Best reference letter ever!

Our company has been in a bit of a growth cycle lately; so we have been adding several excellent people to our ranks… and doing all of the interviewing, reference checking, and everything else that entails. One of our candidates sent us this reference letter. I’ve only changed the names of people and companies to protect the guilty. :) I’ll let you decide if we hired this person or not.


To Whom it May Concern,
 
[Jason SMITH] has asked me for a character reference and I would be happy to provide one. 

I had the pleasure to work with [Jason] at i[ACME]gistix, a distribution and assembly company with about $300 million in annual revenue.  I was in charge of configuring their SAP ERP system and I worked with him closely throughout the project.
 
[Jason] met his deadlines and he produced clean, well-written code.  He was jokingly known as ‘The Testinator’ because of his rigorous unit testing.  Or perhaps that was some kind of word play on his testicle size – but I’ve never believe steroids could really do that.   It was certainly clear that they could induce rage but [Jason] was usually good about making sure that didn’t happen at the office and was only arrested on-site once.
 
In any case, once [Jason] got sober and cut back on the meth, he become a lot more easygoing.  I can’t really describe [Jason] him as likeable but he seemed to be accepted by the other Nazis.   And when i[Acme]gistix moved further away from the Fremont elementary school his productivity increased dramatically.
 
He certainly believes in telling it straight and was the source of much office mirth.  At one meeting I remember he suggested that a senior manager ‘stop giggling like a little girl’.   The man later killed himself but it was certainly a funny story until then.
 
[Jason]‘s productivity soared at his next job, where he ‘worked’ from home.  He used to joke that his boss was so frightened that he was happy if he worked an hour a day.  In any case his medication seemed to work well and 18 daily hours of DAOC was exactly what he needed.
 
I would highly recommend [Jason] for any position.  He is not a dangerous marine sniper with a death list.  Please tell him that I said that.  Be sure to mention my name, OK?  
 
Good Luck,
 
[JOE Q. Public]
President
[ACME] Technology Partners, Inc.


Ok, so this wasn’t a ‘real’ reference letter. One of his real references sent this to him first (just to scare him?) and then sent him a real reference. He showed this to us later, and we all had a good laugh.

BTW – we did hire him, and he was a sniper for the marines. :)

About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is the founder and principal mentor for Proaction Mentors, a development and architecture mentoring group. He is probably best known for his work with Microsoft Corporation as a Developer Evangelist and as a technology expert and speaker for the International .NET Association. He currently works with Sabre Airline Solutions as an Agile Coach to mentor agile teams around the globe to be more awesome. He also works as a technical editor and author for Wrox Press and as the host, cameraman and editor for CommunityCast TV. Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Caleb lives in the Dallas area where he continues to date his beautiful wife and busies himself playing Candy Land and Xbox 360 with their four incredible children. Occasionally he writes curriculum, speaks at conferences, and writes code for silly things like Twitter applications. Eventually he'll post some of the gazillion interviews that he's recorded on CommunityCast or blog at www.developingUX.com You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email