Long story short. I was in a company for around a year, and I decided to pursue an alternative career path. Upon leaving, in large advance, I gave notice to my boss (I did not have any issues with him) and I kindly asked if he could write me a recommendation letter. He agreed. After the first day of unemployment, he sent me a reference letter.
I was caught by sadness and surprise, because it:
- is completely different from the format of the recommendation letter, as he provided a pseudo-report of my professional yield under both his supervision and his managers that worked with me. As a result, his letter is biased, I had toxic relationship with one manager under him, and he could have told her exaggerated stories of my bad behavior.
- only contains allegations of misconduct, and makes no mention of any positive aspect, and in the sense of very specific instances of bad behavior masked as follows, "his behavior looks as if he believes he is a-know-it-all", and "he judges the work of his senior peers", and ultimately that my boss (whom I had not interacted frequently, as day-to-day basis) even stated that I was not welcome in the team (of less than 3 people, me included). I personally can assure that these allegations are unsubstantiated, because for the life of me I never ever dared to judge anyone, and I firmly believe that the latter expression is a blatant lie.
- is not a recommendation, because there are no other mentions of any positive output from my work, which has spanned also through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. My work output has been negatively impacted by personal problems related to the illness and grief in my family, but no mention of this was brought to give context to my work output, worse, it was completely ignored.
I believe that my boss did a borderline defamation and shown unethical behavior, and I would like to take action by speaking directly to him. I do not know how to tell him that he did not write a recommendation letter, and secondly that what he wrote is biased and omitted context that ultimately leaves me no choice but to leave this letter in a folder. Moreover, I am not sure that I want to contact him again.