company refused to give me details of their job offer in writing

A reader writes:

About a month ago, I interviewed for a position at a marketing company for a marketing position that was actually a sales position in disguise. The position had no base salary and relied solely on performance-based salary. In addition, the company had a rather definitive structure of a bonus system. I found out what I would be paid during my third round of the interview, the same day I got the job offer. The manager wanted me to start right away and I was pretty excited at the thought of working full-time for the first time after college.

Then I got home and started to calculate what I would have to live off of with the bonus pay (which was all I was going to get), and got worried about the unstable pay. So I wanted to make sure of not only the job offer but also that the bonuses and benefits were in writing. I contacted HR, and asked for the contract stating the pay arrangement. I didn’t get a response for a week, so I called and asked if they had received my email. The lady at HR said that she had read it but she hadn’t spoken to the manager to get it in writing. I didn’t hear back for another week, so I emailed her if I could get a formal job offer letter with relevant specifics in writing.

She emailed me back with a Word document that had no company letterhead and no details that I wanted in writing. Worried that I am being an annoyance, I emailed her again apologetically that I wanted the details in writing. I was expecting a) “Yes, you’re annoying but here you go” or b) “No, it’s totally fine and here you go.” Neither was true. She replied with a rather nasty email stating that my position was desired by many other qualified people and that I would have a chance to read my contract when I came in on the first day of work.

I ended up rejecting the offer, but I can’t help but to wonder, was I expecting too much when I asked them if they could email me the contract and other details involved? Is there some kind of a policy that prohibits the company from disclosing it virtually? Do some people work without getting their salary, benefits, and job offer in writing? As a newbie looking for a full-time job, I’m just unsure what to expect.

No, this is a huge red flag and you were right to turn down the offer. Refusing to put their promises in writing? Telling you that you could read a contract after you’d already accepted the job? Um, no.

There actually are plenty of places that don’t provide written job offers as a matter of routine (particularly smaller places), but even then, legitimate employers will put the details in writing if you ask for it. If they resist, you should be very wary; that’s basically the equivalent of them saying, “We don’t want to be held to what we’re telling you.” Which means that it barely matters what they’re telling you; they could tell you the rate of pay is $X, but if they won’t commit to it in writing, what’s to stop them from paying you $Y instead and claiming that’s what you agreed to? And what recourse will you have when that happens?

Taking a job offer without having the details that matter to you in writing is a really good way to discover that you’ve ended up with something totally different than what you signed up for. And not necessarily because of some nefarious plan on the employer’s side — sometimes there are genuine mistakes or misunderstandings. Or sometimes the hiring manager promises you something (for instance, a salary review in three months, or that you can work from home on Fridays, or a relocation expense reimbursement) and then leaves the company a month later and no one else there has any knowledge of your agreement and therefore won’t honor it.

Now, to be clear, employers can still change the terms of your employment at any time, even with a written offer (unless you have a contract, which most U.S. workers don’t), but getting the details of your offer in writing dramatically strengthens the likelihood that the terms of your employment will be what you agreed to. Being able to show in writing what your agreement was isn’t foolproof, but it’s hugely helpful when it comes to protecting you from misunderstandings, miscommunications, or someone forgetting a key detail, and that happens more than you might think.

So yes, you should always ask for the details of an offer in writing. It doesn’t need to be formal; it can simply be an email outlining what’s been agreed to. Or you can send your own summary, asking them to write back with confirmation. This is normal, and if an employer balks at it, consider it a signal that they don’t want to be held to what they’re promising you.

{ 74 comments… read them below }

  1. Nameless*

    I got an offer in Washington, the company took 2 weeks to process paperwork – the entire two weeks no-one knew my next of kin. Even then I work every weekend, on national holidays, no benefits what so ever and I am salaried. At first I was so excited at the prospect of full time employment in 3 years. I make $20K less than my previous employment. Employers are taking advantage of desperate employees, what can I do?

