Reference: James Noteworthy
6 February 2002
James has been a most sustained employee.
Dear Ms Xavier,
I was most interested to receive your letter dated the 18th of this month requesting a reference for James Noteworthy, currently an employee of Newbunk Consultancy Ltd., and a member of the overall department lead by me. While I have not had extensive contact with James, I have talked to some of his recent managers and looked at his formal feedback, and summarise here.
James is clearly highly intelligent and is able to pick up new skills remarkably quickly. Everyone I asked commented on his unnerving "speed of thought" and worrying ability to "find solutions to complex and involved problems". In fact, Helen Debenture (James' most recent manager and leader of the Advanced Resource Systems Engineering project) went so far as to say, "clients who had exposure to James said that he was the person they trusted to find the best answer in many circumstances".
Linda Delivery, a Senior Consultant who led James' team, said the following:
"The ease and speed with which he completed tasks and solved complex problems was disconcerting to other members of the team. If he had followed the correct procedure and simply got difficult parts of a system simply taken out of scope, then that would been fine, but he had the impertinence to set the precedent of actually providing clients with what they want. In a way we are glad he is leaving the consultancy arena, otherwise this unfamiliar and frankly wrong practice could possibly have spread."
Linda here picks up on what is a very important point. When James applies himself to a problem, he is very good at working out excellent solutions. This obviously causes problems for the management of consultancy projects. If your organisation is involved in consultancy work, I would strongly advise you to invest the time and money in training James to better understand the nature of consultancy. He seems to have the idea that one should put the interests of the client first, and as I'm sure you'll agree, this is not the sort of behaviour one should encourage.
It is also clear from the feedback that James lacked motivation at Newbunk, and as a result, did not fit in with his colleague. Internal research shows that over 72% or our employees are "highly satisfied" with their jobs. This lack of drive often manifested itself in James leaving work far earlier than his team-mates, often resulting in him only working a 45 hour week! He seemed immune to the fact that this sort of thing is strange and sometimes even went around the teams asking if anyone "fancied a pint or two" on a Friday afternoon. James was clearly never cut out for the Newbunk lifestyle!
After all, one thing this firm excels at is rewarding our people, which is why, in the end, I am surprised by James' decision to leave. Had he learned to change certain parts of his attitude and behaviour, there is no reason why he could not have progressed far in this company, possibly even reaching partner level.
A long career in this firm has many benefits: travel to business centres around the world, honing business skills to a very high level, varied yet well structured work, and excellent financial rewards. And alongside all this, I'm only just thirty-four, have a six-figure bank account, and the only people I talk to now are the people I work with.
In closing, I would like you to consider me for any positions in your organisation. I think you'll find I have far more valuable and extensive experience than James. Please find attached my CV.
Roger Tenement, Partner.
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)
Also by this clown:
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps
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