update: I’m a finalist for a job where it sounds like people work a ton of hours

Remember the letter-writer who was a finalist for a job where it sounded like people worked a ton of hours? Here’s the update.

As I described in my letter, I was really uneasy about the situation. Shortly before you published my letter, the employer and I had a scheduled follow-up conversation where I was up-front about my concerns. We talked honestly and I felt that we were on the same page – I posted an update about that here in the comments. So, I decided I would take the plunge. We negotiated salary and all seemed good.

Until … they emailed me the contract. And this had some problems. It wasn’t an issue of (il)legality, but there were a few of things in there that stood out as very non-industry-standard in wording and/or specifics. (True to my original dilemma regarding this workplace, one of the issues was the wording of the overtime clause – but there were other issues, as well as an inconsistency or two). I sought advice from friends and mentors who work in/know the sector, and they all confirmed my instincts – that the specifics of the contract were out of the norm, and not in a positive way.

(I should probably that note that in my country, every employee legally must have a written employment contract. It is also the law that you must be be allowed time to seek independent advice – including legal advice – on an employment agreement before signing it.
I mention this because I understand that American labour laws are different, and many US workers do not have written contracts; I assume there could also be different rules about consultation).

Anyway, after some thinking, I emailed back my boss-to-be about my concerns. I flagged the main couple of clauses I was concerned about and asked about their reasoning for those. I wrote my message very carefully and politely – I didn’t want to make any demands, just ask for more information and/or clarification about wording. I also mentioned that I’d run it by a lawyer in the next couple of days, phrasing it along the lines of “not that I expect to find anything amiss, but with legal matters, it seems like a good idea to get a professional opinion”. (I don’t think I would do this generally, but given that this contract seemed off, it seemed like a good idea to do my due diligence, since I know very little about employment law).

Well, this went down like a ton of bricks. Their answer was dismissive and didn’t answer my questions. They basically told me, “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem”.

Obviously, I was pretty unimpressed – in fact, I thought this was actually a bigger red flag than the contract itself. It’s totally valid to ask about these things! There was a bit more back-and-forth – I was even more careful and polite in my response, explaining why I had brought up these (legitimate!) issues, and that I was asking these questions in the spirit of good-faith negotiation and clarification. Things went quiet for a while until they arranged a conference call where I was to talk to the boss plus a couple of the other employees, basically to be assured that they weren’t tyrants or whatever regarding working hours, etc. This was frustrating because we’d already talked about this stuff and resolved it … it was the contract wording was my concern, and not just on this one point … plus, I think that contract details should really be between me and the bosses, not a conversation topic with other employees. (In retrospect, I feel it was quite a manipulative move on their part, intentionally or not). At this point I decided to be completely honest with them and say that now, beyond the contract thing, my biggest concern was about communication. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of valuing open and honest communication and that I was concerned about being more or less stonewalled when I’d asked the questions I had, and how this communication style would translate to the workplace. I also mentioned a specific thing the boss had said to me in an email, and he basically admitted that it was a test of sorts meant to get a rise out of me (!), which, WTF.

We agreed to each take some time to think, and then the next morning they emailed me, pulling the job offer. I can’t say I was surprised. In fact, I was relieved – this whole process had been really stressing me out.

In retrospect, I think they were totally thrown by the fact that I actually read the contract and asked about it (in the conference call, one of the employees admitted he’d never even read it!), as well as mentioning talking to a lawyer. The mention of the lawyer wasn’t meant to be any kind of barb, but I suppose they took it that way. (I did speak to a lawyer by the way, he confirmed what I’d thought about the contract not being illegal, but being out of the norm). From their point of view, I suppose I was a Problem Person who kept raising all these issues before I even starting working for them, and was overly concerned about work-life balance. From my perspective, if you give an impression of long hours/overwork in a recruitment process and deliver a non-industry-standard contract, you should be prepared for people to perceive (and potentially raise) red flags.

I suppose this whole process was a good learning experience, if nothing else. And I know that I behaved professionally throughout, and was polite but assertive. So, I think I dodged a bullet. And I relearned the lesson that it’s usually good to trust your gut on these matters!

Anyway, this tale has a happy ending. Not so long after this whole mess, I ended up landing a role at a fantastic company! I’m thriving and absolutely love my job: I really enjoy the nature of my work, I have awesome coworkers and boss — it’s just a great fit. I know that I gained a lot of advice at AAM that helped me get that job and do well in it, so thank you!