    1. The IT Manager*

      Nameless, I don’t understand your comment. What relevence does knowing your next of kin have to a business?

      Working weekends and holidays with compensation what-so-ever sucks. And making less than a previous job is disappointing too, but not relevent to your employeer. The employers paying what the job market and you are willing to bear. If this job is bad why are you staying there? At will employment means you can quit when you want to too. If that’s too drastic, you can neogotiate with your employer for a better deal at your next opportunity. Presumably they’d rather not lose you and have to train a replacement, but probably not to the tune of a $20K raise.

      1. Ellie H.*

        My guess is he or she meant nobody knew his “name” not “next of kin” during that two week wait for paper processing and it was just a bad translation.

      2. Liz*

        I think the comment about at-will employment is a bit harsh. Employees and job seekers have no leverage right now, and it is pretty clear that some employers are exploiting the vulnerable.

        As for why the comment was made, I think a little venting is fair.

  2. Josh S*

    The only thing that might be confusing the issue slightly is the OP’s use of the word ‘contract.’ It might be that he just wants written confirmation of the details of the job offer (pay, bonus structure, commission, benefits, etc), but that he asks for a “written contract,” and that’s putting the employer off. They don’t want to give him an (enforceable, union-sounding) contract; they want to give him a written job offer sans contract.

    I dunno if that’s the issue–it really does sound like a shady deal, and the OP is right for being suspicious. This raises all sorts of red flags. Don’t settle just because it’s your first real job!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yeah, the OP wasn’t really asking for a contract, but for the details in writing — although might have been mistakenly using the word “contract” since many people aren’t clear on the difference. However, the company should have just pointed that out — saying, “here are the details, and please note this isn’t a binding contract, employment is at-will, etc. etc. etc.”

    2. Jamie*

      I agree that the word contract is confusing to some employers, but it sounds to me like what the OP was asking for was an offer letter.

      In my understanding the offer letter is a contract of sorts. I’ve certainly found that at the companies I’ve worked for it was treated as such. Often the offer letter will contain not only salary, but sometimes when the first review/salary reevaluation will occur, when benefits will kick in, and details of the structured bonus program.

      While not typically thought of as an “employment contract” if it says you are in the B pay range and entitled to $X as a bonus dependent on ABC metrics then they can’t give you $Y at the end of the year based on DEF metrics.

      I’ve never been asked to take a job without an offer letter – and balking at providing one would be a huge red flag to me.

  3. Chocolate Teapot*

    It sounds like the “contract” was more like a job description, but certainly in Europe these don’t necessarily include salary details. What can happen is that a contract of employment has appendices including the job description and the details of salary, benefits and bonuses.

    Even so, the job did sound particularly dodgy and the OP did well to refuse.

  4. Anonymous*

    I’ve been reading this site for quite a while – and something seems really weird to me: Why do most US workers have no contracts? (Yes, I’m not from the US and have never worked there – haven’t even made it over the pond to travel there, yet.)

    1. Anonymous*

      Because Americans tend to be sue-happy. If something upsets a person, they have a higher chance of suing for “damages” than people from other countries. Do other countries even allow civil lawsuits from criminals who injure themselves breaking into your home? We even have morons who climb over fences into construction sites after hours, fall into a hole, then sue the construction company for allowing them to access the site.

      The lawsuits are getting less common as judges throw cases out and the suer gets charged fees for wasting time, but employers are still caution. A contract would make it more likely the lawsuit would succeed, even if it was the employee’s own fault they were fired.

      I’m from the US and you see the effects of this all over. The funniest are the warning labels on things. If you look online for “idiot warning labels” you’ll find some good ones.

      1. JT*

        It’s not because we are litigious, it’s because of the relatively stronger position of business vs labor in our political and social systems which makes at will employment the norm for many people.

