Wedding Woes

Classic: Either recommend her or don't, but I think you're worried about nothing.

My niece, “Sabrina,” is in college and close to graduation. She is going to be entering the workforce and has asked me for a recommendation at my place of work. My niece is a bright, hard worker, but has a few horrible verbal tics she has picked up from her peers. She uses like as a filler word and whatever as a dismissive phrase, especially for questions. Worst, she describes other people’s conversations with blah, blah, blah, as if she is imitating a cartoon vampire. (“Like, Sarah was, like, mad. Whatever. She went blah blah blah all the way home.”) My office cultivates a highly professional setting, as most entry-level positions are 80 percent dealing with clients and the public. I tried to speak to my sister and niece about my worries; they were particularly dismissive. They think all my niece has to do is win at the interview, while I am more concerned about the job. I can’t recommend my niece now any more than I can someone who casually curses for a nursery position. How do I bring up the topic again without hurting her?


Re: Classic: Either recommend her or don't, but I think you're worried about nothing.

  • These are nervous tics, that while - yes picked up by her peers - can also be dropped. But yes, LW is worried over nothing.
  • This seems to be an over-reaction unless the LW's office is so conservative that they do not welcome contractions and slang at all. 

    I'm more inclined to think that the LW is blowing this out of proportion than the niece needs to revamp her phrasing. 
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    maybe offer some coaching to help with the interview and job thereafter?  Wether it’s at LW’s place of work or not - I feel like she needs to have these words in any professional setting.  And it can be “coached” in a nice way.  “Are you aware of how often you say “like”? Let’s use these words instead…”

  • mrsconn23 said:
    Niece isn't going to be formal in front of their aunt if they have a close, personal relationship. 

    Furthermore, LW has NO idea how niece will act in a professional situation.  DH literally makes fun of my phone voice because I become a totally different (nicer, LOL) person when I'm having a professional interaction. I'll hang up the phone and drop an f-bomb. 

    Also, blaming niece's peers is a whole load of bullshit.  They're kids and it's how they relate to one another.  If niece used 'formal' speech with her friends, they'd probably think she was weird AF.  

    You can't tell me aunt doesn't relax a little outside of work.  If she doesn't, then that he's her problem. LW has a stick up their ass that needs to be removed, IMO. 
    Right?  Is she expecting to be greeted with formality in relaxed social settings?  Makes me wonder if the LW is ever IN social settings.
  • Oh lord.  I have tried, defeated, and then lost the battle with the filler word "like".  I've given up.  It's not that terrible at work and, TBH, it's common enough in the vernacular now that I don't think most people notice it.  If I'm in a super professional setting, I will pay attention and drop it out, but the rest of the time in my work setting we're all casual enough that no one notices and honestly, even my attorneys use it.

    This seems silly and a stretch for me, honestly.  I'd be interested in knowing the type of business, b/c it's exactly  my casual speaking tone, relaying complex information in layman's terms/voices that makes me a valuable asset in client relations.  Half the time my clients call me after speaking with my attorney for "translations". 

    Just don't recommend your niece if you don't want to, but this seems a silly reason to make.
    charlotte989875
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Almost everyone I know speaks differently depending on who they're around.  Worst case scenario is LW's like's and blah blah's her way through her interview and doesn't get the job.  I speak differently to students than I do to coworkers than I do to my kids, etc.
    charlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LW, do you need help removing the stick from your ass? 

    People say "like", "whatever" and even casually curse. My director told me yesterday that a project was a bunch of bullshit. 
    ei34
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hey LW, maybe you should just, like, remove that stick from your ass and have a margarita. But whatever. What do I know?


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    MyNameIsNot
  • I actually disagree with most of you and think the aunt/uncle should be concerned about giving the niece a recommendation.

    They don't seem concerned about the niece understanding formality enough to perform well in the interview, so I'm not going to concern myself with that either.  But are more concerned with how the niece would speak with coworkers/customers, if they got the job.  I think that probably is close to how they speak around the LW, who has determined it is not professional enough.

    No one knows better than the LW what is appropriate for their work place and they don't think the niece will be a good fit.  Fair enough, I know it is awkward, but they shouldn't recommend their niece.  They should tell her that and why.  To be fair, it sounds like they have already addressed this concern with their niece and her mother, who both pooh-poohed it.  The niece has no intention of even trying to change their speech patterns, so she shouldn't be recommended.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I give referrals to people I know/ like not all the time but often enough. I get a bonus if they get hired. If it doesn’t work out for them in a particular role is someone really going to think anything about me or my referral? I doubt it. 

    Maybe if it’s a small company or Sabrina is working in a division near LW, but a generic recommendation or referral is going to have very few consequences to the LW if something goes wrong.

     I think she’s just being obnoxious about the niece because she doesn’t like it, not because she actually thinks it’s going to matter in the office. 
    mrsconn23MyNameIsNot
  • I actually disagree with most of you and think the aunt/uncle should be concerned about giving the niece a recommendation.

    They don't seem concerned about the niece understanding formality enough to perform well in the interview, so I'm not going to concern myself with that either.  But are more concerned with how the niece would speak with coworkers/customers, if they got the job.  I think that probably is close to how they speak around the LW, who has determined it is not professional enough.

    No one knows better than the LW what is appropriate for their work place and they don't think the niece will be a good fit.  Fair enough, I know it is awkward, but they shouldn't recommend their niece.  They should tell her that and why.  To be fair, it sounds like they have already addressed this concern with their niece and her mother, who both pooh-poohed it.  The niece has no intention of even trying to change their speech patterns, so she shouldn't be recommended.
    I am wondering if the reason it's been pooh-poohed is that the aunt is out of touch. 

    That said, it makes me wonder WHY the niece wants to work with her. 
    mrsconn23
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