Doesn’t Get How References Work

, , , , | Working | February 25, 2019

(I am a store manager at a coffee chain. Our employees are hired by a separate HR and recruiting department. I need new people so they send me twenty-year-old who has passed the interview process and seems eager to start working. I tell her the basics, give her her shifts for the next four weeks — in Finland you are required to give employees their shift lists quite early, so they can plan their lives outside of work: childcare, studies, hobbies, etc. — and start training her. Training lasts two shifts and goes okay. After those two first shifts, she stops coming to work. She does not show up for her next shift and does not answer her phone or emails. After a week and five missed shifts, I decide to email her and let her know that, since she was on her trial period and had not given any explanation for her absence, she is fired. A week after the email she shows up for work as if nothing happened and asks where her apron is. I ask her to come to my office.)

Me: “Did you not see my email or the message I sent to your phone? You failed to show up on your shifts for weeks — shifts that you agreed to take, by the way — and did not answer your phone for over a week, so I’m terminating our contract. You are no longer employed here.”

New Starter: “Come oooon! I’m sorry, okay, but I was so busy with, like, studies and other stuff and did not have time to come to work. I have time now, so I can work the rest of my shifts this month. It’s not that serious. You are a student, too; you should know what it’s like when you are busy. You can’t just fire me!”

(But I can and I do, even though she kicks up a fuss, seems to think it’s super unfair, and even threatens to spam our Facebook with bad reviews. Fast forward five months: I get a call from a recruiter for another coffee chain.)

Recruiter: “Did you have an employee called [New Starter] working for you?”

Me: “Oh, her. Yes, we did. Why?”

Recruiter: “Well, we are considering hiring her and she used you as a reference on her CV. She said she worked for you for four months; is that accurate?”

(The effing bonehead had actually used me as her only CV reference, with the right phone number and everything, and made up a work history where she was an appreciated member of our team, a reliable worker, and a customer service specialist. I had fun correcting these mistakes, and I do not think she got the job at the other coffee chain after I told them about her work ethics. Lying on your CV is a delicate skill, people, and HR actually does occasionally check the references.)

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