            1. Heather*

              Oops, that was supposed to be for JT’s comment…although I obviously agree with JLH as well :)

    2. Under Stand*

      It is not because we are sue happy, it is because we have what is called an at will employment. That means that if the company wants to stop the agreement, it is fine to do so and if you want to stop the agreement, it is fine to do so. To us, or at least to me, having an agreement where you can only leave that company when your contract is up is too close to indentured servitude. If you do not like the company, you still must work there because you have a contract that you would be in default of if you tried to quit. YUCK!

      1. Esra*

        Having a contract doesn’t mean you’ll be in default if you want to quit. An overwhelming percentage of contracts, at least in Canada, have a two weeks notice etc clause in them to the advantage of both parties. You can give less, in most cases, it’s just rude.

      2. Any*

        Employment contracts don’t bind employees to continue to work for an employer for the duration of the contract. They typically just require a longer notice period– for both employer and employee. In some circumstances, an employee may be contractually bound not to compete with a prior employer for some period of time, but that’s the case for specialized/highly paid employees in certain industries in the U.S. too.

        1. Alisha*

          I’ve typically had contracts for my professional positions. One was because it was of a finite length, and I was acting in an actual consultant role, but others were because the positions required specialized knowledge, and thus held me to specific notice periods upon resignation, as well as fairly restrictive NDA and non-compete clauses. Maybe I’m naming the wrong thing by calling them “contracts,” but that’s what my bosses have called them…

    3. Mike C.*

      For any type of “Why doesn’t the United States have X protection for workers” it’s because labor protections have been gutted or simply haven’t kept up with our more civilized counterparts.

      Get this: you can and most likely will be fired FOR NO REASON.

        1. Stells*


          The cost of firing an employee and hiring, then training, a new one means that most *sensible* employers will not fire someone for “no reason”. You have to be a big enough pain to justify spending real $$ on the process of replacing you.

          1. moe*

            In training-intensive, skilled roles, sure–it may be too costly to fire people for no reason.

            But the lack of protection for workers really hurts the lower-wage, unskilled labor pool much more. There’s not quite the same process to replace & train, and if there’s even a whiff of a problem–or even an inkling that an employee understands his/her rights or would like to see them respected–yes, it’s quite easy for an employer to find a less problematic worker.

            This is why there are unions and the NLRB and all that stuff. Your–and my–notions of what “reasonable” employers do are quite privileged and not at all representative.

            1. Ellen M.*

              Even in jobs that require extensive training, experience and skill, you can be fired because the boss doesn’t like you, or as punishment/retaliation, or the boss wants to replace you with a friend of his/hers, or because getting rid of you will ensure the boss’s (or someone else’s) job security or bonus that year. Or for no reason at all, but there is usually some reason. The real reason may not match the stated reason (“budget cuts” is an all-purpose excuse which is used a lot these days), if a reason is given.

              Because of “at will” employment, employers get away with this. It is wrong but not illegal.

              1. fposte*

                Nobody’s disputing that, though. The point is that most places don’t fire employees, especially skilled employees, on a whim, because it’s an expensive proposition to replace them.

              2. Jamie*

                There will always be one-off situations where employers will behave unethically or against the best interests of the company. I don’t believe that is limited to at will employment, though.

                The focus on at will employment seems to be that the employer holds all the power. The flip side of at will is that we, as employees, are at will also.

                We can get a better opportunity and take it (with the professional standard of 2 weeks) if we desire, and don’t risk losing an opportunity because we have to serve out a lengthy notice period.

                The closest thing we have here for mitigating at will employment seems to be labor unions. Sure, there tends to be greater job security – but there is a sacrifice for that.

                Personally I want to negotiate my compensation and my promotions, etc. with my employer based on my own performance. Not have my raises decided based on my pay grade and seniority, where I’m one of many in a category being judged collectively. If I’ve earned a promotion I want my boss to have the freedom to give it to me, not have his hands tied because of rules written by a union or the government.

                And as an employee I want my employer to have the freedom to fire people who are not performing to standard…not be bound by complex rules which can result in my working with subpar performers who are coasting on job security. That may make their lives less stressful, but it would take years off mine.

