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]
[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 an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Solera as a Director of Software Development. An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, 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