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let go, now a bad mouthing from former co-worker! Massachusetts

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  • #16
    Originally posted by lordclod View Post
    it was the recruiter who vetted all my references, and submitted my resume for review. they were satisfied that i was a great candidate, and were surprised at the negative feedback they got from the potential employer.

    so was i.
    Before submitting potential references to your recruiter, did you obtain permission from the individuals you provided? Sounds like this may have weeded out the bad reference before the recruiter conducted the reference checks.


    • #17
      more information on let go and bad mouthed...

      Originally posted by lordclod View Post

      i was let go from a job that i was doing well in, all because of a co-worker's complaints about me.

      in addition, the co-worker was called by a person who had reviewed my resume, and bad-mouthed me so egregiously that i was not hired for the new job, even though i was perfect for it.

      do i have any recourse to sue or take any other legal action?

      This email is designed to detail my assignment at HMC
      (hereafter referred to as HMC), which was unfairly and undeservedly
      terminated on Sept XXX.

      I was originally hired to help with the processing and resolution of Help
      Desk tickets that were escalated to the Desktop Team. My start date was June
      19, 2006, a date which reflects the fact that I left the contract that I was
      on at the time about three weeks earlier than that contract was scheduled to
      end. At the time I was working with FastChannel Company under contract with
      Network Resources Solutions in a contractor role.

      When I commenced working at HMC I was told that I was to start helping with the Help Desk tickets that had been assigned to the Desktop Team. The
      supervisor at the time was E S, who told me that I was to work on
      both Macintosh and PC based tickets. I did so to the best of my ability, in
      an environment which was both fast-paced and not closely supervised.
      However, there was clear direction from my supervisor on the tasks that I was to complete, and I carried out those tasks to the complete satisfaction of my supervisor.

      Mr. S eventually left the company, and was not immediately replaced by
      any sort of supervisor. During this interim period, I continued to take
      tickets and resolved them to best of my abilities. I consulted frequently
      with my coworkers, and relied on their knowledge and help. I was asked to
      participate in the OS X rollout project and subsequently was tasked to
      several projects relating to the successive seeds of this rollout, eventually
      becoming heavily involved in this project. I was responsible for rolling out
      the various seeds of the OS, and with coordinating two interns to work on the
      project as well. The person who gave me the assignments was Joe F,
      who had become my direct line supervisor.

      As I continued to work on these projects, I became aware that one of my
      coworkers, Ray Z, was becoming increasingly hostile to and
      uncommunicative with me on a daily ongoing basis. This was extremely
      surprising and perplexing to say the least, especially since Mr. Z,
      Michael S and I met regularly, and at one of those meetings I
      related to them on a more personal level, telling them about some major
      problems I was facing in my life, It certainly seemed to be a bonding
      experience, so when Mr. Z started becoming cold, distant and
      dismissive, I was very surprised and dismayed at his attitude towards me; he
      certainly didn’t display that sort of behavior towards anyone else.

      After about a week of ever-worsening behavior, I asked him if we could talk
      about it and perhaps clear the air. He agreed, and we then had a talk about
      what was bothering him, which he stated was the workload and why wasn’t I
      doing any tickets. I let him know that I was indeed doing tickets and if he
      needed anything from me to just tell me. This seemed to smooth the waters
      for a couple of weeks. I managed to do more tickets by doing tickets by day
      and then staying late in the evening, during which time I worked on the
      projects in which I was still involved.

      As time went by there was a return to the attitude displayed by Mr. Z,
      and I attempted to mitigate this by forwarding email and printing other
      documents that were related to the projects that I was working on, and trying
      to improve our working relationship. I felt this was crucial because without
      his input and guidance, I was often unable to access resources or information
      necessary to complete tickets. In contrast, I was fully apprised of
      procedure on every project, and as a result I was able to deliver each
      project on time, if not ahead of schedule.

      One example of how his attitude negatively affected the successful resolution
      and timely completion of tickets occurred on the day I was unfairly
      dismissed. I was working on a ticket which involved a copy machine that a
      customer wanted to print to, and she could not load it; it sounded like a
      ticket that I could do, so I took it – if I recall correctly, the time was
      around 11 am and the customer’s name was Edy. I went down to her machine and looked for the printer over the network, and could not find it, even though I tried printing to several printers that seemed likely candidates. I then checked the printer itself to see if I could get the IP address or queue
      name, during which time I also checked to see that it was plugged in and
      working. It looked like it was networked and working, but I was unable to
      figure out how to get the machine’s configuration page or any other
      identifiers. I informed the customer of my progress and told her that I
      would be back and went on to my next ticket. All told, about 35 minutes had
      elapsed at this point.

      I eventually got back to the Desktop area, and I asked Mr. Z and Mr.
      S if either one of them knew how to make a connection to the
      printer in question. Mr. Z ignored me completely, while Mr.
      S listened and said that he would come and take a look with me. At
      that time, Mr. Z told Mr. S to not go, that doing tickets
      wasn’t his job. Mr. S said that it was all right, he was just
      going to see if he could help me. We went down to the customer’s desk, and
      Mr. S proceeded with a lengthy troubleshooting process on this
      machine. He eventually checked the machine itself and also was unable to
      figure out how to print a configuration page, so he called Mr. Z for
      assistance. He was still in the building and came down, took a look at the
      printer, and figured out the problem was that the printer was not networked.
      Please note that neither myself nor Mr. S were able to ascertain
      that, but Mr. Z was able to see that almost immediately. The time was
      then after three thirty, because Mr. S wasn’t sure when he called
      that Mr. Z was still in the building. The point here is that if Mr.
      Z had been talking with me, we could have resolved this customer’s
      ticket in a very short time.