                These rules don’t protect just the job security of those excellent employees who would otherwise be fired at the whim of a boss with a personal agenda. They also protect sub-par employees who can’t be fired without litigation. In my opinion the latter is far more common than the former.

                1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Yep. I’d bet a significant amount of money that the instances of employers not firing people people who should be fired (out of a mistaken belief that the law makes it too onerous to, or because their company has needlessly complicated rules to do so) FAR outweigh the number of instances of managers firing people on a whim.

                  By the way, for what it’s worth: Even in places without at-will employment, managers can build a legal case to fire just about anyone if they really want to. Looking back on my top performers, if for some reason I’d wanted to drum up an passable case for firing them, I could have done it. There’s always something you could build a case around. But employers generally don’t do that, because it’s not in anyone’s interests.

                2. mh_76*

                  AAM, you’re absolutely right. I’ve seen it far too often where dud employees linger i

                3. mh_76*

                  n jobs that they do not deserve. Of course I’ve also seen the odd wonderful employee be fired for seemingly no reason or for made-up reasons…but that is much more rare than duds not being fired.
                  [I think that the decline of my typing skills is telling me that I should finish today’s comments and shut down the computer]

            2. Jamie*

              There are significant costs associated with replacing even entry level and unskilled workers. There is still training involved, a learning curve during which production is below optimum efficiency, and unemployment costs. A person doesn’t have to be employed for long at all in most states to qualify for UE.

              It can cost double the employees salary to replace that person – and up to four times for more specialized, technical, or upper level management positions.

              That’s why the hiring process should be conducted to ensure a good fit on both sides.

          2. Mike C.*

            You don’t get to pick if your manager turns out to be “sensible” or not. Or if your manager changes. Or the company is sold.

            Furthermore, those who are “easily replaceable” deserve job security just as much as those of us who don’t.

            1. Jamie*

              In a perfect world everyone would have job security in a position they liked which was a good fit for their skills.

              But in reality the scarcer your skill set the more money you can command. The harder you are to replace the more job security you have.

              There is logic inherent in lack of job security being tied with being fungible.

              It may not fit in with an employment utopia where every thing is perfect – but while it may not be nice it is fair.

              Because if everyone were equally rewarded with job security across the board, just by virtue of the government requiring it, it kind of diminishes the achievements of those who go above and beyond to add value. Trophies for participation don’t mean very much – and rob people of the self esteem inherent in achievement they’ve earned.

              1. Flynn*

                …it kind of diminishes the achievements of those who go above and beyond to add value.

                …it’s a JOB, not high school. Does you like getting paid less just because some other people are able to be paid too?

                1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Flynn, I might be misunderstanding your point, but the idea is that if you’re better than other people, you should be rewarded accordingly. Take those rewards away, and there’s no incentive for people to put in lots of effort. As both a manager and a worker, that’s a bad deal.

        2. Kathryn T.*

          Most likely, maybe not, but I have a friend who was fired (from a BARTENDING job) after he posted on Facebook in support of transgender rights. He wasn’t told that it was specifically about that, but he was told that he was being fired “because of your political postings on Facebook,” and that was the only new thing that had happened.

          I’d call that pretty darn close to “no reason” myself.

          1. fposte*

            I would actually differentiate that from “no reason,” if only because that’s an act that stands a possibility of being protected some day even in an at-will state.

        3. Mike C.*

          So what? It shouldn’t ever happen. Somehow the state of Montana and several other developed nations thrive while employers have to give just cause for firing people.

          Just because something is rare doesn’t mean it should be tolerated.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            I was responding to your earlier statement that “you can and will be fired for no reason.” The first part is true, but the “will be” is not.

