Today Paul was finally offered a job. I have so much to say on the subject but my words are a jumbled mess. I’ll try anyway.
There were so many red flags as we went through the interview process with these people, but we had to press on, a job is a job and we needed a job. So after the first phone interview Paul spent the whole weekend with my Dad working on a business plan to prove to this guy that he could double their clientelle in one year (a tough thing to ask in any economy.) And when they repeatedly asked him if he knew Word, and other Office programs, he repeatedly assured them that he did, and that he was a quick learner when problems arose, and that many of his college friends were IT professionals to whom he could turn if he needed help. (Finally after the third time, they seemed satiated on that.)
Yesterday he met with them in person for the first time, after the recruiter told him the job was essentially his. Everything went really well and he came home certain he had the job. His recruiter called him and said, “don’t tell them I told you, but you have the job and they’ll offer it to you today.” She also told him the salary, which was exceedingly low, so Paul prepared to receive the offer and word his counter offer to request something a little closer to fair market, or even closer to what he was getting at his last job (still low, and barely enough to keep us afloat.) All day we waited, and heard nothing. We worried. What was wrong? What could have derailed the job? Didn’t things go well? Was his previous employer torpedoeing the job with his reference?
This morning Paul sent a note to the recruiter, and she wrote back immediately assuring him that he had the job. She gave us some insight into the references, though, and said that even after Paul signed a release for his previous employer to give a reference he gave nothing more than the dates of employment.
(This leaves me with two big questions. The first is: why tell Paul, and allow two other supervisors in the office to tell Paul, that the company would give him a great recommendation if it’s company policy to only give dates of employment? and secondly: does this explain why we have come so close to jobs so many times only to have things go the other way?)
The recruiter finally called us at noon, asking Paul to check again, and when was the last time he checked his email? She said the offer was supposed to go out yesterday afternoon but even though she has given the company his email 10 times, the email to Paul doesn’t seem to go through.
(No wonder they asked him so many times if he knew Word!)
Finally it came through, and he countered. They budged a very tiny bit, and he signed the papers agreeing to start on Monday.
Now don’t get me wrong, we are very excited that he has a job, and very grateful. After more than ten months, this is a relief. But it is very bittersweet. The insurance rates for the HMO are pretty steep, but his wages put us a hundred dollars or so above the limit to keep the boys in their current plan so we’ll have to pay it. After taxes and insurance Paul reckons we’ll be making what we were on Unemployment Insurance, which is very disappointing. It’s a sales job, which is also disappointing because it’s a step back professionally and we had been so excited to get out of sales, but sales do offer commissions. Average commissions range from about 10-15%, and he had been getting 20% at his last job. In this job they are offering 5%. They expect him to double their clientelle in one year in a deep recession (which, if you say that quickly sounds a whole lot like depression but I digress) and they’re going to toss a couple of pennies at him? They hired him for his HR expertise, but are not following the rules when it comes to travel reimbursments.
Anyway, for better or for worse he starts on Monday. While we are very grateful that he has a job, Paul will continue the search for a new job, and keep up the writing. Now that he’s got a job, hopefully it’ll be easier for him to get another.
(Now the only thing he has to do before Monday is pass a drug test. Because I know him, that part is just pure comedy.)