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When did job offers get so complicated?

June 28th, 2008 at 07:54 pm

I've blogged about BF's job interview yesterday. A recap & update (and rant):

BF put in an application online for the grocery store on Tuesday. Thursday, a guy from the store calls and leaves him a voicemail, saying that they were originally looking for 2 part-timers, but with BF's experience, they might be able to give him full-time with benefits. Then, before BF had even noticed the voicemail, the guy calls back again on the same day. This time BF answers, and the guy tells him the same thing... he could probably get full-time with is experience. They arrange for a face-to-face the next day (Friday).

BF goes to the interview, where he is told by the same guy that the starting pay for part-time is $7.50/hr, but that's for young kids with no experience. BF tells him he'd really like full-time, and would probably have to have at least $9/hr for our budget. The guy tells him he understands completely, he thinks BF will be great, and BF can probably move up the ladder just like he is (I'm guessing the guy is a department manager or something). He tells BF that he will talk to the boss (the manager?) and see what he can do for BF.

So he calls BF this morning and tells him that they just CAN'T start anyone out at more than $8.50, but that he could work a month and be moved up to $9.50/hr. BF tells him he's not sure if that will work, and the guy tells him that he can start work next week, and get 25 hours.

So BF calls and tells me, and I am pretty much ticked at this point. Why would that guy call and leave a voicemail saying they could probably get him full-time, then call back, then have an interview and act like he completely understands what BF will have to have, and then call to offer PART-TIME and $8.50/hr? And the fact that he was promising a whole $1/hr raise after a month of "good work" made me uncomfortable. Would that ever really happen, and if so... why not just start him out at the $9 he wanted? It just pissed me off because, if you know you can't hire someone full-time or pay them what they need, why waste their time?

Fast forward a few hours, BF calls to tell the guy he just can't do that, but thanks anyway. Then, magically, the department-head guy says, "Well, what if we can get you $9/hr and 40 hours/week, just no benefits? Would that be enough for you to come?" BF tells him no guarantee, but that would be the minimum. So the guy tells him (exact words), "Well, I'm gonna go to bat for you man, and if I fall on my face... so be it."

Am I just being super-paranoid, or does this sound SO car-salesman-ish? This guys is the one that contacted BF, that called his references, that read his reference letter, that interviewed him, and that has called him back since. And yet he has to "go to bat" for BF to the boss? If he doesn't have the authority to hire people, why is he leaving messages and interviewing them? And why did he tell BF that $8.50 was the absolute most they could hire at, and now he's saying it's possible to get more? Does he not see that he's cross-stepping himself?

Ugh. So here we are. The guy is supposed to call and let BF know whether he can get him $9/hr and 40 hrs/week on Monday. I'm even more confused on whether I want BF to take it or not. $9/hr is what we were shooting for, but I'm just not sure it will be what this guy is promising. Are they allowed to work people 40 hrs/week consistently without making them full-time? I know in our old state, if they did that for 3 weeks in a row, then you were automatically considered full-time, and eligible for benefits. So I'm afraid they'll give him 40 hrs SOME weeks, and less others, to keep under the threshold.

*Sigh*. BF says to look on the bright side, that he even had a job call and offer. I know that's the way to think, but it's just exasperating when I feel like we've had to wheel-and-deal for a GROCERY STORE job. I didn't negotiate that hard for the position I have now.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts & comments on this situation... we need BF to have an income very soon, but we also don't want to get screwed over.

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Good news for today... our two trial deposits for our ING savings posted today, so we were able to verify them. Now the ING account should be officially open for depositing & saving. I'm hopeful for what we can do with it.

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As far as our budget, I am debating on whether or not to start our "fiscal" month of July tomorrow (June 29th). The perfectionist in me wants to say "July is July", but the logical side of me says otherwise. Tomorrow is my day off, and we need groceries. So if I wait until July 1st to start tracking expenses, it won't include our groceries from a few days before. I may end up waiting until at least Monday before I start tracking July spending. Still undecided.

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I finished The Lovely Bones last week (one of my library reads). It was really good... moving at times. Made me appreciate just being alive a little more, and being able to experience life thus far.

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Well, I'm off to balance a checkbook, clean the apartment, and smack BF around a little for his texting to his cousin. (Hello! $0.20 per text!!!) And maybe some reading out of my other library book, InkSpell. Maybe.

17 Responses to “When did job offers get so complicated?”

  1. ANonnyMouse Says:


    I would guess, sorry, that it is because it's in VERY poor taste to tell a perspective employer that you need $"X"/hour to meet your budget. You and/or your boyfriend's expenses are not his (perspective or not) employers concern nor problem. Conversely, a (perspective or not) employers budget isn't a/the employee(s)' problem.

