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01/07/2005: "can a waffle flip-flop?"

I really figured that today would be the down slope of yesterday's newsworthy climaxes. Have the interview, then spend the rest of the day making muffins and figuring out what companies I should sic my recruiter on. How foolish of me.

No, instead I had the interview (more below), and then received the ultimate waffle: Tillsonburg came back.

But first, the interview I had (because I'm an evil bastard that likes to leave people in suspense). >;)

This was probably the least prepared I'd ever been for an interview. I got the call about the company yesterday afternoon, and had the interview at 1pm today. All the info I had to go on was what the recruiter gave me (precious little), and the company website. I really should have prepared some questions, but I didn't even have enough information to ask intelligent questions, really.

The company itself, even before I met the person who was to interview me, was really striking. The building is a very modern white and red on the outside, and the inside office space is nothing short of incredible. The lobby is a recreation of a New Orleans footpath, complete with arched window, street lamp, brick walls, and a fountain in the middle of it all. The front offices all reside under an interior "roof", and all have double French doors. That alone made me want to work there. Very, very nice.

The interview felt very different than others I've had. Typically the interviewer will run through my resume, ask some questions, and then go into some detail about the company, the position, the products, and so on and so forth. Perhaps they'd even throw in some weird psycho-analytical human resources-type questions just to round things out. Well, not today. He went through my resume backwards, closed it up, and said, "Well, that's about all the questions I have. Do you have any?"

Ummm... huh? I asked him about the position, as I had a really poor grasp of what he was actually interviewing me for. That question only extended the interview by another 5 minutes or so, and I was done in 45 minutes. A rather short-ish inteview by my rather extensive historical standards. We'll see what shakes loose from all of this. I was the first person interviewed for the position, so I don't expect to hear back from them for a while.

Fast forward to later this afternoon. I'm back from my interview, we've just cooked two pumpkins, and I've containered most of it for freezing, and the rest I'm using to make our favourite pumpkin muffins. I'm in the middle of putting the batter into our muffin trays when the phone rings. It's the recruiter from the Tillsonburg job. I knew right then it was going to be an interesting conversation.

She tells me something has changed, and asks if I would still be interested in an offer from Tillsonburg? I tell her yes, and she proceeds to outline the offer to me. Of course, I ask why they've changed their mind, and it turns out that the other candidate found another job, and took that one instead. She also mentions that the manager wanted to offer me the job in the first place. Why the offered it to the other guy, I don't know, and really don't care about anymore.

So, great! I have an offer of employement from a company I'd be happy to work for, right? Yes, and no. I have a very lowball offer from a company I'd be happy to work for, and they aren't flexible on enriching their proposal.

Right from the get-go they said they were looking in a certain salary range. I told them honestly what I was looking for during my interview, which is about 10% above the top of that range. Then they have the nerve to come back and offer me the LOWEST figure in their salary range? Um, no thanks. What's more, I wouldn't escape the 2-week vacation limit until after 7 years of service, and although the usual benefits are there, dental is not included until after TWO years of service. Even with the annual bonus they offer, it's not a very rich deal.

I told the recruiter that they'd have to enrich the offer. She called back a couple hours later, and gave their newest offer: a few guarantees. They still want to start at the same salary, but the raise at 6 months that was previously based on a performance review would now be guaranteed. And at 12 months, they would guarantee a $2000 bonus, regardless of anything else. Oh, please. They're still offering very little. What a disappointment.

To commute to Tillsonburg I'd need a 2nd car. Even if they stretched their offer to the top of their range, that would only match what I made at my previous job. How on earth could I squeeze in a second car into a budget that's already pretty tight? I don't think I could, really. Even the cheapest, most efficient car would cost at least $400 a month with loan payments, insurance, and gas. That's an awful lot of squeezing for any budget.

They want an answer by Monday. At this point, barring any flash of brilliance on our part that would enable us to live on much, much less, it's a flat no. I'd simply be spending more to make less, and not having any dental plan to boot. With two kids and my mother's poor dental enamal, it doesn't sound like a winning combination to me. Refusing one out-of-province offer was one thing. Refusing another is going to be hard, but once again there just isn't enough incentive.

Maybe tomorrow's classifieds will have something interesting.

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