do you have a duty to warn job-seeking acquaintances about a bad boss?

A reader writes:

I work for a large nonprofit and am a manager in a small department. We had a vacant manager position on my level, but with different responsibilities than mine.

An acquaintance from a local nonprofit (who I do not really know beyond a few phone calls over the last few years) called to get some information on the opening. She mentioned that she knew someone who was previously in that position, and asked why he left. I told her it was because he was passed over for a promotion … which is true, but the primary reason he left is because he had conflicts with the boss, who is the hiring authority for the open position. The boss is highly dysfunctional, not a good communicator, doesn’t manage people well at all, and made it difficult for him to stay.

Several weeks later, my acquaintance has landed the job and must be realizing that the environment in our office is toxic. Did I handle this situation appropriately before she was hired? I knew I shouldn’t diss the boss in our initial phone conversation, and I didn’t. I did not discuss her candidacy with the boss or mention that she had called me. If she had asked me some pointed questions about the work environment before accepting the job, I’m not sure how I should have responded. What do I say now if she asks me the question “Why didn’t you clue me in before I accepted the job?”

Ouch.

If the boss is truly a nightmare, I do think you had a responsibility to discreetly signal that to her. You didn’t have to go on a diatribe about how awful your boss is, but saying that the previous guy in the position left because “he had some conflicts with his boss” or “he had trouble with Jane” or “Jane can be hard for some people to work with” would have given her enough information to know that she should do some due diligence before accepting a job there.

Frankly, if you were closer to this person, I think you’d have been obligated to say a bit more than that, but for someone you don’t know well, one or two simple sentences like the ones above are enough to signal “caution” to the person without you going out on much of a limb. (And you can always add, “Please keep this between us.”)

The thing to remember is that bad bosses can make people truly miserable. They also cause people to leave jobs after mere months, sticking them with a potential blot on their resume. So I do think there’s a duty to find a way to speak up, even if only discreetly, when someone directly asks you for information about a job working for one of them.

And again, you don’t need to unleash a tirade of invective. But you should give enough of a signal that the person will realize they should seek more information, or at least approach the job with their eyes wide open. (Here’s more advice on how to do this.) And of course, job seekers should have their eyes wide open anyway and be diligent about checking for fit even when they don’t have insider info, but bad bosses aren’t always easy to spot from the outside.

I certainly don’t mean to lambast you for this; it can be a delicate and tricky situation. But it’s worth keeping in mind for the future.

{ 61 comments… read them below }

  1. Hmm

    Since she said she knew someone that was previously in that position, she probably should have asked him, true? If the OP and this new hire were really mere acquaintances I imagine that the same was true for the new hire and the one previously in the position…

    Anyway, to answer the OP’s question on what she should say if the new hire asks why she didn’t warn her, I think she should just be apologetic. Say that you’re really sorry for not giving her the forwarning, but that you didn’t know if it was a personality conflict or if the boss was really that bad. And apologize for not offering that information as well.

    1. Jamie

      I wouldn’t apologize for not telling someone this.

      If I didn’t feel 100% comfortable that my warning wouldn’t come back to haunt me I wouldn’t say anything, and the odds of me being that comfortable with a casual acquaintance are zero.

      I don’t think anyone owes someone an apology for not trusting them enough to give them information which requires confidence. I would never advocate lying, but I certainly don’t think we owe anyone outside of our loved ones full disclosure.

      1. fposte

        Yes. I doubt that your co-worker is going to ask “Why didn’t you warm me?” because it’s not a reasonable expectation that you would. If she had specifically asked the OP if the boss is a problem and the OP outright lied and claimed the boss was wonderful, then the new hire could have some justification. But that’s not what happened, and it’s not our duty to go around spontaneously warning people about problems they may face.

        1. fposte

          Actually, let me edit the last. I can see the notion that it would have been good if the OP had warned the new hire, but I think you have to be pretty derelict in duty before somebody can complain to you about it, and that that standard wasn’t reached.

      2. KellyK

        Yeah, one thing I was going to bring up was how you avoid having the information you share come back to bite you. With a casual acquaintance, you have no real way to judge how discreet they are.

      3. Rana

        Also, there’s no way of knowing if a “bad” boss is universally awful for everyone. I’ve worked for and with people that other people disliked intensely, and had no problem with them. Some of them I even liked!

