Work Question about mean employers ... input needed

Discussion in 'Economy' started by 777, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. 777
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    777 Member

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    Where did this rule come from that you cannot speak badly of your former employers when it would be fully justified? Imagine a situation where you are verbally abused daily, sexually harassed, or maybe your boss has an abuse problem and he/she is just out of control ...

    Why do we need to play these idiotic elementary games and pretend otherwise, meaning we'd say something like "I left because I wanted new challenges, new opportunities, whatever excuse ... " rather than telling the truth?

    Why is it not OK to tell the truth that your boss was so irrational, hurtful, abusive ...? After all, the employee is the victim, not the boss. I am talking about telling the truth to prospective employer in serious abuse cases, not just because the boss is simply being mean and a jerk.


    I don't get this silly "pretend" game ... when can you speak the truth?
     
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  2. actsnoblemartin
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    actsnoblemartin I love Andrea & April

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    the reason i heard was, if you talk bad about your old boss, you will talk bad about them.

     
  3. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    Yes. If you speak badly about your boss (previous employment) to a prospective employer, your prospective employer is more likely to think that, if you become employed and leave after some time has passed, that you will speak similarly about him.

    It may even tempt your prospective employer to contact your previous boss to get “his side of the picture”. It is usually best to, as best you can, speak neutrally or positively about your previous employers, co-workers, and acquaintances.
     
  4. The Man @ Lunch
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    The Man @ Lunch Member

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    There is no "legal" rule of any kind, of course. It's not a crime to speak badly of a former employer when it's justified, nor can you be sued for doing so. (At least you're not likely to be sued because you probably don't have enough money to make it worthwhile for the employer.)

    Everything that's been said earlier is true, however. It's just a pracitcal matter that you shouldn't badmouth former employers to prospective ones, or your current one.

    If an interviewer asks you why you left and your boss truly WAS incompetent, or the company really was backwards, there are ways to get the message across. You just don't come right out and say these things: you only imply them very strongly.
     
  5. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    We live in a much smaller world than one may realize.

    There are a couple of sayings, WISE sayings that sort of relate to this:

    ''Don't Burn a bridge that you may need to go across in the future.''

    or

    ''Don't burn a bridge before you cross it.''

    I didn't note an occupation in your complaint,

    but I ended up having a career in a field that i held a part time job in when I was in high school. Later on in life, i ran in to my old boss who i thought was a jerk when working for him, who was now one of the biggest Accounts, for the company I ended up working at, and I was given his account to handle!!!

    I was greatful, I had not burned that bridge, and greatful he had not ''heard'' about what I once thought of him! :D

    Be careful.

    Care
     
  6. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Someone who badmouths his boss is perceived as not being a team player. It also raises unnecessary questions in the mind of the interviewer that it may be you who was at fault and maybe that's why you had problems in your last job. Those are exactly the types of perceptions which would make an employer choose one employee over another, all other things being equal.

    Put yourself in the place of a prospective employer.... would you choose the person who had a history of friction (even if it wasn't of his own making) or would you choose the person who you perceived as bringing tranquility and competence to his new job?

    An interview is like being on a first date. Do you want to hear all the little rough spots in the other person's life during the first glass of wine? Wouldn't you find it strange if, instead of showing interest in the new company and emphasizing the positive, an interviewee bitterly used their brief interview to lambast their former employer? I know I wouldn't hire someone who did that.

    I'd also point out that by law, former employers are not allowed to badmouth employees when being called about them. If they can't say anything positive, they are required to say nothing more than the dates or employment and the job title held.
     
  7. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    And how does one learn that the former employer did not follow this law?
     
  8. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    If you are concerned about what is being said about you there are several companies that, for a fee ranging from $30 to $200, pretend to be a prospective employer, call your past employers, and advice you about what they said. Some question the ethics of such a business but it is legal.

    I think that the following are typical services:

    http://checkmyreference.com/

    http://www.employment-reference.com/index.htm
     
  9. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Why pay a company to do that? That's ridiculous. Just do it yourself, or have a friend do it for you. Works like a charm.

    I will say that I have to agree with being neutral about past employers...for your own good. I'm not sure if both sides are protected under the Defamation of Character law, though.
     
  10. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    I have never been good at deception. I think that if I were to ask a fried to do it, he might make a mistake. If I were to try to find out what someone thinks of me, I’d hire an experienced “professional”.
     

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