All, I have a bit of a dilemma, that I could use some help with. (no, it is not a long joke). In my last job, I worked as a contractor through an agency for a year (August 2007 - June 2007). I left on very good terms with the company I worked at, but the person I dealt with at the agency was a nasty piece of work. I found another job and handed in my notice to the agency. My new employer (to be) requested a reference from the agency and recieved a very unimpressive reply. There was nothing provided apart from the dates I worked there and the salary. The woman I dealt with at the agency used to be very friendly until I handed in my notice. She didn't answer any questions about my sick record (I had no record), my punctuality (I was very punctual) or anything else. Technically she didn't give me a bad reference, but because it was so underwhelming, the new employer (to be) tried to read between the lines and thought that I had something to hide. Because of this, my new employer (to be) withdrew their employment offer. I had to scramble to find another job as my notice period was finished. I managed to get another job, which I've been at since August. I've now been working for an IT consultancy since August (approx 4 months). The work is good, but there is only a basic salary - no pension/bonus/benefits. I've just been offered a new role at a larger company, with the same salary but with a pension and other benefits thrown in. I would be happy to jump at it, but I have a bit of a problem. If I were to give the same person as a reference, I would basically be kissing the new job goodbye. I can't use anyone at the company I worked at, as they would refer the reference to the agency (who were my actual employer). I can't refer it to anyone else at the agency as they would refer it to her as well. Can anyone suggest how I can provide a truthful reference? I am racking my brain and it is really doing my head in. I don't understand why I should be punished for my future because of one stupid vindictive woman.