{ 67 comments… read them below }

  1. H.C.*

    Yay for you, LW; and so much yes to the red flag of “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem” responses.

    1. Christmas Carol*

      My high school mascot was the cardinal. This deal had more red flags than our marching band.

  2. Just another voice in the echo chamber*

    LW I remember your original letter and am glad to have an update! Way to stand up for yourself and so glad you found something better!

  3. LBK*

    Yikes. I’m surprised you even kept considering the offer as long as you did – I think I’d have been done with it as soon as the boss refused to answer your questions.

    1. serenity*

      My thoughts as well! Although, the job interviewing and contract expectations indicated by OP’s comments point to a very different process than U.S. norms and this back-and-forth may be somewhat normal and expected. But still, I think I would have pulled out of this discussion much sooner – there were numerous red flags here.

      1. JamieS*

        I’m American so I don’t have too much experience with this but I’d expect a bit of back and forth. Negotiating salary/benefits, discussing a starting date, and otherwise fine tuning the details. I definitely wouldn’t expect nor appreciate asking a legitimate question and basically being told it’s not my concern. Unless I were truly desperate that’d cause me to withdraw my candidacy immediately.

        1. LBK*

          Same – back and forth doesn’t seem unusual to me as an American. It’s doing sketchy stuff in the contract and then being evasive about answering questions on it that gets my hackles up.

          1. TardyTardis*

            Although once I tried to negotiate a deal with a reasonably well known writer over her use of something I’d written (I tried to nail down exactly which portion of what I had written she was planning to use, but her contract seemed a bit inclusive for what she’d offered to pay), and you’d think I had tried to physically attack her. According to her secretary, I was supposed to be grateful for the offer, because others had apparently settled for less. I was well out of that mess!

    2. RL*

      Me too. I have very little patience for people trying to give me the run around.

      (And for cryin out loud, read contracts before you sign them people)

      1. Ramona Flowers*

        You’d be surprised how many people don’t. I’ve never forgotten the first time I tried to sign up with a temping agency and they gave me a contract.

        So I started reading. The agency person started tapping their fingers impatiently. I asked, in genuine surprise, did people not normally read it? No, they said. They just sign it.

        And 18-year-old me had the good sense to say okay thanks, hand back the contract, and walk out. (I found another agency to sign up with the next day.)

        1. blackcat*

          I have had all sorts of people be flummoxed by me reading things carefully before signing. It always bothers me! I hate it that people expect that I sign stuff without reading it, and they always get bent out of shape when I point out something that’s off. One time, I stopped a friend from signing paperwork for his car loan before reading it (he brought me because he had never bought a car, I had, and he rightly knows he’s a pushover). The car salesman actually had the nerve to ask “What are you, a lawyer?”

          I raised my eyebrows and said “No, but I was raised by two of them. And they taught me that you should always read everything throughly before signing it.”

          1. ss*

            Agreed. My spouse was irritated with me because I stopped to read the contract our realtor gave us when we were preparing to list our house with him. He signed right away and started harassing me for the delay as I sat there and read it. He finally shut up when I asked the realtor, “what is this clause that says we have to pay you $30,000 if you don’t sell our house in the next 30 days??” That finally got my spouse’s attention that he should let me finish reading it.
            (According to the realtor, that clause meant if WE sold the house without him in that time frame, we still had to pay him the commission. I insisted that be rewritten because that was NOT what the exact wording said.)

          2. AntsOnMyTable*

            I had someone be surprised because I was going to read over my entire mortgage contract and ask questions about things. Seriously? You expect me to just sign where you tell me to and that be it?

        2. SpaceySteph*

          When I was getting set up at the hospital to give birth (prior to actually being in labor, just there to sign the forms) a hospital admin came and walked me through the release forms. She skipped through most of the pages, noted a few things here and there, and then presented me with the signature page. I was like “uh can I read it first?” and she was very dismissive and tried to tell me it was so long and complicated and she had told me everything I needed to know. “Thanks, but I’m a fast reader.” And I proceeded to read every word on every page before I signed it while she sat there huffing and sighing.
          I got a survey sent to me after the delivery and I tore this lady a new one in every response box that applied.

      2. Carbovore*

        I just had my wedding ring professionally cleaned and rebuilt last week and the woman at the counter had the nerve to try and rush me signing the slip LOL! (Sorry, when someone tells me “sign here,” I’m going to read all the preceding language!)

        (Maybe I just watch too much People’s Court.)

