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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:44 PM
Original message
Question: My wife got offered a job....
Edited on Mon Jun-06-05 02:45 PM by expatriot
Here is the chronological order of things:

My wife applies for a job with a very recognizable organization for a position as personal assistant to the executive of this organization. there was the normal job description, etc. but not that detailed. the executive emails telling her that she (the exec) is interested in her resume and application and wants her to make a video presentation and send it to her. she does so and the exec emails her and says "you're hired. How much are you making now and when can you move out?". My wife is taken aback at how sudden this all is, she being the major breadwinner of the two of us and our two cats, has to make sure she knows what will be expected of her and that she can handle it and that there is good insurance, etc. for my medical condition (crohn's), because she has a good state job now but would LOVE to have this job that is being offer her but it is a cross-country move, etc. So, in short, my wife feels that she does not have enough info to take the job and needs more. So she emails this exec yesterday with a list of questions and the exec replies that she is "sorry that she (my wife) seems to have doubts about working for them." Now my wife is going to ask today whether she could travel out there on her own expense in the next week for a couple of days to just get a feel for it.

The question: is this out of line for my wife to want more info about a job before taking it? Remember she hasn't spoken to anyone on the phone about the job, just some short emails. "send us a video" and "You're hired." Now it is not that the organization is not legit, it is very well known and the person she is talking to, the exec, is well, its exec.

Also, its not like she would be this person's only personal assistant its not a glorified secretary job, she would write speeches, do research, etc.

What are your thoughts?


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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Your wife is absolutely right to expect more information.
This "executive" is doing business in a very shoddy way, and this should give your wife some cause for concern re: working for this person.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. agreed
I'd honestly be more surprised if somebody did not ask about health benefits, relocation expenses (there can be a HUGE difference between companies), vacation time, 401K & how much, if anything, the company matches, if they have a pension plan, etc.

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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. The exec's response to honest questions seem pretty
passive-aggressive to me, too:

"We're sorry you have concerns about working for us"? That's not a good sign at all.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
NO WAY!

Save your wife from throwing good money after bad.

Anyone who would hire someone without meeting them in person is so off the wall, your wife would be making a HUGE mistake in pursuing anything having to do with this "executive."

Head cases everywhere.
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cthrumatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. agreed..... need much more confirmation
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. If they really wanted her,
they'd pay for the travel and expenses to interview her in person. It is not unreasonable to want to know more about a position, especially since it involves a cross country move.

I'd be a bit leery of someone telling me they're sorry that I have doubts about working for them. Seems like an employer who would change assistants more often than I'd feel comfy with. :shrug:
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Ask for a formal offer in writing.
That's all you need to do.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. That was my first thought
Tell them you need an offer letter for apartment hunting in the new city. The letter should spell out salary, etc.

But there is something wrong with this picture -- no phone conversations?? Something just isn't right.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. you're talking about a VERY major upheaval...
Edited on Mon Jun-06-05 02:47 PM by mike_c
...so if the company is not sensitive to that, I'd be extremely wary about taking the job under these circumstances. Be careful-- this really looks like a recipe for disaster.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. i have always acted as if i have the right to the info you are seeking...
an application/interview is a two way street.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. The video is a bit odd, too...
Is he auditioning or interviewing?

Did she do a "Baywatch" slow-mo wet tanksuit run?

If nothing else, she has a right to a detailed offer, including benefits, insurance details, etc. Ask the big boss if you can speak to the personnel manager if he doesn't have time to go into the details.

Either that, or make sure the money is SO good, and guaranteed for a certain period, that you can afford to cover the costs of moving, insurance, etc.
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caledesi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. The video was a way to see how old she is....another "trick"
to find out how old an applicant is is to ask some of the following questions on the application:

How many years experience do you have doing blah, blah, blah.

I know this bec my husband is over 50 and some of the newer apps are asking this since it's against the law to ask your age.

Bastards!

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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. Good point. I bet you're right. I was puzzled by the idea of
an executive assistant being asked for a video presentation. I don't see the relevance.
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CitrusLib Donating Member (748 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. Well that description of events set off all kinds of red flags.
Your wife should have all her questions answered and a formal offer letter in hand before turning in her notice and starting a new job. For them to question her committment when she doesn't know what she is committing to is ludicrous and makes me wonder what it would be like to work for her boss.

She should turn it around on them. Let them know it's not in her nature to make recommendations or decisions without having all the facts possible at her disposal which is probably a trait they are looking for in that position. :)

Good luck to you both.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. thank you all for your responses... I have emailed her at work with a link
to this thread.
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hey, Enron was a well-known, respected company, too...
... these days, reputation is often a matter of PR, and not practice.

Your wife is being hustled, I think. She's entitled to much more information than she's been given, and anyone who doesn't want to answer her questions before being hired has something to hide. Guaranteed.

I'd pass on this one, m'self, and I don't have a job. :)
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Speaking of Enron
I browsed through an old copy of "Fortune" a few weeks back - maybe from 1999 or 2000 - and it was the issue of "Top 100 Companies to work for" and Enron was in the top 50.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
14. Also, make sure you look into cost of living differences
I recently interviewed for a job in Richmond, VA and found that the cost of living was a bit cheaper than my area of Connecticut, near Hartford. However, another person I spoke with had moved there from Kansas and really had sticker shock at how high the housing costs were.

