I work for a manufacturing company (in EU), and it has come to my attention that the Sales Manager issued a reference list for a project on which I worked as a Senior Engineer. Upon review, I discovered that 88% of the references provided are fake; specifically, 19 out of the 22 projects referenced are fabricated.

In this specific case, I could easily identify three valid past projects that could easily serve as a reference list. However in this specific case presenting a fake reference list might even break the law (legislation for unfair business-to-consumer commercial practice) and that could be easily prevented if the need for such a list was early communicated (the email with request was never forwarded).

How can I politely approach the Sales Manager to tell him that for such cases he does not have the experience to take such decisions? I don't want to insult him or make him feel inferior?

  • Is the Sales Manager your direct line manager? If not, the first person you should be talking to is your line manager. Commented Apr 14 at 9:49
  • 2
    So other than saying he's "dissatisifed", what is your manager actually doing about this? Commented Apr 14 at 10:04
  • 2
    @PhilipKendall He told me that he will discuss the issues with the CEO himself.
    – Peace
    Commented Apr 14 at 10:13
  • Is there a legal significance (in your country and situation) to being a Senior Engineer on the project? That is, were you the person "signing off" on the project or similar? That could make the situation more complex... Commented Apr 15 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


As per your comments, your manager is raising this issue with the CEO. At this point, the issue is "in hand" and you shouldn't do anything, it will (hopefully) be handled via other routes.

  • And if it isn't, the main thing you can still do about it is find work elsewhere. Note: I really hope your user name here has no connection to your actual name, since management will not be happy with anyone who makes this public.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 14 at 16:10
  • 1
    Yeah, this answer 1000%. Trying to handle this situation now, before hearing back from the CEO, would be highly irresponsible. You have to work as a team. Commented Apr 14 at 16:58
  • If the discussion with the manager was verbal, one step might be to create a written trail, eg. writing an email to the manager thanking them for the discussion and confirming that they're handling it now Commented Apr 15 at 13:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .