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Work/employment dilemma

SamDude Nov 19, 2007

  1. SamDude

    SamDude Active Member


    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.
  2. Rev-head

    Rev-head Active Member

    Sorry to hear this

    We have the same process in place at my work if any member of staff leaves here asking for a reference , we give out standard format references i.e. worked from such a date and everything that is stated is to a point were the company could not get sued basicilly

    Its the way they seem to be going ....upsets me grately as i sacked someone a month ago and the cheeky bast""ds wrote us down for a reference knowing full well that any stuff about them getting sacked would not be mentioned

    Good luck getting the job you are after ....If i was you i would phone the referee that you have put down and say that you have put there name down so they are aware of it so there response to your future employer might have some feeling about it rather than a sterile reply
  3. motorbikez

    motorbikez Active Member

    Is there anybody you worked with at your previous company who could give you a personal reference as you left there on good terms ?.You could also tell future prospective employer about this woman at agency was probably pissed at you leaving her agency because she will be losing commission.
    Best of luck with it mate.
  4. unkle

    unkle Beer God

    Try asking your boss at the old company you worked for (not the agency) for a personal character reference from him, not the company.

    At the next interview, explain about how the agency reacted to you leaving and that you have a personal reference from your previous boss rather than from the company itself, this has worked for me on a couple of occasions...
  5. rodenal

    rodenal Active Member

    I would also go directly to your old boss and ask him for a reference.

    We have people do that quite alot where they have been employed with us through an agency for a few months then leave.
  6. benw123

    benw123 Moderator

    Agree - the company you were contracted to are going to be the real referee because they actually worked with you. How many agencies do you deal with and never actually meet the staff there, as opposed to just calling or emailing them all the time?

    When I've been asked for references in the past, I always give two from friendly management at my previous jobs plus my best mate who is a Sports Editor on a local paper back home (looks good on the application and I've known him more than 25 years).
  7. batwad

    batwad Member

    Why were the agency providing the reference? You weren't working for them, and I'm guessing they don't even have a remote clue what you actually do. Get somebody with whom you've worked directly to provide you a reference.

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