    4. sparky629*

      In my personal work experience (meaning the fields/places I’ve worked), contracts were reserved for higher level workers (i.e. C-level execs or faculty).
      I’ve had low/mid level admin and tech jobs and it would seem really really strange to me if I was asked to sign a contract because I’ve always assumed if they didn’t want me to work there anymore I would be fired/laid off, etc. If I no longer wanted to work there then I would just find a new job and quit.

    5. Nameless*

      It’s a capitalist way to do business, employers can easily hire and fire at will knowing they will not be subjected to “litigation.” I come from one of those countries that doesn’t have at-will employment, once you are hired you are good to go. It’s hard if not impossible to get fired.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Which is why it’s a problem — for the company that can’t get rid of a low performing employee and for the coworkers who have to work with that person.

  5. K.*

    I was reading this thinking “Oh God, I hope this poor person didn’t take this job.” The first red flag was a marketing job that turned out to be a commission-only sales job. I had an interview like that – a group interview, and literally every person walked out once the actual job was revealed. I’m so glad you didn’t take it, OP – what you did was in no way unreasonable. THEY were the unreasonable ones; the company sounds shady as hell, frankly.

    1. Anonymous*

      That’s where the red flag came up for me, too. I was hoping the OP would just say no right then and there, but as these times are proving, some people will take whatever comes their way.

        1. Laura*

          I also went to an interview like K mentioned and was thinking the same thing while reading this post. I was 18 and just out of high school and was trying to find something to do until I started college. I walked out of the interview and went home and researched the company and found all of these reviews that basically it was a pyamid scheme.

          I have a few friends who fell for it, but luckily I didn’t.

          1. Jamie*

            I have two kids that were similarly targets as soon as they graduated high school. Makes me wonder who is selling the list?

            Fortunately mine asked me about it, and after my head stopped exploding I explained that google is quite useful in job hunting. They had a couple of friends they tried to warn, didn’t listen but learned the hard way.

            I hate that it’s so predatory and the prey are often kids who are so new to the job market who have every excuse for not knowing better.

  6. Janet*

    You absolutely did the right thing. My second job out of college (when I only had a year of experience) pulled that on me. Wouldn’t put anything in writing and I stupidly accepted the job anyway. My title turned out to be different, the work I was expected to do turned out to be different and the whole job was a very very unpleasant 3 year chapter of my life filled with a lot of misery and stress. My gut had told me not to take it but I did anyway and regretted it.

    Also, since then I’ve realized a lot of places promise large bonuses that end up not coming true due to the economy. Many friends have told me that $5,000 bonuses in the past are now $1,000 bonuses and there’s nothing they can do about it. So counting on a bonus can be dangerous.

    1. K.*

      Yeah, I had a recruiter show me a job that was $15K under my stated range, and he was like “But bonuses!” And I said that bonuses are just that, not guaranteed income, so no thanks.

  7. Anonymous*

    I’m pretty sure I interviewed for the same company….at least, I had the same thing happen to me.. After it happened, I looked up the company on ripoff report and found out that they do things like that all the time. I’m sorry OP had to go through that. It’s horrible getting your hopes up like that. I’m a new grad too, so I know the feeling.

    1. K.*

      You make a great point about Rip-Off Report. If something seems shady, it’s a good idea to Google “[prospective company] scam” or search for them on Rip-Off report. Could save you time and stress. You should Google companies you interview with anyway, even well-known ones, but if your gut is telling you that something’s fishy, looking specifically for scams the company might be perpetrating is a good move.

  8. Dr. Speakeasy*

    Sounds like DS-Max/Cydecor. I’m sure there are other similar companies as well.

  9. AD*

    “Now, to be clear, employers can still change the terms of your employment at any time, even with a written offer (unless you have a contract, which most U.S. workers don’t), but getting the details of your offer in writing dramatically strengthens the likelihood that the terms of your employment will be what you agreed to.”

    For clarification’s sake, they can not RETROACTIVELY change something without your consent. If they agree to pay you X per week, and you work for a week, they can not then say they aren’t going to pay you X for that time you worked. That is why you want it in writing.

