This question relates to Norway, the business culture is northern. I have the following problem. I have been working as contractor for Organization X 7 years. Not one stretch but let's say 3 periods. My last period is 3 years in 2 teams. More than two years ago I have a conflict in one of the teams with one employee. So next 2 years were very good for me I had a great run delivered a lot of value for the organisation and also had good relationship with my colleagues and the organisation employees.

My contract ended and my CV was distributed to other departments in the Organization because my department was experiencing cuts. My CV was first picked by another department same one that owns the team i had issues previously. After they picking up my CV initially they rejected it which is very uncommon once it is picked up. Then after investigating I found out that there has been a case and investigation that has concluded that I am conflicting person. The result of this is that the whole department in this organisation which is one of the biggest (understand 20+ teams) has been closed for me and they can no longer be my client. What is shocking me is that usually when there is missunderstanding n one team a person is moved to another team, the shocking part here is that the whole department is now closed for me and my reputation may be ruined more or less. This may spread out into other departments once they learn of this. The conflict with the employee has been professional but this employee I believe claims that I have raised voice on her(something I don't agree with). She is also a leader and may have asked other colleagues to support her. I disagree with me raising voice in general and even if I had this is a very disproportionate measure which is hitting me back after 2 great years for the same organisation at different department. I am on my way to loose my contract. Do I have any options to defend myself or maybe I should let it go?

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    You're not being tried in a court of law, so unless they've done something illegal in regard to this situation, you have no recourse to defend yourself.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 22:28
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    Your contract, as you said, came to an end. You should never be assuming that the contract will be renewed until you have a signed copy in your hands. They may not be able to afford you. They may no longer need your skills. They may just decide they don't like working with you. Part of the point of hiring a contractor was that they aren't stuck with you long-term. Time to go out and line up another contract with another company.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 22:58
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    @keshlam probably you are right. It is just that I have been working for then so many years and have been a stable client so far. I have probably growned too attached.
    – Pesho
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 23:11
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    @GregoryCurrie not easy. I have been many years there and hold key knowledge. But it is public sector they have a lot of money and are above these things as key knowledge :)
    – Pesho
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 23:30
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    In some countries, e.g. Germany, there are "fake contractor" laws (dunno the proper legalese term), that put you into potential peril if you work for a single client for to long. Thus you could be seen as a normal employee instead. So you may want to look into this for your country, and potentialy be happy that you do not run afoul of that (anymore).
    – Benjamin
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 10:05

3 Answers 3


What it really boils down to is that you can't force them to engage your services. They've identified that having you involved in that department has been a source of conflict - and the simplest way of avoiding future conflict is to remove one of the conflicting parties and as a contractor particularly you'll be inherently easier to remove than an in-house employee. So in some regards whether the conflict is actually your "fault" or not is largely immaterial. It might not be fair but in the grand scheme of things "fairness" is largely irrelevant in these situations and there's not a lot you can do about that.

Attempting to argue your case as to why you aren't the problem and should be allowed to work for that department is incredibly unlikely to work and if anything is actually going to be counterproductive. Creating more conflict is only going to underscore any notion that you are a source of conflict!

The best long-term strategy is to be ultra-reasonable - express polite disappointment in the decision and state that you are open to working with them in the future should things change. As you've stated you've had multiple separate periods with this employer so it's not impossible that they might want you back there in the future - especially since you don't know whether this employee you had the disagreement with might leave, or they might need your skills/knowledge enough that they are prepared to overrule her objections to you.

So I think you might be best off "losing" the battle in order to win the proverbial war.


If you hold key knowledge then wait to see if they come back wanting you, then set your price.

However, in the meantime find other work.


Let it go.

There are several possibilities: Culture difference on what raising voice is. She is vindictive. She wants somebody lese that is already kind of lined up, and just uses any excuse to get you out.

Anyway, since it comes up so late, and she is entrenched, you fight from a loosing position. You are a contractor, so by definition you are replaceable. Always hatch your bets against that happening -> have enough of a rainy day fund to have enough time to search for a new good client.

Also, I wouldn't say a thing, unless asked. If you talk about it, you encourage spreading. If you just do your job professionaly, it may not spread and some other department may take you still.

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