        1. PEBCAK

          Oh, THIS. I worked under a guy who my coworker complained was a micromanager. Nobody else had a problem with the boss. I have a feeling that the coworker’s work quality was such that the boss had to micromanage, while he trusted the rest of us, and therefore left us alone.

  2. AnotherAlison

    I’m going to have to disagree on this one. The OP says the acquaintance (AQ) knew the person previously in the position. The AQ had the opportunity to ask him directly why he left. If the AQ went through the hiring process with the manager, and it didn’t set off any alarms for the AQ to dig deeper with the OP, and she never reached out to the previous position-holder, then it’s the AQ’s lack of due diligence that got her where she is with the bad boss now.

    A heads up would be nice, but when it’s someone you don’t really know, I don’t think it’s necessary. It didn’t sound like the AQ even asked the OP, “How do you like working with Jane?” IF the AQ had asked that question, I think the OP should have answered honestly, but AQ has to take responsibility for her decisions.

    1. Mike C.

      It’s awfully difficult to make a fully informed choice when you don’t have all the information. Just because they didn’t get this information doesn’t mean that they weren’t diligent. Maybe everyone involved simply took advice similar to yours and kept their mouths shut.

      Frankly, it’s a bit cowardly not to speak up and then blame the new employee when they had no way of knowing, don’t you think?

      1. AnotherAlison

        Asking the question directly would have been a way to know, so I disagree with your assessment that hte new employee had no way of knowing. The OP says the AQ didn’t ask “more pointed questions.”

        Part of my perspective is definitely due to working in strategy and business development. I don’t just throw out comments about the dysfunction of our organization to acquaintances. Obviously, the job-seeker in question for this post was above-board and legitimately looking, but in my line of work, it would be helpful to know if a critical department in company XYZ is being running off good people due to a dysfunctional manager so that my company can snatch them up or use that info with a client. It would be unethical for someone to obtain information by posing as a job seeker, but I’m trained to not share key information. I suppose my view could be considered a bit of an extreme position. : )

        1. K

          It sounds like you wouldn’t advocate sharing that information if asked a pointed question either, then.

          1. AnotherAlison

            I personally wouldn’t answer much in the first conversation , but I probably would if the AQ asked me post-interview. I’d have more trust that her motive was job-seeking. Beyond the OP & the previous position-holder, I think a job-seeker needs to be asking their own questions in the interview to make sure the boss isn’t crazy. Not everything comes out in a 30-60 minute interview, but I think bad often communication does.

            1. Mike C.

              Ok, so you’ve spent a whole lot of time saying that you’d hold out on information that a candidate would need to make a sound decision. How does this square with your previous assertion that all responsibility lies with the candidate?

              1. AnotherAlison

                The candidate has the responsibility to ASK the question. Not everyone is as reticent as me in offering information, and even I said after establishing some comfort and trust with the asker & their motives, I’d throw them a bone if they asked more directly. By asking the question, the candidate can learn a lot from what’s not said.

                IRL, people (not job candidates) asked me what I thought of working with my difficult coworker. I didn’t say so-and-so is super-annoying and I can’t stand his face. I said he’s interesting. Or very technical. The fact that someone doesn’t say so-and-so is great to work with says a lot.

                1. K

                  I don’t think this makes a ton of sense, to be honest. (The part about having an obligation to ask.) A job seeker isn’t a lawyer performing cross-examination of a hostile witness. They’re asking friendly questions of someone who’s doing them a favor. And it’s not unreasonable if they don’t want to turn it into a cross-examination by trying to extract information it’s obvious the other person doesn’t want to give them (which is what it is if they’re not going to answer unless the alternative is to lie or make it clear there’s something to hide).

                  When someone asks you for information about a job, the fact that the boss is – for instance – an abusive nut job who hurls dictionaries at people is relevant information. You KNOW it’s relevant information; there is not a doubt in your mind that it’s information the other person wants to hear. The question is whether or not you’re willing to tell it to them and, if so, in what words you’re willing to do so. And making your decision about that based on whether the person asking hits upon the magic words that get them an honest answer (or assuaging your guilt at not telling them by saying that they didn’t hit upon the magic words) is just confusing the real issue, which is that you weren’t willing to put yourself out on the line for them.

                  Which I’m not saying it isn’t reasonable. I don’t tell every law student I talk to about careers at my firm about Partner X who does Y either. But it’s not their fault for not specifically asking either.