      This attitude precluded me from taking and completing many other tickets, but I never stopped being professional. I frequently forwarded email and
      information about processes and passwords and resources to both Mr.
      S and Mr. Z so they would continue to be apprised of all matters pertaining to the projects I was assigned. At one point I ended up managing two interns as part of this project work, Maria O and Chris B. At the time I was surprised, but I also know that Mr. Z had alienated both Ms. Olivera and Mr. Brito almost immediately after they started working at HMC. I can only surmise that my good relationship with them caused my supervisor to task me with involving them with the project work and managing their time and participation.

      Even though the person who had the most information and access to the
      resources was not talking with me and was being openly dismissive and
      hostile, I still continued to take tickets and try to the best of my ability
      to resolve them. I also tried at every turn to ask Mr. S and Mr.
      Z, as well as the rest of the Desktop team, if there was anything I
      could do to help them. Most of the team responded to my overtures with
      positive attitudes and frequently did task me with additional duties, which
      in turn I completed per their wishes or instructions. In addition, I believe
      work but also highly appreciative of the timeliness, thoroughness and
      thoughtfulness that I brought to bear in resolving their reported problems or
      assigned projects. In particular, Joan W and Hugh F were two
      people whom with I worked well, and I am confident that they were entirely
      happy with the work that I took on and completed for their department.

      In the face of my continued commitment to doing good work for HMC and the good and professional relationships I was developing with not only my
      coworkers but also the customer base we were serving, it almost goes without saying that I was shocked, dismayed and devastated to learn that I was being let go – I had no indication that my position there was in any sort of jeopardy. There had not been one email or meeting about my performance. As a matter of fact, I was looking forward to the end of a lot of the project work, and a return to taking more tickets and perhaps getting more training. This was a job that I loved, which utilized many of the skills that I’ve spent more than a decade developing, and I was also hoping to secure a full-time position at HMC. My direct line supervisor, Mr. F, had
      told me during a team lunch that he hoped to bring me on full-time at the
      earliest opportunity, and I was very appreciative of that chance. I (and he)
      did not know if this would be feasible, but I was thankful that he had seen
      the work I was doing in a positive light and seemed to be happy with it.

      In addition to my dismissal, I have another unfortunate event to relate in this account. On or about Tuesday 10Oct06 I received a call from Robert Half Technology, a recruiting firm with which I had interviewed during my search for employment after been undeservedly dismissed from HMCO. I met with two recruiters, Chuck M and Matt M, who were satisfied with my bona fides and also vetted my character by calling all of my references, which included Mr. F. I was contacted by two other recruiters in the company, Carly C and John G, who submitted my resume to TechBooks in hopes of getting me employed there; additionally, I was contacted by Cat C at Aquent, and she also submitted my resume for review. I was contacted by at least two more recruiting firms but did not return their calls because I had already decided to go with the two aforementioned firms.

      I waited for their reply, as they had told me that this position was slated to start as soon as possible; they had made sure to ask me whether or not I would be able to start ASAP. They originally both contacted me about this position on Tuesday 10Oct06, in the early afternoon, and I assured them that I could start on the following Thursday morning, 12Oct06. When I was finally able to contact Mr. G from Robert Half Technology, he informed me that the position would not be offered to me because the person at the company had contacted someone from HMCO and been told “bad things” about me. So I attribute those comments as the direct cause of not being offered the position I was so obviously qualified for and was in the process of being offered.


      • #18
        I can understand that you are unhappy about receiving a negative job reference. The problem is that by providing a negative job reference, no law has been broken. An employer (or it's representative) may offer an honest opinion (even if you disagree with it's characterization). This is not unlawful.


        • #19
          Originally posted by robb71 View Post
          Before submitting potential references to your recruiter, did you obtain permission from the individuals you provided? Sounds like this may have weeded out the bad reference before the recruiter conducted the reference checks.
          the person to whom my resume was submitted called the former co-worker, even though that person was not on my references list. my former direct-line supervisor had already given me a sterling reference (to the recruiters who submitted my resume). the comments by my former co-worker cost me that job, and the respect and confidence of my recruiters.


          • #20
            What language would you like the same answer in to make it more clear?

            It is not unlawful to give you a bad reference as long as it is the person's opinion.

            If you believe you have a case, call an attorney.
            Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

            I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

            Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


            • #21
              And recruiters are a dime a dozen. (Sorry ScottB!!!) Field another recruiter to help with your search. At least you know that a possible negative reference exists. You should prepare the next recruitier or potential employer that this may happen. Don't let it be a surprise as it was this time. It won't make the same impact if it's no surprise.


              • #22
                Originally posted by robb71 View Post
                I can understand that you are unhappy about receiving a negative job reference. The problem is that by providing a negative job reference, no law has been broken. An employer (or it's representative) may offer an honest opinion (even if you disagree with it's characterization). This is not unlawful.
                that's sort of the point: the lawful representative of the company offered a great recommendation. my hostile former co-worker did not, and went out of his way to not only demean my work to the point where i was let go, but also related enough negative commentary that i did not obtain another job for which i was eminently qualified.


                • #23
                  I totally understand where you are coming from. It's time to put this behind you and move on to your next opportunity. (cbg is sure to shut this down soon!) This time around you should prepare whomever for a possible negative reference. You live and learn. Now you know what to expect when a reference call is made to your last employer.


                  • #24
                    The law does not limit who can provide references.

                    And I agree, this thread has run its course.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


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