Thursday, November 29, 2012

Never Decline a Job Interview, The Sequel

Last month I gave my notice at The Chopper. While I enjoyed working there and made some good friends, I was offered a new job with Company A, a good opportunity for me to get paid a little more and to work significantly closer to home.

Then a funny thing happened. The day after I was offered this job, Company B (whom I had sent my resume to a few days earlier, before I knew Company A would offer me a job) invited me in for a job interview.

I once blogged on this site about one of my personal philosophies: never decline a job interview. And so, true to myself, I went on the job interview.

Sure enough, I soon had two job offers on the table before me. The two job offers were substantially identical. So identical that when I did the proverbial pro-con list, the pro and cons of both jobs came out as equal.

I don't like this kind of stress. So after a few days in limbo, I finally decided to go with Company A, for no other reason than the fact that they came through with the first offer. Company B was disappointed when I broke the news. Meanwhile, in the back of my mind I wondered if I was making the right choice. This was not because of any gut instinct -- had I chosen the Company B, I would have those same what-ifs rolling through my mind.

A couple of weeks into my new job, Company B called again, asking how the new job was going (clearly this was not the true reason for their call). When they called, I was at the new job. It was kind of awkward. But I appreciated that they saw something in me and politely said that I needed to run, but feel free to call me back.

The next day, things started to change at Company A. Actually, it's not that things really changed. It's that I started to notice some things. I won't go into detail. But let's just say that if Company A were an NFL team, the media would characterize Company A as having "team chemistry issues" and "poor coaching." And it was making my job considerably more difficult than it had to be. And so I swung by Company B (which happens to be conveniently located on my way home from Company A) later that day.

One thing led to another. Company B invited me in for a "second job interview," this time with the company HR Director, CEO and president. Once again, Company B offered me a job -- this time for considerably more money than the original offer. It was too good to turn down, particularly given the problems at Company A.

You can imagine how awkward things were the past two weeks at Company A (in fact, while I agreed to give Company A two weeks' notice, things have been so uncomfortable there that yesterday we mutually agreed to cut things off at a week-and-a-half's notice). I get it. I'm there for a month and then I leave. I don't expect people to be thrilled. But the sad part is, after I gave my notice, my boss at Company A started saying some nasty things about me to others. Saying that I need work on my "people skills" and "common sense" and that I "don't work well with women." Which smacks of someone crying sour grapes, or trying to cover her ass from potential corporate questions about why I'm leaving so quickly. These were never problems until I gave my notice. Also, give me a break -- I got a going-away party and cake when I left The Chopper, which was almost exclusively attended by female Chopper employees. Do people with poor people skills get that kind of treatment on the way out? I took the high road on my way out and it's disappointing that not everybody can do so.

Who knows, Company B may be a disaster, too. But I look at it this way: when presented with two opportunities, I've received a rare chance to sample both of them.

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