Manipulative client?

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I was contacted by a company I worked with last summer and they said that someone had found my website, and reached out to them to verify if I had worked there. They couldn't say who, or when, or why. I have been fully employed at an agency for quite a few months, and have not been looking for work.

The company then said that they did not want me posting the work I did for them and asked me to remove them off my site. I explained that I agreed to nothing verbal or written that prevents me from showcasing the work. Work was approved and delivered, I kept the working files, and retained all creative credit. She rattled off a few baseless reasons as to why it's inappropriate to have it on my site, but I politely but assertively refuted each one.

This was a company that I did not really mesh well with from the start. I did not like the workflow or work culture, and the tasks assigned were extremely underwhelming. When I tried explaining to them that I didn't think this was a good fit for me, they begged/guilted me into staying, and I wound up not returning the next week. I probably left a bad taste in their mouth, but frankly, I'm not remorseful over it.

I'm not sure if this company was telling the truth, and someone is actually contacting the clients on my site, or if this was a lie for a reason to contact me.

So my questions are – Is it common for prospective clients to find the contacts of companies you've worked with and cold call them to verify you? I mean, isn't that the whole point of providing references on a resume anyway? It seems very fishy that someone would reach out to my clients before reaching out to me first. The whole thing is very strange.

submitted by /u/334am
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