Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Recommending the Wrong Person

I ran into "Bill," an old client of mine, last night. I struck up a conversation with him and his wife and then said "Look, I really have to apologize for referring Trixie to you for the job. I really had a lot of faith in her, and I had thought she would be perfect for you. When you guys parted company, I tried to stay above it all. I didn't want to get in the middle of the whole situation. I'm sorry that it worked out so badly."

Bill smiled slightly and assured me it wasn't a big deal. "Hey, she was great at first," he added. "But when she stopped showing up for work, it got to be a problem."

"You think?" I asked, grinning, and the tension eased. We ended up having a nice visit and I felt better about the situation.

Years ago I recommended "Rob", a friend of mine (who was a landscaper) to a major real estate company. Initially, they were so impressed by him that they contracted him to do the landscaping of their main office. The landscaping had to be a showpiece since it represented them specifically.

Rob dragged his feet, did substandard work, and took months to finish installing what he had promised would be done in weeks. When he was finished, it was far less than what had been promised. And I was the moron who recommended him.

The real estate company representative never quite forgave me for that particular recommendation. I was terrifically embarassed and took Rob to task over it repeatedly, but there was no changing the fact that he could talk a great game but his follow-thru was horrid.

I learned my lesson. In the future, unless the person has worked with or for me, I will never recommend them. It saves a world of embarassment, apologies, and awkward meetings.


~Deb said...

I recommended a woman into my company becuase my sister was good friends with her.

This woman played the 'race card' all the time. She said that our boss kept calling her a 'monkey'---I KNEW my boss very well, close friends with her and KNEW that was not the case.

This woman had a law suit every week against the company and eventually got fired due to her erratic behavior.

Never again. Just say, "There's no work as far as I know."

Sad that you really can't help people out in that way anymore.

R2K said...

Always hard to mix social relations and work.

j said...

a-men sister
preach on

The Lazy Iguana said...

That sucks. I was only asked to give a fake reference for a very good friend of mine of many years - and it was for a short term job.

Mr. Fabulous said...

Gee, you have a lot of slackers for friends :)

Kathleen said...

Done it. Have regretted it every time! Never again.

Herb said...

I always add the caveat, "I really like them, but you have to use your own judgement..."

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Some times it works, sometimes you get screwed...I guess I never learn, I keep trying.