On the flip side, I didn't even interview for a job that paid over $100K in Westchester CTY, New York because there is no way I could live in a decent town within an hour's drive of Westchester at that salary unless we downgraded from a decent-sized year-old colonial to an apartment or small condo.





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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. we've done that, housing is cheap and there would be a lot
better jobs around there for me than where we currently live (Yuma). if we could be assured that this job would work for her it would be ideal. That's what sucks, its just been one of these emotional roller coasters the past two days. Just out of the blue.

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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. HR was never involved?
Edited on Mon Jun-06-05 02:58 PM by Wickerman
Typically HR would handle much more of this process and once the decision was made the exec would've handed your wife over to HR to work out the details.

I think this exec would be WAY too erratic to work with.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Well she did give my wife's email to HR to send her some info on insurance
but she is more concerned about her responsibilities and expectations there.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. as well she should be
I'd guess you would never see her again. This woman sounds like a difficult boss.
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sweetladybug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
19. I would get all questions answered or I would not take the job. Also
before I moved across country, I would be out the expense to go and check out the job, the work environment and I would talk with some of the employees just to see what they have to say about the company.
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Lannes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
22. I was hired once over the phone
But I wouldnt even consider taking a job with just e-mail.Id want to talk to them.Id make sure they check out and gauge what my future employer was like.

That "sorry you have doubts" line would set off alarm bells with me besides not speaking to him.It sounds alot like a bait and switch where you will get some unpleasant surprises after you arrive.

Going there is a great idea.If they resist you have to wonder what the hell is going on there that they dont want you to see them before deciding.Good luck.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
24. Mrs. Expatriot. Please. Don't walk. RUN away from
that job offer. That was badly handled and extremely unprofessional on so many levels. Remember that you're probably experiencing this person at their best and it can only go downhill from there. If the person is hiring you via email (without meeting you or even talking to you on the phone), making demands not outlined in the job listing (A video presentation?), witholding important information about your duties, salary and benefits, and then becoming very passive-aggressive when asked to provide that information, I can virtually guarantee this person is going to make your life hell.

This is the kind of person who will tell you "We'll pay you $X but in six months you'll get an $X raise plus a performance bonus" then in six months the person will mysteriously forget ever saying that. If you push them, they'll say "Well, that was only if you did outstanding work and frankly, you haven't" even though you've been consistently praised for your work. This is the kind of person who will keep piling on work that no one else wants to do, and then pretend it was in your job description all along. Or who will demand that you come in on your day off, or cancel your vacation, or run their personal errands on your lunch hour. Or who will actually hold it against you because you needed to take a few days off for your father's funeral in another state, and will make little passive-aggressive remarks in meetings about how everyone else has to do your work while your gone. All of these things and many more have happened to me or friends of mine at various jobs. I'm not kidding.

Believe me, I made that mistake and worked for three years at the most hellish job imagineable. I cried every night on the commute home. Save yourself the nightmare and hold out for a better job. Good luck.
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youspeakmylanguage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. EXACTLY! If it sounds flaky...
...it probably is flaky.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Calling it flaky is being kind. I'd call it toxic.
Flaky would be if, upon being asked for more information about the position, salary and benefits, the prospective employer replies "Oh, of course, how silly of me. I should have told you that right away. I will send a formal written job offer to you right away and you call me with any questions you have once you've read it." That would be flaky, because a formal job offer with benefits, etc. fully outlined should be a given. But at least it would be forgiveable if the employer realized the oversight and apologized.

Toxic is when, upon being asked for more information about the position, salary and benefits, the prospective employer becomes passive-aggressive and behaves as if the job-seeker is out of line.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Pheeww... I thought you were going to say "from Mr. Expatriot." nt
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Don't be silly! You're a fellow DUer, that automatically earns my
respect unless you prove otherwise. :)
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
26. Wife should
have found out all aboaut the company before the interview. Should have found out all about the job except the salary and maybe benefits at the interview. Should have found out the rest of it when the offer arrived.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
28. Very Interesting.
It seems that it would be fairly standard procedure to send a job description and a letter of intent to hire to your wife.

I agree with the others. It is a sign of a hellish boss that she (the boss) is starting off on such an arrogant and passive-aggressive foot.
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newportdadde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
32. I would definitely pass.
The aren't handling her interview process very professionally in my opinion. Also there is the change in cost of living. If your living like me in the midwest the difference between here and either of the coasts is huge in terms of housing etc.

Has there been a a letter of hiring sent to you which outlines compensation and benefits, possibly relocation reimbursement?

The boss's response does not sound right.

Given that coupled with your medical condition and the reassurance of your wife having a state job with good benefits I would stay put, very put.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
33. To all who have responded to this thread..... update
my wife has gotten an email from the exec and she (the exec) wants my wife to come out for a few days in which they will pay for accomodations and food and show her around and make sure she feels comfortable with it and answer all questions. pretty good resolution so far.

thanks for all responses.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. That's good, but I would still be verrrrrrrrrry careful if I were her.
And tell her to please trust her instincts on this if she gets a weird vibe from this woman in person. It's a huge life upheaval and this exec seems a little, I don't know, hot and cold. But best of luck. Please keep us updated.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
35. your wife is not wrong to ask for more info
i would hesitate to work for someone who operates like this, though. i wouldn't even bother checking the place out in person, unless she is just sooooooo curious and thinks there may be more to it. these people do not act professionally, and i would not want to work for them.
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