  10. Sabrina*

    I also had a similar experience when I was first out of school. The first red flag was at the job fair when they wouldn’t give me a clear answer about what the company did. (And this was back before Google and company information being readily available online) I went in for an “interview” around 6:30 pm (second red flag) which turned into a sales recruitment meeting for what was clearly a pyramid scam. After an hour and a half they finally gave us a break and there was a mad dash for the parking lot. I wish I had gotten up and left earlier than that but I was trying to be polite.

    1. Carrie in Scotland*

      I had an image of a crowd of people just running towards their cars and the recruiters going “hey, come back!!!”

    2. JoAnna*

      That happened to me too. I was so ticked off because it’d taken me nearly an hour to get there via bus — time I wouldn’t have wasted if I’d known it was a pyramid scam type deal.

      1. Alisha*

        Wow, yeah, we have so many of these scam companies because I live in a small city with an economy that looks nice on paper, but in reality, rivals Detroit’s for sluggishness. My (now-ex) partner from my college years wound up interviewing with this exact same kind of pyramid scheme, and it was just as you described – from the vagueness about the company’s purpose, right down to the mad dash for the door at the “intermission!”

  11. Lesley*

    I had a similar experience right out of college too…but in my case it was for a nanny position out in DC. I was from the midwest, we’d never met in person, and first they didn’t send the full details of insurance and pay to me…then they never responded when I said I would like to fly out there on my own dime (and stay with a friend) and meet them before I moved out there to take the job. Who doesn’t want to meet their nanny? Red flag.

  12. Kelly*

    Someone mentioned pyramid schemes in a comment above, and this is what it sounds like the OP was dealing with – most cities have companies which are more optimistically referred to as Multi-Level-Marketing firms, that are essentially ponzi schemes. The positions are usually solely commission based, and a large portion of your sales goes to whomever recruited you (and their recruiter etc.) such that the only way to make money is by recruiting more unsuspecting recent grads. Federal studies have found that most employees end up earning significantly less than minimum wage.

    Generally I’ve found that any company advertising that they want “recent grads” and explicitly stating that no previous experience is required, in this market, are scams. These positions usually advertise as “entry-level marketing” or “management” opportunities. Also be wary of any company that responds to your application in 5 minutes and wants to interview you that day – they try to stress you into quickly interviewing and accepting before you have a chance to research them.

    1. Sabrina*

      That was me. The guy leading the “meeting” I was in even said “Now, some may say that this is a pyramid scheme, but I ask you, where are you on this pyramid?”

  13. Ellen M.*

    OP, you definitely dodged a bullet here. That job has “no bueno” written all over it.

  14. OP*

    Thanks for all your support and comments. I’ve had times in which I wondered if I should have just taken the job because I’m still unemployed. But I’m glad I stuck with my instincts. I hope we all find/keep good jobs and dodge the bad ones.

    1. Ry*

      OP, from what you stated in your letter, you were absolutely right to be nervous about this situation. I am so glad you turned down the job! Well, “job.” It doesn’t sound like it deserves to be typed without scare quotes :)

      Deep breath… you’re still unemployed, but you’re not actually going into debt due to driving around to sales calls and not making money, being forced to buy products in order to demonstrate them, or the other zillion ways the people above you in this pyramid would’ve been tricking you out of money.

      One of my friends worked for the vacuum-cleaner version of the pyramid scheme a few years back. It was abysmal. Not only did he make no money at all, but also, the time he was spending attempting to get sales (sometimes 70-80 hours a week, as his desperation increased) cut deeply into the time he could spend looking for a real job. I’m very relieved that your scam-radar went off and you didn’t fall for this. Unemployment is better than a pyramid scheme: it allows you to look for work and hopefully uses up your emergency fund more slowly.

      Good luck! You can get a good job! Try to keep your chin up – we’re rooting for you.