                2. Mike C.

                  But you went on and on about how your very special experience in the very important field of strategy business development would stop you from answering the question anyway.

                  I mean come on, you’re basically saying that candidates have to pass the secret morality test and then you’ll drop them a hint that they might be walking into something they’re going to regret for the next several years. Do you understand why I and others here find that to be rather despicable behavior?

                  Do you even have a clue as to what it’s like to have an abusive relationship with a boss or owner? I spent three years trying to get out of a situation like that, and it was hell. Why would you resign people to that fate for not passing your ridiculous test? Do you have no empathy for your fellow human beings?

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      I can see that point of view, but for all we know, the person previously in the position was similarly close-lipped (or the acquaintance didn’t feel comfortable asking). We don’t know, of course, but I wouldn’t dismiss that possibility.

    3. LPBB

      The acquaintance may also have been trying to get a more objective view of why the previous job holder left. There’s no way of knowing how close those two were from the letter.

      She may have asked and been told the boss was a nightmare. But, if the previous job holder was another acquaintance, rather than a good friend, she doesn’t really have a way of knowing if the boss truly was a nightmare or simply expecting her employees to do their jobs. In that case it would make sense to talk to someone else with knowledge of the situation.

    4. Anonymous

      The AQ might have asked the previous employee and wanted to verify with the OP. It’s also possible that the previous employee who left may have had to sign a non-disclosure/non-disparagement statement as a condition of leaving. I’ve seen organizations that have done that as a way of controlling what is said about them by former employees.

      That said, if anyone said to me, “legally, I’m not allowed to discuss the organization,” that would be a huge red flag…

  3. Josh S

    Do you have an obligation to give a heads up about a lousy boss? No.
    Should you do it anyway? Yes.

    First, for a friend/acquaintance/professional contact, it’s the right thing to do. Yes, do it discreetly and subtly if necessary, but raise the flag.

    Second, it’s good for the organization to give the heads up. If you get someone who turns out to be miserable and leaves after just a couple months, the disruption of turnover drags on significantly, which is just bad for the team/company. If you’ve given her a heads up, she’s at least going into it with eyes open–she might have decided that she can put up with the frustrating boss.

    And if the new hire listens to your warning but doesn’t heed it, well, you’ve done your part and that’s on her.

    At this point, considering that the person has been hired already, it might be worth having a ‘check-in’ (as a peer) to see how her ramp up time has been. If she brings up any frustration with the Boss, you can perhaps help with some ways to handle the frustration or mitigate the crazy. It’s too late to go back and change the past, but you can certainly try to help smooth things now, as much as is possible.

  4. JG

    Great advice in both this letter and the 2010 article! My interviewer was very candid about the downsides of my current job and to this day I still feel grateful for that.

    My previous job was a nightmare that I was desperate to get out of, but I worried a lot about unknowingly taking a job that would end up being worse. Knowing the pros and cons ahead of time put my mind at ease, and I felt ready for the challenges I was warned about when they inevitably arose. Everyone’ s deal breakers are different. I was more than willing to trade a cruel, micromanaging boss for a heavier, more stressful workload, and I was glad to be able to make an informed decision.

    1. Elizabeth West

      Information definitely makes that decision a lot easier. My last job started out okay, but changes down the road made it really stressful and difficult after a while. A change of attitude didn’t help. I was really afraid that I’d end up in the exact same job again–it would look good, but then eventually be intolerable. So I looked hard at stuff like culture, etc. that had sucked so much before.

  5. Sascha

    This is very timely, thanks! Your articles are becoming more and more timely for me, almost to the point of being creepy… :)

    I learned today a person on my team is leaving. I have a friend who is job searching in my field and the position will probably open soon, and I’d like to recommend him for it. I was just thinking about how best to talk to him about the pros/cons of the job.

  6. Lanya

    I was in this situation myself several years ago, when a former coworker from a previous job wanted to apply at my current company. I warned her that her direct supervisor would be a nightmare to work with. She applied anyway, but did not get the job. She was very disappointed…but it was a blessing in disguise.

    So…it’s good to remember that even if you do the good deed of warning someone, chances are, they will take your advice with a grain of salt and apply anyway.

