unsolicited reference

  1. I would like to get some perspective on this situation. I resigned a position about a year and a half ago because my supervisor made no secret of her hatred toward me to my face and behind my back. The situation had just become intolerable. Over the course of four years with that company, my preformance evaluations were favorable. I chose not to use this boss as a reference.
    Now, I am in a new position and met yesterday with my present boss for my first year performance interview. During the conversation, my new boss tells me that old boss, who she knew casually, contacted her (between the time I had accepted the position and my starting date. The conversation went something like this.

    Old boss: Hello, is this the XYZ department?
    new boss: no, you have the wrong number.
    old boss: gee, this sounds a lot like my old friend, *****
    new boss: yes, this is she.
    old boss: well how have you been? I heard through the grapevine that *****, my former employee is going to be working for you.
    new boss: well, yes she is, she will start in a couple of weeks. what do you think?
    old boss: well, I really shouldn't say, but you'll find out soon enough.

    New boss and I have a great working relationship with mutual respect. She gave me an excellent evaluation. She did not say this to cause me grief, but, it just of came out in the conversation talking about my last year with the new company. Now, I am mortified and cringe at the thought of a former boss stalking me through the rest of my career. When I left old boss, it was six months before I accepted my new position and now a year has past since the conversation. What am I dealing with..a psycho?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    It sounds like your new boss doesn't take the negative comments too seriously, seeing as how she gave you an excellent evaluation, respects you etc.

    I think even if you looked for other jobs down the road, and they heard something negative from the old boss, they would hear good things from the new boss. That combined with how you present your personality/values/intelligence during an interview would count for a lot more than a past negative comment...IMHO.

    I'm not sure, but maybe there's a way to tactfully express that there was a personality conflict with you and the old boss...just a statement of fact, not complaining or bi@#*ing...that way any future employer might take the old boss's comments with a grain of salt. Also, I'm not sure that the old boss can even legally make those comments? I thought all she can say is the dates you worked there, and that's it. I'm not sure though...I'm still kinda new to this biz myself.

    Hope some of this might help a little!



    PS-as to whether old boss is psycho...sure sounds like she has *something* stuck up her a$$!!!!
  4. by   BadBird
    Mabey you should contact an attorney to send her a cease and desist order or she will be sued for slander.
    Good luck
  5. by   live4today
    Originally posted by BadBird
    Mabey you should contact an attorney to send her a cease and desist order or she will be sued for slander.
    Good luck
    I second this motion! She needs a serious wakeup call! The nerve of her!
  6. by   l.rae
    l think that is illeagal...defamation?????
  7. by   Talessa
    Illegal is right. Here in CA, all you are allowed to do is verify that the person worked for the company from this date to that date. Probably not too different in the rest of the states.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    I say contact your old manager's risk manager about this - I think that he/she would put a halt to that behavior pronto. The facility could be sued easily. But risk management may make sure your former boss gets her butt kicked by upper management (Revenge is goooooood - I've been there). Include documentation!!!!!! obtained before hand in case they try to cover anything up. A lot of this depends on how much you trust (a scary word,indeed) the management/risk manager.

    My first thought would be legal action, but sometimes that makes people reluctant to hire you. Sometimes the subtle approach is best - I've used it and frequently it works.

    Just off hand, I've been there and done that recently, after doing alot of extra work for the manager in question. And I left, but I succeeded in quietly making some Heck! in her life, before I skeedaddled. If you don't stand up to bullies they will continue to hurt others. As a nurse, I was interested in the wellbeing of those that I left behind. Putting her through hell with Risk management required her to have witnesses to interactions w/fellow employees that she was abusing privately and it left a good trail of evidence and let the floor nurses know that they could stand up and be heard. It also made me feel good (revenge is sweeet) and made them respect me, something that I value. I amy have to work with these people again. Lawsuits here in the South tend to make you viewed as sour grapes. But then I am brought up as a Southern lady - lawyers are evil and only for Last Will & Testaments.

    Make your decision, but know you are not alone.
  9. by   fedupnurse
    I would definetly contact, in writing, risk management at your old job. State the facts of what occured with your current boss and then why you left your previous job. Call the ACLU and talk to someone there to see what your rights are. You may want to mention this in your letter if it sounds like you may have a case. Something like I consulted with legal counsel and they stated that her behavior is illegal and that I have grounds for a lawsuit if it continues.
    I still cannot understand why so many managers in my organization have these personality traits. Guess the suits don't realize that happy employees are far mor productive and spread a positive word about the place. SO much for public relations huh? I'd never refer a nurse to work ina facility like that, let alone a patient!
  10. by   Sleepyeyes
    Sure was a sucky thing to do ....

    Where I am, they usually give stellar refs to someone they're trying desperately to get rid of!
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    To me this was not "unsolicited reference" but defamation. I echo the above suggestions (you guys are GOOD!)...regarding seeking legal advice and an order to cease and desist. you don't need or have to stand for this and consider, she may do it again to someone else if she is not stopped by YOU!
  12. by   grneturtle
    I wonder, why did your new boss tell you about these comments in the first place?
    See i am the suspisuous type!
    I appreciate that she gave you a good review, and if she hadnt what would be her motivation to repeat negative comments from a past boss, unless she felt you needed to follow up and take legal action, and if you do how wil it affect your present position with this new boss!
  13. by   mamabear
    In Indiana the only thing a former employer can do legally is say whether or not Nurse XYZ was employed as stated on their employment application. Most nurses I know have a list of at least three references, attesting to the applicant's character, work ethic, proficiency as a nurse, ad nauseum:chuckle

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