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I was recently terminated from my job. It came with no notice or warning. The work was on call and I was consistently getting close to full time. But it was known we were entering the slow time of year.

The information I got in the termination phone call was very unclear to me. At first the manager said it was because they didn't have the work so it sounded like a layoff. Then she said there were some negative feedback she got about me (which had never been brought to my attention and frankly I disagree with or was very minor). She said she would mark the form I'm suitable to be considered for rehire, though I'm concerned this may still look like a bad thing that I was let go.

Each branch is responsible for hiring their own staff, however they likely communicate (almost certainly if I include it on my resume).

I'm thinking of sending this email to the manager and assistant. Does this have a good chance of being received well? (All names faked - branches are named after streets so I just refereed to the one I was at as "downtown")

Hi Jane and Joe,

It's unclear to me why I am no longer working at the downtown Microcorp. At any rate, I would like to know if whatever happened will affect me when applying to other branches of Microcorp? Can I get a positive reference from management?

Hedgehound

Or would a phone call be better as they may be willing to say more no it writing? I tried calling today but they didn't answer.

This job had a very low turn over rate. Another thing I found strange is awhile back the manager said "you didn't hear it from me but you should try applying at branch x Microcorp because they have more work" but this was when I was getting full time.

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How to ask for a reference?

These days most companies won't give a reference. Typically they will provide dates of employment and maybe verify your salary. The new CYA normal, as no company wants to expose themselves to a potential law suite.

Your better play would be to have a connection with a person you trust at the company you need a reference from, and have your potential new employer contact that person.

If you really want\need to, you could have a friend or significant other call as a person representing "Company X", and have them ask for a reference on your behalf to verify what is being said by a former employer.

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  • In my experience it's almost always like you've said. When they call to verify employment they're going to get someone on the phone that literally just verifies employment. And then you add someone there you know will be honest as a personal reference.
    – BobKayser
    Jan 15 at 18:40
  • True but it doesn't hurt to ask
    – Hedgehound
    Jan 17 at 1:41
  • Now that I think about it, how does that make sense? If there's a policy for non references wouldn't it apply to everyone and not just management?
    – Hedgehound
    Jan 17 at 1:46
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I would write the letter as follow:

Hi Jane and Joe,

It was a pleasure having worked at downtown Microcorp. I am hoping to work at midtown Microcorp and was wondering if you could leave me your reference so I may apply?

Hedgehound

Then see what they say. It never hurts to send out an email since they seem responsive to you otherwise. Just don't keep asking them over and over why you were let go of. Otherwise you're going to really make them upset.

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