These days references are cautious. As our records must now be open to us, the truly confidential reference with its subjective assessment of what our referee truly thought of us is no more.
HR records were confidential, especially as far as you were concerned; but you know what happens when you try and keep a secret ….. on two occasions, inept procedures placed my confidential file on my desk, for no other reason than it had my name on it. I was astounded at the personal comments made about me, especially as they were 100% accurate.
And the best/worst reference I never had? – Always does the right thing after he’s tried all the alternatives.