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Character Reference: Ricky Cooper

I worked with Rick Cooper for the greater part of 2010. I was a part-time delivery driver at Dominos Pizza, and he was a CSR, or in-store employee. I was working as a delivery driver on top of my day job as a sales manager for a software company in Denver, CO. I have been involved in the hiring process in previous jobs; and therefore I recognize good work habits and character qualities. As a result of my experiences, I can confidently illustrate the characteristics that distinguish Rick as an employee.

First, let me say that I enjoyed working with Rick. On a personal level, he is funny, intelligent, and easy to be around. He exhibits a youthfulness and sincerity that I found to be refreshing. At the time we worked together, Rick was a young man with a fairly short job history. Given the right environment, I think that Rick will flourish. And I deeply hope he finds a place that will recognize and nurture his unique talents. The unique character traits that I noticed in Rick were creativity and obedience.

Creativity is “approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.” Rick is a natural problem solver. He is not satisfied with simply “doing things the way they have always been done.” In working closely with him, I have noticed that creativity saturates his perspective of things. For example, working the make line, Rick came up with an idea for arranging the toppings in a more economical way, in order to make pizzas faster. This idea was never fully implemented, but demonstrates his tendency towards innovation. I experienced Rick’s creativity in action when I asked him to help me move several items out of storage. Rick quickly isolated things that were clumsy and hard to carry, like bulky piles of folded boxes, and seamlessly executed new and more efficient ways to maneuver them into the moving truck. His particular kind of thinking, with an emphasis on problem solving, is the kind that I think would naturally dispose him towards IT, and Rick has shown an inclination and propensity in this area. He is naturally good with computer hardware, and has demonstrated this knowledge to me on several occasions. It is clear to me that he has a raw gift for creativity, and needs an environment where he will have freedom and opportunity to devise solutions to problems. This gift, when it finds its proper outlet, will be of great value to his employer. I say “proper outlet” because some job positions value creativity and innovation, while others need only a warm body that can follow strict conventions. I sincerely hope that Rick finds a position where his creative talents will be put to good use.

Obedience is “quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.” This character quality is a companion to Rick’s creativity. Rick has the ability to think outside of the box, but this tendency is balanced by his willingness to follow instructions and yield to authority. The ability to simply do what one is told is a huge strength, and takes a lot of stress out of the lives of those in authority who are giving the directions. I have never seen Rick resist authority, or respond negatively to being told what to do. Almost as importantly, I have never seen Rick obey in action but not in attitude, i.e. “I’ll do it, but I’m not going to like it.” I have only seen Rick obey quickly and without resistance to the will of his superiors. As a person who has been in authority over others, it is easy for me to recognize the great value of Rick’s attitude of obedience. It contributes to harmony and unity in the workplace.

I have developed a particular interest in seeing Rick find the right career for him. That is why I have taken the time to write this reference, and I am hoping it finds the right person. I see in Rick the glimmer of a rough diamond, and believe that given the opportunity, that which shines in him will shine more and more brightly. I am also concerned for him. I think it is very possible that he could end up in a position of rote labor where his creative talents would be neglected; and I would consider this a tragedy. I know from experience how hard it is to get to the first rung of the right ladder, which leads a person to true job satisfaction. If you are reading this, and considering Rick for employment, and are weighing his credentials, and perhaps noticing a lack of strong field experience or specialized education, I hope this reference will encourage you to give him a second look. He has a real gift; he only needs a proper outlet for it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Johnny Adam Levy

*View PDF for contact information.
My definitions for character traits come from the Character First curriculum of the “49 Character Qualities.”

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