  2. sillyoleme Says:

    I wasn't saying that our budget was the employer's problem, I was saying that when he asked if BF would be able to start for $7.50/hr and BF told him what he'd need to make ($9), he should've been honest about whether it was going to happen or not.

    I don't understand how it's in bad taste to be honest about what you'll need to get paid? Especially if they are offering less? I think it's in bad taste to waste someone's time by having them come in for an interview, then dragging the process out for days while you decide whether you can agree or not.

    And do you mean "prospective" employer/employee, instead of "perspective"? That was a bit confusing.

  3. sillyoleme Says:

    I also just wanted to add... BF didn't walk in and say "I need $9/hr to put food on the table." It was after he had been told what the position started at and asked if that would be enough, and he was trying to explain that he wasn't being greedy by asking for more... he just has to look at other options if this isn't going to work out. Maybe that clears up some confusion?

  4. baselle Says:

    ANonnyMouse - I think I'd respectfully disagree. There is a poor taste, but theh there's salary negotiation. In any negotiation, if one is respectful, firm, willing to walk, and has, ahem, "balls of steel" - taste be damned. Good taste would be if an employer could pay employees properly, and employees worked at 100% of their abilities. I played a game of salary negotiation myself (I tell the story in October 2005). "Good taste" means kiss 5% of your earning power good bye.

    I think this is the scenario: Employer got your BFs very, very good reference and were willing to pay something extra ($8.50), and BF pushed them a bit ($9). His boss and his bosses' boss had to do a side negotiation to justify/risk the extra salary. Is your BF all that and a bag of chips? What if other employees get wind of what he's making? What are the union issues, if any? BF showed that he knew his worth and thanks, no thanks. They had to make a quick decision and they bit.

    And yes, it is like car selling. You're selling yourself. Walking away when the other party doesn't want you to is a time-honored strategy. BF should be commended for playing this salary negotiation to the utmost of his abilities, especially with the threat of a recession.

    Now he must remember that this is halftime. Verbal agreements are always worth the paper they are written on. BF should accept pending some sort of written document that he will get $9/hr and 40 hrs , and any improvements after a month or so...if after 6 months of great performance will he get benefits? Things like that.

    And he should be watchful that he gets what he is offered. If he is suddenly given only 25 hours, he has to have a plan for that.

  5. baselle Says:

    SillyOleMe - Just a little something from my past:
    http://baselle.savingadvice.com/2005/09/23/a-little-story-ab...
    Job offers have always been complicated.Big Grin

  6. sillyoleme Says:

    Thanks Baselle, I agree with you alot. As far as I know, the store isn't part of a union. And another little fact I forgot to mention... there is another of these stores right beside where I work, and one of the part-time girls at my job works there as well. She's 19 and has only worked at Hooter's before now, and she started at $8.25 (no negotiation). That's why I thought it was odd that they were doing BF a "favor" at $8.50.

    Plus - he was making $9.40 at a VERY similar store back in our old state. Wages here are on average $1.40 higher for the same job, and yet they are offering him less and acting like it's a deal.

    I guess I just like honesty on both parts - if you can't afford to pay a new employee $9/hr, then that's fine, but don't drag them along. I feel like everytime BF tries to say "thanks anyway", then they come up with something that will keep him interested. Then the next day they call and offer something totally different than they said before.

    There are a few factory-type jobs around here that he could probably get, and would most likely pay more, but we've been trying to avoid that because they are night-shift and we'd hardly ever see each other. So I guess we're not exactly desperate yet.

  7. sillyoleme Says:

    Just read your past blog... and had to chuckle at how you handled them! Although your position and situation is much more serious than BF's right now, it feels like a similar dealing going on. Thank you for sharing it, really. Smile

  8. baselle Says:

    Definitely your BF should get some sort of written clarification.
    And you know if they keep sweetening the pot & your BF keeps going with the "thanks, no thanks" strategy they will eventually have to offer him the CEOship. Big Grin

  9. merch Says:

    I agree with baselle. That is how it works in the business world. I name a price. you name a price. We negotiate.

    Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with poor taste. Your boyfriend said look you want we, I need this. end of story.

    When I negotiate a job, I have a dollar figure in mind. If they meet me, we have a deal. Otherwise, I look for another job.

    baselle, I don't think this was done in poor taste. I do think ANonnyMouse's comments are in poor taste, The BF didn't go into the negotiation saying i need this to support my budget. From all accounts, it was very professional.