    In the instance that they are hired, however, this does give you the benefit of saying “I told you so” when reality hits! :)

  7. Anonymous today

    I actually was in a position one time where I received an unsolicited heads’ up about a similar situation after I interviewed for a position, which I later accepted. It was a panel interview, and unbeknownst to me one of my interviewers was the sister of one of my former colleagues who coincidentally had previously worked for the same organization I was applying to, under the Director whose programs I would be supporting. My interviewer mentioned to her sister that they interviewed me, & she in turn emailed me to warn me that the Director could be quite difficult to work with. I asked for a few details & she gave me a few examples which allowed me to make an informed decision & go into what did indeed prove to be a difficult situation at times with open eyes. It was really helpful to have that warning, so that when certain things did occur it seemed more manageable because I felt prepared for that possibility instead of being shocked by bad behavior out of the blue & then reacting from there.

  8. AnotherAlison

    Not to hijack this whole thread with my comments, but I also think there’s a tendency of job seekers to see/hear what they want to hear.

    I have been asked, “Are you thick-skinned?” That’s definitely a red flag that deserves some follow-up questions on my part, not just an opportunity for me to explain how thick-skinned I am and tell how often I deal with PITAs.

    1. Jane Doe

      I think job seekers, especially those who are good at interviewing, are accustomed to thinking on their feet to answer these types of “how are your ____ skills?” questions with an example of how they demonstrated ____ skill by _____, but the problem is that it can become so automatic that they don’t understand that the interviewer is also giving them hints about what to expect.

      1. class factotum

        I saw a job posting that said, “Must be willing to work long hours to get the job done,” and I thought, “Wow! If they actually put that on the listing, they must expect really, really long hours!”

  9. Colette

    I agree with Alison’s advice – but to those looking for this kind of input, this is a good reason to warn someone you’d like to chat about their company rather than calling out of the blue. That gives them time to think about how to say what they need to say before they actually talk to you.

    (Not to say that didn’t happen here, but I know I’d give a better answer if I had time to think about it.)

  10. Erik

    I’ve done this in the past, but I do so discretely, and let them make their decision based off of it. I want to make sure that I don’t end up with “Why didn’t you tell me about this?” when things blow up later.

    There’s no obligation to do this, but I feel it’s in my interest as a human being to do so. I call that karma. You might end up working that person sometime down the line, and they would remember about you warning them.

  11. Jeff

    The OP says that this person is an acquaintance, so my personal ethical line is drawn right here. I’m assuming that the OP’s boss is not the dysfunctional manager mentioned, however, how do we know that this boss isn’t vindictive or in a position to affect the OP’s job? What if the acquaintance has loose lips and lets it slide that she heard things from the OP about this boss to someone at her new place of work (or even to the dysfunctional boss him/herself)? Don’t get me wrong, I would never want to have someone walk in to a situation and be blindsided, but I will only go so far for an acquaintance if the result might negatively impact my career.

    On second thought, am I being too paranoid?

    1. MA

      I don’t think you need to be this cautious, based on my own experience.

      I previously worked for a really awful manager. So bad that when I left our VP requested a long sit down, based on my feedback (and the feedback from just about everyone this manager encountered) our VP had the manager fired and escorted out by security.

      What I learned from this experience is that no one warned me during the job interview process however EVERYONE talked about how bad my manager was once I started working. Bottom line: if someone is that bad, everyone in the office is already talking about it so spare candidates a bad job and say something before they pursue the position.

  12. Diane

    I’m curious how to square advice to signal concerns about managers or culture with advice to be direct in most other situations because it’s not reasonable to count on people to get nuance and signals. What kinds of relationships and situations call for each, especially in the minefield of people’s careers?

  13. Rob Bird

    I believe you have to keep it in perspective. Not everyone has the same relationships with their co-workers, so a bad boss for one person may be a good boss for someone else. I would never tell one person why another person left; I would tell them to ask that person.

    1. Jamie

      This is a really good point. I’ve been warned about bosses where I can see why they didn’t like working for them I was able to form pretty good relationships because the areas in which they were difficult weren’t issues for me.

      And I’ve ended up with closer relationships with each of those bosses than I did with the people who warned me. If I were a different kind of person who liked drama I could easily have told the “difficult” bosses nothing but the truth and created a lot of trouble. They were lucky I don’t enjoy that kind of thing, but it’s in the back of my mind when people talk about warnings. I would never want to tell someone something I would forever be worried they’d repeat.

