I'm in an interesting situation at work. I work with "Joe". Joe and I are both programmers, having both been professionally programming for about 20 years. Joe does some of the worst work I've seen in my professional career, and in my personal opinion should have been fired years ago. I've discussed this ad nauseam with my direct manager, who Joe doesn't report too, mostly because Joe is wasting my time asking questions he should know the answer too.
My company is finally waking up to Joe, and his bad work quality and terrible work ethic. Unfortunately instead of firing him, they are trying to push him off on another division of the company, with a separate management structure.
Joe essentially needs to be re-interviewed by this other division in order to be officially transferred. Tomorrow, I've been asked by the development manager of this division to provide a reference of Joe, this will be done over the phone.
I want to come off as professional as possible to this manager, as we have worked together before, and will continue to do so. Unfortunately having worked with Joe for about a year now, I have a lot of "dirt" that could immediately seal his grave at this company.
Do I tell this manager the whole story about Joe, every negative detail? I'm just concerned if I do this, I may come across in a negative way and my bias toward Joe being fired is going to be blatantly obvious.
If not the whole story, at what line should I draw in this conversation?
** Closing thoughts after this phone interview **
I had my phone interview reference about Joe, we used a massive code review as a base for evaluating Joe. Joe did these changes solely, so it was a good factual representation about what Joe was capable/not capable of. We both came to the same conclusions, and the manager definitely read through the lines and noticed I wasn't saying anything positive. The message was received well, and I can feel good that I didn't get into a bunch of gossip and mud slinging about Joe.