  10. JanH Says:

    Hubby did a bit of negotiating when he moved to his new job. He was getting part of his retirement stuff cut changing jobs and he talked to them about that in negotiating a small increase in offer so that it would compensate for needing to put more away himself. But, now in this economy, employers might be trying to negotiate smaller salaries to keep down costs. Sounds like your BF was professional, but firm. Baselle is right. Get the terms in writing after all the negotiating is over. Don't let it get to you. It's probably a sign of the times that negotiating might be more commonplace.

  11. managinglife Says:

    Your BF was very professional in negotiating his salary. It is very obvious that this company wants your BF's job skills and great work ethic. Like baselle stated, make sure he has written documentation in concern for his salary, hours, and any potential compensations.

  12. scfr Says:

    I don't think there's anything at all wrong with saying "I need to make $xxx" as long as you are willing to walk away from the offer if you don't get that. No need to give details as to why.

    Yes, I agree that the line about "going to bat" for your BF was a bit used-car-salesmanish (how's that for a word?) ... Sounds like the guy was trying to line himself up to get to take credit for something that really wasn't his due. Unfortunately, I think that sort of thing happens in virtually every place of employment.

    I very much agree with the suggestions to get the offer in writing. Hope the job situation works out for your BF!

  13. monkeymama Says:

    I didn't read all the comments but I have to say I agree it is very reasonable to have a "testing period" before you get a raise or benefits. A new employer never knows what they are getting into.

    & getting it in writing covers your butt. So that is a good idea.

  14. sillyoleme Says:

    monkeymama - I totally understand that they want to make sure they're not over-paying for poor performance, but the situation itself seemed fishy to me. I thought it was weird that BF said he needed at least $9, then they say they can "only" do $8.50 but a raise of $1.00 after a month. Neither of us have any doubt that if it's based on work performance, he would get it. But are they really planning on doing that, or are they just baiting him to take the job? I think if they were really planning on giving him $9.50 after just a month, why wouldn't they rather give him just the $9 he was asking for?

    It wouldn't be such a big deal... but if he takes it, he will be working alot of evenings, so we won't see each oher as much. Plus, if he takes it and they don't do what they promised, he will have a much harder time scheduling interviews for other places because of his work schedule.

    I dunno, we're confused. I can't imagine doing this for a more "serious" job!!!

  15. MariRDH Says:

    Good luck to BF on finding a great job. I agree that this situation does not sound like the best negotiations I have ever heard of, but maybe he can take it and keep looking?

    On a side note, my daughter and I both loved Inkheart and Inkspell. Big Grin The movie of Inkheart with Brendan Frasier as the dad should be coming out this year.

  16. speechteach Says:

    Not in poor taste. It is amazing what companies can and will do when pushed by the person being hired or working there. You just have to know what it is you want (which you've done a great job of working out for you and your BF) and be willing to walk away if you don't get it. I left my old job because during review time I asked for a small raise and they refused...I found another job in a cheaper area and suddenly they were willing to give me almost three times as much as I had asked for but they "didn't have in the budget". Its one thing to play these games with new employees to keep your company running and another to do it to someone who has worked for you for five years and done a good job. Sorry for the rant - this kind of things just really bothers me! I wish people were honest - but I guess you have to try to get more for less when you're running the budget. We do it in our home budgets...so why would a business be different?

  17. sillyoleme Says:

    speechteach - I agree somewhat. I just wanted to say that I understand companies have budgets for payroll and everything else (I'm in training for retail management), but what I don't think they have an excuse for is "baiting" BF with "we might be able to give you full-time with benefits". If there's such a big difference between $8.50 and $9.00, then I highly doubt they had ever really planned on giving him full-time when they called.

    I think they saw that he had experience and would be better than hiring a high school kid that may or may not last a month. Then they called and left him a voicemail with the most enticing thing they could think of - full time with benefits. Then they called again the same day, to make sure BF got the message. And then when he comes in, the guy is all nice and "I'm your friend"... he even said "You should be interviewing for my job!" after he read BF's written reference and called his old boss. So the assistant-guy gets to be BF's "friend" that is working hard to get him what he wants and understands him, while the "big boss" is the hard-nosed bad guy who has to make the decisions.

    It's all too car-dealer for me. When I interviewed, they told me what they were offering, I told them I'd like a little more due to the higher cost of living and moving expenses, and they thought about it. Then we compromised. The manager I'm training under now was appalled at how these guys are acting, and she deals with the same hiring situations everyday.

    Honestly, I would have had more respect for them if they had just called and said "Look, we can't do full-time, but we can try to get you 30+ hours/week at $8.50". Instead, they have changed their minds a hundred times, and their stories too. Bleh.

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