Last week, I thought I had a phone stalker on my cell. I didn't recognize the number and the caller ID had a weird name. Finally, I picked up the phone. It turned out to be the head of HR for a company in NYC doing a reference check on an intern I had 5+ years ago. I was totally caught off-guard. I hadn't heard from this person in over two years, was given no warning I'd be contacted, and didn't even know what position he was applying for. I did my best to give a good recommendation, but I know there was confusion in my voice.
I hung up the phone and thought, "That was annoying." As a career coach, I know the solution is to let the young person know and counsel him to never let that happen again. But, I have to wonder how many references out there might be so annoyed by something like this that they'd just swear to never be a reference again?