    2. Here's The thing Though

      Yep. That’s exactly the point I was going to make. “Bad” if it;s a style thing, is subjective. There are obvious extremes (a boss that is abusive etc), but relationships are also two-sided and sometimes poisoning someone against a boss before they start can actually have a self-fulfilling prophecy effect.

  14. moss

    From AAM’s linked post ” they just want to show up and work and they’re going to tune out things that would drive others insane.”

    I want to be this type of person! How can I become more like this? I have a frustrating, destructively lazy, senior-to-me coworker and I am really struggling with my own response to her. How can I shrug off things like undoing my work, unresponsiveness etc.?

  15. The Other Dawn

    I’ve struggled with this in the past. We had a manager that was terrible. He was very arrogant, condescending, hot-headed, you name it. He’s since left. Every time we hired a new person for that department (position turned over three times in three years), I struggled with whether I should tell the employee to run and never look back or just keep quiet. I wasn’t in on the interviews and never had contact with any of them during the hiring process so there wasn’t an opportunity to signal the person.

  16. A Disillusioned Employee

    A good way for a candidate to avoid at at least some bad bosses is to ask a very open-ended question of the hiring manager: “How would you describe your management philosophy?”. Then listen closely to the answer and observe the body language for any sign of defensiveness. It may be worthwhile to follow this up with: “Can you describe the situation in which you had to fire somebody?”.

    I once had a prospective boss who bragged about how he was told to cut two people and he cut three! Red flags went flying all over the place. I did not get the job, but I would not have accepted it anyway without at least 6 month severance agreement built into the offer.

    1. Waiting Patiently

      Hmm. I don’t know what others think but I would only ask the first question because hopefully the answer will give you the information you need without having to ask them about a time they had to fire someone.

      The prospective boss may have been honest where he needed to cut three even though he was told to cut two. He answered your question. Or he could have responded that way to see your reaction.

      1. A Disillusioned Employee

        Believe me, it was not just what he said, but how he said it that sent red flags flying. I quickly surmized that this was the guy who actually enjoyed firing people. He also told me how he sometimes used swear words to give feedback. And this was all in response to the first question!

        I have only resorted to the second question when the answer to the first one appeared to be canned or too well prepared. I only had to do it once.

        1. Jill

          I’d be concerned that asking would sound like I was trying to find out how much I could slack off without getting fired.

          1. Waiting Patiently

            Very true because people get fired because they aren’t doing their job or doing something inappropriate that’s related to your job. Taking words from my ex, I hate to say this but in that situation there really is no gray area. Of course, hoping that protocol is followed. So asking this type of behavioral question of manager, you’re basically asking him/her to justify his right to fire a bad employee. Most employment is at will.

        2. Waiting Patiently

          Trust your instincts by all means and run for the hills!, but I know that my ex, who is a a**hole type manager, would probably say this to a job applicant if asked and would probably offer more information on firing without even being prompted, he’d expect for candidates to weed themselves out if need be. Some places just expect that you can take it. I don’t agree with the management style- his industry is blue collar all male. He was especially a jerk when he was the manager overseeing one operation site of about 30 men, but when he went into corporate and started managing 3 operations he tuned it down a bit. Not saying all military people are like this but a good number expect that in order to manage people you gotta be a jerk and PITA sometimes. So I could totally see him saying to a job applicant “yep, I can be a jerk or a**hole to work for, and yes I will fire two people in one day if need be.
          The other day I was watching a college basketball game and the coach was screaming in the face of the player to the point the coach was beet red. I”m not saying it’s right but a**holes are out there running lots of shows!

    2. TL

      I started asking about interviewers’ management style a while back, and the responses have really been interesting – and often, alarming. “I’m a (insert curse word here)” isn’t the type of boss I’m looking for. I’ve also had at least one instance where the work environment and subsequent statements on the part of the interviewer seemed to belie their initial answer. (In that case, I wasn’t offered the job, but I so wanted to be a fly on the wall and see if my concerns were reality, or if it was just a poorly worded comment.)

  17. DA

    If the boss is truly that bad, does anyone realistically think that nobody is talking about it, even to other people outside of the company? If people who have no vested interest in this information acquire this information, how is it right to hold the information from someone who is interested in joining the organization?

    Answer the questions. They are attempting to do their due diligence. You do them no favors by withholding information.

