was less than stellar. Imagine my amazement when I got a call from one of his current prospective employers this morning (the dude's in the job market again -- imagine that!), asking me to talk about him -- when not a word was said to me previously that he was even THINKING about using me as an employment reference! And no, folks, I wasn't evil and DIDN'T give the person inquiring any negative info...I begged off, telling the person that I'd worked all night, was in the process of getting ready for bed (which was true), and asked for a number which I could call back at a time which was more convenient for me. Needless to say, I then programmed that number in my cell phone to go straight to my voicemail (just in case they call me again), and hopefully, I won't be bothered by these people again!
Unfortunately, I'm in one of those peevish moods this morning (in spite of the fact that I had an excellent night at work with pleasant co-workers and great food -- management fed us well last night!), and I'm still irked at said person's audacity. I made the mistake of giving a decent reference to a former co-worker once previously, and feel that I seriously risked my reputation in doing so. Said person apparently hasn't been able to hold down a job for more than a few weeks or months at a time since, without being fired! The fact that I did give THAT person a decent reference (because she WAS a good worker when I knew her and I was sympathetic to the reasons she quit the job I knew her from), I feel, reflects somewhat badly upon my professional reputation, and I'd hate to go through the rest of my career thinking that my word and my recommendation is worth nothing, simply because I might have given too many good references to people who didn't deserve them! So, with that in mind, I've been VERY careful in recent years in deciding whether or not to act as a reference for ANYBODY looking for a "new" position. And, the idea that someone (even someone I liked personally and considered a "friendly" co-worker) would assume to use me as an employment reference without even asking me first, just sticks in my craw...honestly! One would think, if one wanted to use a former co-worker as an employment reference, one would want to make certain that his/her work (AND work habits!) were such that I'd WANT to recommend him/her for the position. As I said previously, I've been at this for too long and have worked too hard to have my professional judgment mean nothing -- and therefore, I WON'T be giving work references willy-nilly, even if I DO like the person in question!
This isn't the first time that I've been called out of the blue for a work reference on someone who's never discussed it with me previously, but I'm old enough and bitchy enough these days to be completely honest the NEXT time something like this happens! Grrrrrrr...and yes, this is probably much ado about nothing, really. But what can I say? I'm an old, peri-menopausal woman who's accomplished more than her usual share of bitchery in recent weeks :-(