My boss isn’t writing a reference as she promised. What do I do?


I have been working for an employer part-time, less than 19 hours a week, but I have come across an opportunity to work as a teacher's assistant. My boss has always applauded me and said what a great job I was doing, and how I was her best employee basically. Last week I told her I would need a reference so I can apply for this new job and it would be a great opportunity for me to make more money, so I can pay off my student loans and other things. She said it was no problem and she would do the reference, but that was a lie. A week has passed and I have had to ask her every day for the reference before my application expires and I lose the opportunity, but she has just said OK and blown me off, pretty much. I have prayed to God to touch her heart, so she will do it, but she has even started being a little rude to me. I don't know if this is God's way of telling me that this job is not meant for me or if this is the devil trying to discourage me. I have asked my boss for the reference going on almost two weeks, and I feel it is unfair since I do my job so well.

Please tell me what to do.


This is not to excuse your boss, but I want you to see the conflicting motivations. You are a good employee, but now you've happily told your boss that you are leaving. Thus, she's dragging her feet because she thinks you will stay.

You have too much dependence on one reference. Since your boss won't supply it, regardless of her reasons, see if you can get a few alternative references, perhaps from co-workers or older adults who know you -- especially someone who is in the field you are looking to get a job. On your application mention that you asked your boss for a reference, but she hasn't responded other than saying she will eventually write one.

What you shouldn't have done was ask her every day. No one likes to be nagged, especially when they know they are in the wrong. Ask once and perhaps a week or two later give a short polite reminder but after that drop the matter. "By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, And a soft tongue breaks the bone" (Proverbs 25:15). You have to show patience with people who are over you.


Thank you so much.

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