    1. Anon

      I agree, but sadly I’m starting to think no one cares enough to do that, making doing your due diligence a moot point. :-(

  18. Wintertive

    I’m curious to hear people’s stories about how the first impression of a manager during the interviewing process matched up with the reality after the job was accepted. If one is being mindful of taking off the rose-colored glasses and keeping a lookout for red flags, can one always tell in advance if a manager will suck to work for (or conversely, be really great)?

    I haven’t yet had a job where I didn’t already know the manager prior to the interviewing process so unfortunately I can’t contribute my own story, but I would love to hear others’ stories!

    1. Not So NewReader

      I would love to read people’s comments on this question, too.

      I don’t think I am a very good judge. But in the last ten years or so I have learned that if I walk away from an interview with a stomach ache then I need to keep looking at other jobs.

      I did really miss my guess once in an unusual way. I interviewed. I decided the boss was a by-the-books stickler. I felt that he would probably be very demanding. He was all business on the interview. Making matters worse, when I started working, I found that everyone in the department was complaining about everything. I thought “oh, no.”

      Long story short- the man later became one of my top three favorite bosses in my life. Of course, he was all business on the interview- it was a new job for him, the department was a mess and he was trying to establish himself as a manager. Once I showed that my focus was on my work, it was like a dam broke. He was probably one of the best training bosses I have seen in my life. And he was a good listener, even if he disagreed he still listened. His management style was exemplary.

      It was sheer luck that I happened to apply for and accept the job.

      1. Wintertive

        Thanks for sharing that story! He does sound pretty great.

        I wonder if it’s common that good bosses come off ‘harder’ during the interview process and then pleasantly surprise you with their openness/compassion later on?

    2. EM

      My boss for my last job seemed normal when I met him and during the interview. No red flags. It turned out that he was a poor manager with an even poorer grasp of the technical side (and he’s not an MBA type; he had started out as a technical person). To make matters worse, he is basically an overgrown teenager and only cares about himself to a pathological extent. I think he was on his best behavior before I was hired. :/

  19. K Too

    This post makes me think of an interview experience I had when I was unemployed.

    I think it’s always a good idea to forewarn others of a bad boss or toxic work environment. What choice the job seeker makes after hearing the cons is their decision.

    I interviewed at an ad agency once and all seemed well until I met the team manager. He kept asking the same questions different ways, interrupting me, etc and I started to get the feeling that this guy was a jerk.

    Since I was still interested in the role, I later contacted a former employee to ask him about the company atmosphere. When we spoke he mentioned that he asked his ex-teammate if he should tell me the truth because I needed a job. His friend responded that he should be open and honest. He spilled the beans and told me that half of the digital marketing team jumped shipped 6 months earlier. They hired a new person weeks before he resigned, but that person was fired 3 weeks later.

    When he was ready to quit, he put in his 2 weeks but they didn’t allow him to stay since it would bring down the “morale” of the company.

    I was never offered the job but I dodged a bullet. Thanks to this former employee, my interest in the role went away.

    Three months later, the jerk boss was gone.

  20. anonz

    Interesting and timely for me. I left a position due to a nightmare boss (don’t worry, Alison, I secured another — and better– job first!) and as my field is quite small, I know people are going to ask me about the environment, work load, etc when the job gets posted again. I’ve been wrestling with what to say to them. I do want to convey that the work is interesting, the benefits are good, and there are nice co-workers, but — while that is true, the management is truly toxic, and is unlikely to be a good fit with the typical person in this field. Ugh.

  21. pidgeonpenelope

    I disagree with this feedback. I got a job with a boss a friend thought, and warned me, was awful. Four years later, I’m still at this job and I love my boss. The vibe in the office was negative because of previous coworkers and not my boss. Now that those folks have left, the office vibe is really good.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Ah, but read the post I linked to in the response! It covers exactly that: to realize that some point are just fine with something that would drive another person crazy. Your goal is to give them unvarnished information, but to try to keep bias out of it — so they can make their own decision, but armed with the facts.

  22. Anon

    Hmm. I ended up with a bad boss and a bad client. I thought I did my due diligence by asking someone who worked with the bad client about them. They opted not to give me the unvarnished truth. I was hurt, because I thought we were friends, and I would have never said anything – I just wouldn’t have taken the job.

    That being said, if someone calls me and asks me about someone, I am telling the truth, good or bad. I personally would feel guilty if I didn’t give the facts and let them decide for themselves.

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