I am currently employed in a job where my boss is sure to give me a terrible reference due to the fact that we have had personality conflicts all along the way. I do not respect her or the vile things she has done to me and to other coworkers (I truly believe she is unbalanced, quite honestly----for one, she lies, without batting a lash, about the most outlandish things) and I am afraid that I will never get a good reference out of her.
Furthermore, she is the person to talk to about job references about me...no other manager/authority will intervene. The common remedy for this situation is usually: "Oh, by law, so-and-so will not give you a bad reference because she cannot say anything damning about you for fear of being sued." Trust me, this woman can put across her poison to any potential employer to let them know what she really thinks of me without getting herself into legal trouble. I've seen her knife others in a similar fashion.
I have just graduated from Howard University with a BA Degree in Arts Management and she is the most prominent obstacle to my escaping from this horrible situation and into a dream job.
I repeat, no good or neutral reference to be had from this woman. What possible remedy can there be for me??
by Alexander Kjerulf, Chief Happiness Officer
Oh man, that sucks! When a person is both messing up your work life and happens to be the gatekeeper preventing you from seeking new employment – that's a really tough situation.
Here's my advice: Get out of there anyway. Now. Today. Don't wait to find a new job, just quit.
I agree that this will make finding your next job more difficult – but this is unlikely to change any time soon. Her review will be just as vile in 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. Get out of Dodge now, while you still have some energy, sanity and optimism left.
Here are a few ideas when you're looking for your next job:
Can you get away with not mentioning your employment at this company? You're a recent graduate, after all. Maybe it won't look so strange on your resume to simply leave out this job.
Alternatively, can you get 3 or 4 references from other people in your current workplace? From other bosses, co-workers – possibly even customers. These should be glowingly positive. You can then use these references to offset her bad one.
Finally, you could simply explain the situation to future employers. Interpersonal conflicts are nothing new, and you're hardly the first person who doesn't get along with a boss. If you choose to do it this way, make sure to say nothing negative about your old boss. Not one word. Simply say that you didn't have great chemistry.
The important thing is for you to get away from her. The sooner the better!