Seasoned recruiters are shaking their heads over the pickle ALP shadow attorney general Kelvin Thomson got himself into with his recommendation for Tony Mokbel.

Unlike the hapless Kelvin, most professionals in the field are fluent in the language of LIAR, or the Lexicon of Intentionally Ambiguous Recommendations. They would have known exactly how to write a Mokbel reference full of linguistic escape hatches.

Here are just some examples from the reference bible, Robert Thornton’s LIAR:

  • I cannot recommend this person too highly.
  • I recommend this candidate with no qualification whatsoever.
  • He has made immeasurable contributions to our firm.
  • In all the discussions she and I have had over the years, her salary never came up.
  • I simply can’t say enough good things about him.
  • I am sure that whatever task she undertakes — no matter how small — she will be fired with enthusiasm.
  • I am pleased to say that this candidate is a former colleague of mine.
  • She is always trying.
  • He is a difficult man to replace.
  • She is one of the most discriminating people you’ll ever meet.
  • He will take full advantage of his staff.
  • She takes a lot of enjoyment out of her work.
  • His input was always critical.
  • I found myself frequently raving about her work.
  • I would place this student in a class by himself.
  • She is now ready to strike out in a career.
  • He is resigning a position that he has held with our firm for years. I truly wish there were more people like him.
  • We were teetering on the threshold of bankruptcy last year, but her efforts pulled us through.
  • For the services he has rendered to our firm over the years, we find ourselves deeply indebted.
  • She works without direction.
  • He works effortlessly.
  • To get the job done, we need ten employees like her.
  • Attacking a difficult challenge, she doesn’t think twice.
  • You should seriously consider initiating an offer since she probably won’t apply herself.
  • When he worked for us, he never did anything halfway.
  • We were forever asking her for new ideas.
  • You can’t offer this man too high a salary.
  • How did she manage those who worked for her? Quite fairly.
  • There is nothing you can teach a man like this.
  • She was never way from the job too long.
  • He is only 30, but he has the mental faculties of a man three times his age.
  • I would place her research on the cutting edge.
  • His potential clients always wind up giving him the business.

Peter Fray

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