Confession - I feel so *dirty.*

  1. Now get your minds out of the gutter!

    I wrote a letter at the request of a coworker. The coworker had been requested to write a letter of reference for a 3rd party who is leaving our facility's employ (with no tears from those remaining.)

    The person the reference is for (not a nurse) is a marginal employee at best. Widely recognized to be clueless, barely does her job, and has to be prodded to do the "dirty work" that she doubtless considers beneath her oddly extensive education but that is nonetheless part of her role. The person who was asked to write the reference is a colleague who will be more than happy to have her leave. Requested that the letter be as glowing as possible to facilitate the person's employment elsewhere. I got dragged into it because I can compose something decent-sounding.

    So I did it (and it was a d*mn fine letter if I do say so myself) - but I feel kinda icky about it even tho my name isn't signed to it.

    Trying desperately to think of a proper act of pennance for my transgression... I really wanted to find that reference letter that's floating around the internet where you read every other line to get the *real* message...
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   adrienurse
    Why? She's just going to be unloaded onto another unsuspecting unit. I usually value your words of wisdom on other posts, but people are going to wonder about you and wonder why you're recommending this dud. We recently hired a new nurse who my manager confided to me "might turn out to be a little weak". She was absent for 5 of her 6 orientation days (and counting). Who wrote letters of reference for her? At least they were mildly honest that she'd be a "weak" employee, but I wouldn't have put my credibility on the line. I'm not even asking why my manager agreed to hire her in the first place.
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    I know, Adrie - that's why I'm self-flagellating now. Like I said, I didn't sign it (the other person took "credit" and knows neither one of us feels that way about her, but I wrote it. Hating myself.
  5. by   prn nurse
    She will probably go somewhere else and really "Shine."

    I've been in envoirments where I wasn't exactly stellar. Went elsewhere, fell in with a bunch of co-workers who treated me like I was the greatest......and I couldn't disappoint them!!

    Stop flagellating.
  6. by   nursegoodguy
    I wrote a letter too...
    Oh boy do I regret it! It was for someone I had known only a few months but was very impressed with them at the time! They wanted a different position and I wrote a glowing letter recommending them. Don't get me wrong I still think they'll do a fine job but since they got the job they have been doing a few unscrupulous things... Everybody knows what they are doing but I feel icky about writing that DA$% letter too! Mainly because I really LOVE my new bosses and only want the best for them!
    Now I don't plan to self flagelate because it sounds like something I'd probably enjoy it too much so I say, I'll just shave my goatee as a form of punishment, have a shower and NOT write any more letters for a while!
  7. by   hoolahan
    Well, the letters I have written have been for good referral and good people. BUT, we did have a CT surgeon where I used to work, we HATED this little Napoleon. We ran into some OR nurses at a seminar who were wroking at the hosp he applied to as cheif of surgery, and YES we made him sound like the greatest thing since the wheel. Why? We couldn't wait to get him outta our faces!!!

    Besides, they shouldn't hire her based on a letter alone. She still has to get through the interview.
  8. by   Jenny P
    I've written letters of recommendation for less than stellar people before; but I have always stressed their good points. My Grandma always said that if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all; and I've always tried to follow that rule when it comes to letter writing. I figure that if I tell the truth about someone, I can sleep better. So if one of the only things that the person can do right is organize the linen closet neatly, I will mention their concern for ward order--- or what ever! As PRN nurse said, we all may perform differently in a defferent environment.
  9. by   researchrabbit
    Plus there's the whole lawsuit thing; we're not allowed to say ANYTHING, good or bad in an "official" letter from our university, just that they worked there...but our university has more weird rules than anyplace I've ever worked before!
  10. by   oramar
    How much weight do letters like that actually hold with employers? I have often wondered about that.
  11. by   shygirl
    Say two Our Father's and three Hail Mary's!
  12. by   nursegoodguy
    Is that you in that avitar shygirl?
    You are so cute and you make me want to go back to being a good catholic boy!
  13. by   JailRN
    Simple, I don't write letters of recommendation. I pass it off on poor spelling and that my brain works faster that my fingers do, I won't put my name on anything that can leter come back to bite my, and put my reputation on the line, If I'm asked about a certain employee, I simply say, Yes they worked here from___ to ___ and Yes, I can confirm they made $____
    other than that, nope, Good luck.
  14. by   Sleepyeyes
    I will, but only will write truthful stuff. Everyone has two or three good points. If I couldn't find that many --- I wouldn't write anything.

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