I’m looking for a job after several years out of the workforce for one reason or another. Here’s my problem: My last “normal” job was in 1996, and it was, for various reasons, a disaster. Basically they hired me to do work that didn’t exist. When the funding finally dried up, we did not exactly part on the best of terms. I doubt anyone at this company (actually it’s a government agency) even remembers me, and if they do they can hardly have anything flattering to say about me, except maybe “Adjusts well to sitting in an office being bored out of her skull for weeks on end”
Since this job was some years ago, will it look terribly odd not to have a reference from it? Should I enclose a letter of explanation, or would that just look suspicious? The jobs I’m looking at aren’t really in the same field, and I can get a reference from an earlier employer and probably at least one of the customers I did freelance translation for after that job.