      1. K.*

        Seriously. Pyramid schemes/MLM situations are NOT, are NOT, are NOT better than being unemployed. Read the Consumerist article linked above – one guy ended up sixteen thousand dollars in debt by the time he left. What Ry said is spot-on. Don’t let a crappy economy trick you out of listening to your gut.

        Could you try to find some part-time work doing SOMETHING so you have some money coming in? (I’m not trying to be patronizing at all here; hope I don’t come across that way.) I have a part-time “survival job,” which, while nothing to put on a resume, means that at least I have SOME (meager) income, which alleviates that desperate feeling of “Must take any job! Need money!”

        1. OP*

          No worries, no offense taken. I’ve actually been tutoring and part-timing at a retail store to stick it out. It’s just taking way longer than I expected to get a “real” job and didn’t fathom how hard it is to get a job that I find rewarding. I’d rant on but I digress. Huzzah everyone!

  15. Kevin L*

    I took a position at a salary lower than I would have because of the opportunity, and because my then to be boss promised a review and raise 3 months into the position. After I quit my job and began the new one he told me he didn’t actually have the authority to give me a raise, and he’d forgotten to mention the $90/month parking fee that would be taken out of my paycheck. Financially, it absolutely sucked until my raise one year later, but I couldn’t get another job because the market tanked! Get it in writing!

  16. Alisha*

    The OP is absolutely right to turn this position down. My first job in my field was a disaster, and that was partially because I hadn’t yet learned how to get an offer in writing outlining all the basics – salary, benefits, time off, etc. It turned out that they inaccurately represented my pay as well as the overtime and bonus structures, and the benefits they’d claimed were “comprehensive” were actually individual-apply, much like a sole proprietor would purchase. Because of my health history, I could not take the insurance, and actually wound up leaving that job in worse physical and mental health than when I’d started. They also had a ridiculously un-enforceable non-compete, and refused to let me keep a copy of my contract. It can seriously get this bad if you don’t get it in writing.

    The position that got yanked last year was a disaster in a different way. Though I got a very detailed contract spelling out title, salary, duties, bonus structure, healthcare, dental, 401K, and time off (with that broken out further into 3 sick days and 17 vacation/PTO days), the two executives who headed the two branches of the company had evidently not agreed on the job description. The one who hired me had written it as a fairly senior position, whereas the one who hadn’t envisioned it as similar to the person who’d just left the company – a fairly junior position, requiring only 3 years of work history as a line employee and no management experience.

    It’s sad but true that in today’s economy, you can get every detail spelled out in writing and still get screwed.

  17. Alisha*

    p.s. I got cut because of that very same disagreement. Guy who hired me felt that the company needed a truly senior person and wanted to allocate a high salary to the role. The guy who didn’t felt the company should ride out the recession in a maintenance phase, and hire another younger candidate at a lower salary, with a “manager” title added as part of the title inflation game.

    I’ve just recently gotten over it. It was that bad. : (

  18. Kat*

    I too went on one of those marketing interviews when I was fresh out of college. I had just moved to Boston under the guise of going to a half rate grad school for my MA in Literature. Really it was a good excuse to live in the same town as my boyfriend again. About two weeks of being unemployed I was so bored I decided to go on one of these interviews. It was the only place that offered me a second interview, so I went back the next day on my birthday to shadow someone. After following the guy around a small new england town all day, I was pretty miserable. They offered me the job when we got back to the office and was explaining their law of averages approach to sales when I cut them off and said “You realize that’s a bad business plan right? Just a little bit of research and you’d probably actually be successful. None of you are actually happy doing your jobs are you?” They still continued the job offer and I said no, cried on the T, and got more wasted on my birthday than I should have. The best thing happened the next day when I finally contacted a temp agency and worked for the next 6 months at an organization where I met the best friends have. Look only good things come to those who don’t work at these scam marketing firms.

  19. dr*

    I am not shore if an employer is obligated to give a hourly new hire a job offer letter. I asked for an offer letter and was told company policy. “they do not give offer letter to hourly full time employee”
    Your comments

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