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Re: references enclosed with resume

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From: Matt or Gina Booth (ginab_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Apr 10 2002 - 19:40:27 PDT


You know, sometimes you can't get any references at all - for legal
reasons. This happened to my husband, he did a major newspaper
delivery job (worked full time had employees he hired under him,
controlled an area for 20 years straight, worked everyweekend and holdiay
not missing one day in 20 years, talk about sacraficing family life, ah,
but that's another story).
And guess what, they wouldn't write him a recommendation ! For
legal reasons. For no one. (My husband was no slackard either, I mean, not
missing one
day in 20 years, also, he was carrier of the year for state twice.)

My husbands boss of 20 years was so upset he wrote a personal letter of
recommendation
for my husband saying he should be considered for management ! But the
personal letter really wouldn't do much good I don't feel if he should try
to use it, compared to letterhead.

My husbands route encompassed 2 different newspaper companies and the other
newspaper had the same policy. No written recommendations for legal
reasons. I guess down the line someone felt a past recommendation for
someone
was unfair or bad so now they can't write any at all, even if they have only
good things to say.

Interesting !
----- Original Message -----
From: <crago@artic.edu>
To: ArtsEdNet Talk <artsednet@lists.getty.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 5:47 AM
Subject: re: references enclosed with resume

>
> Re: references enclosed with resume
>
> I believe also that honesty is the best policy in these matters. In my
> experience in both education and the media (working for newspapers as an
arts
> critic) trust me there are no secrets in this world, everyone knows
someone you
> know and I have had people call references "between" my references! What
I mean
> is, I may list someone in my list of references, and a friend of that
person will
> be contacted, old boy friends (that was in the case of the Chicago
Tribune) and
> even people who worked as assistants to my references were and have been
> contacted. The questions (when my friends or references share them with
me)
> really run the gamut as well -- my old friend at The Tribune (who I had
dated for
> two years when I was in my mid 20's -- I am now in my late 40's) gave an
editor
> a very formal (typed out) list of pros and cons about hiring me. When I
asked
> him why (after I had been hired as a freelance critic) he said that if he
hadn't
> done it that way, his editor would think he was biased -- and as a critic
he was
> trying to be fair!
>
> Anyway, I digress...at the present time I absolutely love my principal,
but am
> not crazy about my school -- I told my principal last week that I had
decided to
> start looking and asked her if I should tell the superintendent -- she
said not
> to tell the superintendent just yet (he's in charge of 4 schools), but
that she
> would be happy to give me a good reference. Hence it has been wonderful
to be
> able to write on teaching applications to prospective schools or agencies
that
> they may call my present employer. I believe that it's important for most
people
> in our lives to know our intentions...she knows I am killing myself at the
school
> -- trying to do the best job I can in every way, but that my intention is
to move
> on -- I think there's some integrity to that. She also knows I took a 30%
pay
> cut to come to the school, but that I came primarily because of her
reputation as
> a pro arts principal (she has a background as music teacher)...She also
knows
> that she will not be left in the lurch in terms of supplies being ordered,
or the
> art room being organized, or even my acting as a contact and/or
necessarily angel
> for whoever takes my place.
>
> My question here is why not ask former references to write a general
reference so
> that employers can contact them? After all -- it's not as though she's a
runaway
> slave and the art police are going to pick her up and drag her handcuffed
and
> gagged back to her old job of 17 years...I don't get it...there must be
something
> here we don't understand that she hasn't shared.
>
> Intention is important, honesty is important, personal reputation is
important,
> but one must protect oneself as well...a secretary, parents, an assistant,
a co-
> teacher on a project -- even someone you exhibited with 20 years ago, or
shared a
> post on an arts committee, a gallery or whatever all have an input
potentially on
> your being hired or not. I would also suggest if she has trepidation
about
> former references to consider contacting teachers with whom she has worked
at her
> former schools - collegiality is very important as you all know.
>
> I live in Chicago, which is a big cosmopolitan community -- however, the
arts
> community is small in comparison, and the art education community is
smaller
> still -- on some level to me it feels like a small town. With the
internet and
> media and the way schools really do communicate with one another through
> professional and informal conferences and meetings -- much has the
potential to
> be shared and discussed -- and a lot will be shared that is not entirely
"legal"
> (- something shared in a cafe in Spain over a glass of wine is simply more
> information on you) -- and it does happen this way -- nothing exists in a
vacuum
> here -- everything has the potential to be "outed" and to surface in some
way. I
> once was an hour late for an in-service I was doing for a group of
teachers
> because I got lost on the way. I was doing this project for a very
important
> local arts advocacy group, and the drama and upset of my being late and
getting
> lost was discussed by the supervisor of the program and someone who had
acted as
> reference for me (a former professor) in Spain that very afternoon. It
was
> horribly embarrassing {-- I do use a personal navigation system now in my
car
> because I have no sense of direction}...I still cringe when I remember
this
> incident. My relationship with that former professor has never been the
same --
> and no, she's no longer a reference and probably wouldn't advocate for me
if her
> life depended on it.
>
> However, just to play devil's advocate for a moment, I am also thinking
about
> former Chicago public school principals I have had (- and some I wouldn't
trust
> as far as I could throw them -) I could understand your friend being
concerned
> about sabotage of her present program in some way, or perhaps information
shared
> that if not totally negative) would simply raise questions because of it's
forced
> (read "studied") neutrality ...if that's the case, perhaps there is
someone on
> the staff -- not the actual principal, but perhaps a curriculum
specialist, a co-
> teacher, even an assistant principal who would be willing to act as a
contact/
> advocate. The other idea I have for a contact would be someone with whom
your
> friend studied under in college as a supervising professor.
>
> Now that I have looked at it both ways, I would also be interested in
hearing
> what others have to say about references. This is an interesting
question. And
> of course not everyone with whom I have worked thinks I am the greatest
thing
> since sliced bread -- but we all need to feel we have a team of references
who we
> have known for some time, who we can share coffee or lunch or a phone call
and
> who feel invested in our doing well in life. There are enough people out
there
> who probably simply don't care what happens to us-- hence we need to have
a team
> who advocates for us always through good and bad weather.
>
> Best wishes to all,
> Carmela
> (crago@artic.edu)
>
> ---
>

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