Before I tell my tale today, I must first thank my friends and all on Twitter. One thing I love about my online friends is the diverse experiences they have. Thank you – truly!
So I had a phone screen on Friday for a job. A recruiter a month ago posted something on LinkedIn asking if anyone would be interested in “Scrummer-fall” job. Knowing what that meant, I pinged him saying “tell me more”. I talked to him in length about the job, then his boss called and talked to me about the job. “You are exactly what they are looking for,” was the feedback. Off my resume went.
The next week I heard I was “in the running.” Then nada.
The week after that, I heard they were going to call me for a phone screen. Then nada.
The week after that, I heard it could be any time. Then I heard any time was Friday afternoon. And it happened – even after he was 10 min late to the “appointment”.
I got through the interview. There were some things I liked. There were some things that made me wonder “is this the place for me?” And there were a few things that made me wonder how much this job was going to be like the last place — and the last place is the measure of what I will not do again. There were parts about the job that were different than what I was told. Then I’ll mention a few things that the manager said that made me wonder how good of a manager he would be. Things like “you know – I get all of these project managers in here that ask all of these questions that make me go ‘I thought you were the PM and not me’ and they don’t get it – so someone I hire needs to get it.” When managers say crap like that, I cannot help but wonder if the manager would say the same about me. And am I OK with that?
Right after the interview, they called letting me know they wanted to schedule a big interview. “OK,” I told them, thinking I could get some of my questions answered by the other people in the group during the interview. Then, an hour after that, I was talking to G about the interview. I realized as I was talking that I was more on the fence than I was admitting.
This morning, I called the recruiter to discuss with him where I was at mentally.
“Are you kidding me? I thought you were calling to get the interview time, and instead, I get this??”
I was surprised he had a time for the interview already. I mean, he had not sent me anything. I expressed that. His response was, “and now you tell me this? what do you expect me to say?”
Fuck that shit, I thought, this is about me and not you.
I told him my concerns. I told him my thoughts. I asked him if his preference was for me to do the interview and decline or skip it.
“Well, if you interview and they offer you the job, we expect you to take it?”
I questioned that logic, and he bitched at me.
Then he switched tactics. No one will hire you at the hourly rate you want. You are not going to get the chances this company can give you. Why do you think anyone will pay you this? You are being too picky.
I was truly feeling in the midst of the twilight zone. I have worked with several other recruiters through the years, and this was the first time I felt pressured into the job.
I told him that given I was on the fence that I would go to the interview, see if my feelings would change, and then we could talk about it. “No. If you go to the interview and they like you, you have to take the job. That is the expectation.”
So I turned it back to him. “Let me make sure that I understand what I am hearing. Are you saying that regardless of how I feel about the company that your recruiting firm expects me to take the job offer if it is offered to me?”
Then he followed up — “it’s a contract-to-hire – it’s only six months. After that, you can quit.”
“So you are telling me that, in your opinion, I should take the job then quit six months later. That is the acceptable response?”
I told him he would have my answer by the end of the day, then reached out to friends.
A number of my friends on twitter are in HR and /or hiring roles.
Then I pinged a long time friend of mine who has been in HR for like 20 years now.
Everyone’s response was the same.
This is fucked up.
And G, I cannot neglect him, his response was “fuck him – you don’t need the job. Take the job you want not pressured into taking. All is fine.”
I needed the validation. I want to take the right job. I have the right job in my sights, just need to be patient. But sometimes, sometimes I look back to how things were 9 months ago, and wish it could be there again. A time where money was not an issue. A time when any surprises were no big deal. A time when I wasn’t managing the pennies in each transaction.
But the other part me loves this now. I love things are going well. I love things are allowing me to try things and do things and explore things. I love things are in a state where I can take what I REALLY want vs feeling I need to take anything.
“4% unemployment rate – remember that” was an HR friend’s comment to me. “People need you more than you need them – if they don’t respond accordingly – fuck them.”
That seemed to be the overwhelming them – fuck them.
I didn’t want to have this discussion again with the recruiter, so I waited unitl late in the day to send my final decision.
“After much consideration, I am declining the interview. It is my experience with contract positions as well as full-time positions that the interview is a two-way process where they interview me for a fit while I make sure the company, group and manager are a fit for me. I will not go into this process if it is the expectation that I will take the position if offered even if these are not fits.While yes, I could take it for six months, that is not fair for the hiring team. As a person who has done a lot of hiring during my career, it is very expensive for a team to bring on-board someone, ramp them up, only to have to replace them in six months. Out of respect for them, I would not do that.I appreciate the consideration, but this is not a good fit.”