Crisis of conscience.

Several years ago, I had a bloke on my team, who was a daily trial. He was a miserable, moody, surly feckless waster, and the day he went outside still rates as one of the greatest days of my life.
Every now and again, a bit of gossip reaches me about how his life has bombed since he left. He's been sacked from numerous jobs, his wife has left him, and his debts have spiralled out of control.
Anyway, I shall get to the point. What do I find in my In-tray today, but a reference request for him from a prospective employer.
You can imagine my initial glee, now is my chance to f*ck him over for all the aggro he caused me when I was young and green, but having had all morning to dwell on it, my resolve is crumbling.
His life is really on the skids, he's sleeping in his car, drinking himself to death, and on the verge of offing himself by all accounts.
If I answer all the questions on this form honestly, his job application will be sh*tcanned, and there is a very real possibility that he will douse himself in petrol and go to meet his maker looking like a pre-graft Nicki Lauder. (sorry, wishful thinking)
What I'm looking for, is peoples opinions, should I play it straight, and risk having his (long overdue) death on my conscience, or shall I throw him a lifeline by perjuring myself, and portray him as the perfect employee?
Tell the truth.
What he does isn't your responsibility
He f*cked you, you f*ck him.
Honesty is the best policy. If you give him a glowing reference and he screws up you look like a cnut.
Had a similar situation a couple of years ago. Was doing combat engr training. Two Welsh Gds kicked the crap out of a bloke who was a complete tosser. A few months later I had a Bailey ramp dropped on my foot (broke it, was back trooped for a couple of months) and was certain it was the tosser who had done the deed. I got a phone call from one the Welsh Gds lawyers asking what I though of the bloke who I was sure had broken my foot. Obviously I gave a more than slightly bias opinion. Two years later I was on my B1 combat engr course along with a guy who was in the same section as me from day one training up till I had my foot broken. One night down the bar he said sorry for dropping the ramp on my foot. How much of a cnut did I feel having jacked completly on the other guy! Oh well, he did deserve the shoeing, he was a tit.
Throw him a lifeline by perjuring yourself. You'll get greater satisfaction by knowing that he came to you on his knees. Two caveats:
1. This is fine as long as he is going to work for Tescos or somewhere not if its the Foreign Office or something vaguely important.
2. Make sure you really sing his praises in such a way that he knows you are bullsh*tting. Otherwise he will really believe you think he is a good bloke.

To quote Flashman: "Never kick a man when he is down. He may get up"
Your third option is to decline the information request, let the prospective employer draw his own conclusions and submit to another of his former employers for a reference.

We all should be honest in our lives. It's the least that we can do for each other.

Be honest with the employer. He'll appreciate it and who knows, maybe the other dude will too!

.........there is a way of writing a reference where prospective employers can read between the lines :lol: :lol:

Go on - be creative 8) :wink:
Save the bloke, but make sure he know's it's you. You get to feel all warm and cuddly, he becomes your personal man servant for life and he might have half a dozen grateful sisters...
F*ck know it makes sense.
Thing is , he gets the job on the strengh of your reference , sounds like he is a loser anyway he will get the boot . You look a cnut , he moves on . Do the decent thing right a truthful yet professional letter , its up to the employer then , you dont owe this guy any favours . He has been a loser all his adult life , do you think this job will change that .
Write the reference and be scrupulously fair. Send him a copy with another in the envelope for the employer.

He can then choose whether or not to submit it.

If he doesn't like what you've written he won't come back to trouble you for another reference.

Make sure your insurance is up to date, as he obviously knows where you live.

You could go for a pint and talk him through the above. Carrot & stick, and good for your conscience.


PS - have had a similar situation, things weren't quite as bad so I was able to go for the 'read between the lines/damning with feint praise' option - and sent it after the deadline to muddy the waters.

PPS - If it's john316 go for the g00lies
What's the deadline for the submission? Any time (or inclination :wink: ) for a phone call to said deadbeat, seeing if he has become a better person since you last spoke? I'm sure you have a fully functioning bullshit detector which will soon tell you whether he's worth throwing a lifeline to.
I was once given some good advice and that is never say anything about anyone that you would not say if they were stood in front of you. Do unto others etc

It's a good yardstick.

Queue loads of "Well I'll call anyone anything to their face" macho posturing.

My dad also gave me some good advice

"There is one complete arrse in every room and if you walk in and can't see them it's you"
Sometimes, all any of us need to get straight again, is an unexpected hand.

When I was really down and out a few years ago now, the only person that came to my aid, was the one guy who I really had not been very nice to.

So called friends melted away , as if my misfortune was contagious, but this guy came through.

Personally Sleeper, I would help him.

At the end, what we have , and what differentiates us from the chattering masses , is service.

I would help him.
F*ck him, you may never get the chance again.


Get in touch with the British Legion and see if they can help him. Don't play God.
Be honest, if your not you run the risk of ruining any future recent service leavers chances with the company.
Recently gave a reference to an ex colleague from the plods. Since he left the job, he bombed out ( too much drink, sex etc, then again??, you know what I mean). He had been a good pc until his marriage went and then his job. I thought to give him a chance in a responsible job, knowing I suppose what would happen but not wanting to believe it. Sadly, it happened too quick and he lasted about a week before getting booted. :) .

About a month ago, I was asked to give him another reference as a security guard. Guess what I did. I gave the fecker a reference. Maybe some things cut more deeply than others as I am a fairly honest type but still maintain a loyalty to him Then again, as an earlier poster said, I would not have been so full of praise if the job was a very responsible one (Like the first one was).

Write the reference choosing his good points. If he is honest, punctual, loyal; things like that. Leave out the bad bits unless he is a mutant. In any event, don't give an obviously bad reference, just leave out the bits that are patently untrue:

He is a lazy fecker who smells of fish sounds better if you put down that he does things in his own time and is most suited to an outdoor lifestyle (so you can't smell him). Get the gist. Employers are aware of the inbetween the lines stuff.
Pretty sure you can be done for writing a false reference.
Write a non-commital reference but phone the personnell bloke/human resources at the company and tell them the real story

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