Monday, June 11, 2007

Advices on certain offers...

In those almost 33 years on our nice planet, I've learned a few things. One of them is to be careful with certain offers.

The first kind of offers to be careful about is the one where you have to decide on the spot. That's okay when it comes to deciding whether you want to eat vanilla- or chocolate-flavoured ice-cream - the worst thing that might happen then is that you realize halfway through your cone that the other sort would have been better. But when it comes to buy something worth more than a couple of Euros or when you're deciding whether or not to take a job offer (and yes, it's still an offer, no matter how much the employers these days act like they're doing you a favour by inviting you to a job interview), you should be able to sleep over it and think about it in peace. If someone wants a decision immediately, from my experience, the only right answer is "No".

The second kind of offers to be careful about is the one where the vendor is talking fast and not really answering your questions. Now, you don't know me in person and so you can't know I talk pretty fast myself. And if I think someone's talking fast, they're talking damn fast. You see, from my experience, people only talk very fast and don't answer your questions when they want to make sure you don't understand all of it.

Why am I writing this today? Because I had a job interview this morning and it was abysmal (and that's seeing it positively, something I don't do as a rule, normally). First of all I had the interview set at 8:30 - and the woman doing the interview was late. But that's not a problem for me, something like that can happen even in the best possible companies. Then it turned out that something had not been communicated right. I have been invited to this interview via a temporal employment agency (about which I've already written my share) and the woman there told me to expect it to last for a couple of hours, but what she didn’t tell me was that it a) would last the whole day as I was expected to go through a trial day of work today and that it b) would mean deciding this afternoon at five whether to take the job or not. In addition, she didn't answer any questions about that job beforehand, telling me I'll be "seeing about that in a few minutes anyway". Sorry, but I ask questions to get information when I think I need it. What's wrong with giving me a short summary of the job? I have another interview tomorrow and I don't hurry to say "Yes" to one offer before I have heard the second one. So I have done as I have advised above and said "No" immediately, not even staying for a day. What's the point in a trial day when you know you'll decline the offer anyway?

She was a fast-talker, she didn't answer my questions at all and she wanted to press for a decision. That's three good reasons to say ""Sod off," and if I ever meet you again, it'll be twenty billion years too soon" - though, of course, I declined the offer more politely. (And that, by the way, was quoted from the "Black Adder" episode "Sense and Senility")

Now, what I could gather about this company (which I had been to before, but they didn't really leave a good impression then either) is that they have a new project running and need new personnel immediately. If I were leading a company in this business (and let's all have a good laugh about that thought ... go on, I know you're not finished yet ... okay, that's enough), I would make sure to go through the interviews with possible employees beforehand. I would invite them in, talk to them, tell them that there might be a job open at a certain date and I would call them back then and wait calmly for the company I deal with to make its decision. That way I wouldn't land in that company's trouble: Having a new project and not enough people to deal with it.

After all, a new project doesn't come out of the blue, it takes time until you get it. First you have to find a possible new project, then you have to decide whether it fit's with your ethics (let's all laugh a bit about call-centers and ethics ... that should be enough), make your offer and wait for them to decide. Surely that takes longer than just a few hours (although possibly not that part about ethics, that should be done in a couple of seconds at the outmost).

I'm no genius when it comes to economics, but even I know that one should always be prepared.

Anyway, keep those advices about offers in mind, they might help you to avoid a lot of trouble. And always listen to your gut instincts (of feminine intuition or whatever you personally call it). It's your subconscious speaking and subconsciously you always gather more information to work with than with your mind alone.

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