      3. Lawyer*

        “(And for cryin out loud, read contracts before you sign them people)”

        While this is good advice for negotiated contracts (as in OP’s example), it is not necessarily good advice for “contracts of adhesion,” which is essentially a fancy term for form contracts.

        1. Robot Fencer*

          Yes, and the reason for that is that any major irregularities in boilerplate contracts (like the kind you sign when you open a bank account) are not really enforceable because there was no opportunity for you to negotiate – one party has all the power. The law recognizes this imbalance and does not allow it to be used to take advantage.

        2. Anna*

          It is still entirely someone’s right to read through the language, whether you think it’s “good advice” or not. Most people don’t know what’s enforceable and what isn’t and by telling them they can ignore some contracts, but not others, especially when they don’t the difference, that seems like a recipe for bad things to happen.

    3. Observer*

      I’d like to think that I would, too. But when everything else about a job looks good and you NEED a job it’s a bit harder.

      So, I’m even more impressed that the OP did a reality check and then stood her ground.

      1. k.k*

        I’m with you. When it otherwise seems like a really good opportunity, I can see myself myself giving them far too many chances to redeem themselves out of wishful thinking.

    4. Letter Writer*

      Letter writer here

      Yeah, I did consider it. However, I was unemployed at the time, so had quite a lot of incentive to talk myself into still taking the job. I also changed fields with my current job, so there was the added motivation of getting my foot in the door of this industry.

      It’s funny, because in the interview process, they expressed that they liked that I had opinions and am someone who would speak her mind. But obviously they didn’t *really* appreciate that, lol.

      I’m so, so glad that I didn’t take the job. Who knows, maybe actually working there would have been fine. But I feel like I dodged a bullet.

      Thank you so much to everyone for all the supportive comments! I thought the reception would be more mixed, so I was really happy to read everyone cheering me on.

      1. LBK*

        That totally makes sense – I can see trying to hold out hope until the last possible second that maybe this had all just been a big misunderstanding. Whether the contract part really was something shady or not, at the very least I think your instincts about the long hours were dead on based on everything you heard during the earlier interviews, so you at least dodged that part that didn’t sound like it would’ve worked for you.

  4. Lucky*

    Speaking as a lawyer, if anyone ever balks at you taking time to have a lawyer review a contract before you sign it, that is a red flag in itself. Glad to hear you landed a better job, OP.

    1. SC*

      +1. I’m a regulatory lawyer, and sometimes I feel like half of my job is listening to people say, “Well, no one has ever brought this up before, so we don’t think it’s a problem.” In many cases, I’m extremely skeptical that I’m the first person to bring up an issue–either they’re bluffing, or the person I’m dealing with wasn’t the person who dealt with this the last time. But even if I’m the first person to ever notice something, that doesn’t mean that I’m wrong.

    2. Letter Writer*

      Letter writer here

      Thank you! I’m a stickler for this kind of thing … I would never sign anything I hadn’t fully read. Glad to hear that you agree. :-)

  5. Hey Karma, Over here.*

    Well done, you. The way you asked questions and listened to their answers and your instincts.
    My WTF moment wasn’t the “email test” (I’m picturing Gene Wilder in the original Charlie and Chocolate factory, “Congratulations, Charlie, you won!” Yeah, bite my gobstopper, you psycho.) It was bringing other staff to the meeting. Look, kids, a new friend! And you face down their 1000 yard stare, while trying to ask questions about the job.
    Total manipulation move.

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Yeah, this entire process sounds somewhat sketchy (although I’m in the U.S., so any kind of dodgy-ness sets off my spidey senses). Burying something to “get a rise”? Negotiating contract terms by inviting the team to tell you why your concerns don’t matter? Bullet dodged; well done, OP.

    2. Margali*

      “Yeah, bite my gobstopper, you psycho.”

      I can’t tell you how much I am eagerly awaiting the chance to use this phrase!

    3. Letter Writer*

      Letter writer here

      Yeah, I don’t think they necessarily *meant* it to be manipulative, but that was definitely the effect. I think it was largely motivated by wanting to reassure me about the working hours and so on, but given that I had brought up specific stuff about the contract – not cool!

      1. Letter Writer*

        Oops, meant to mention that the meeting was over the phone, not in person, so a little bit easier to deal with. Still ugh though.

        As for the email jab, it was something like the boss referring to ‘my focus on “life-work balance”‘. Not the worst, but fairly passive-aggressive with the word switch-around and the strategic quote marks. I called him on it, and he basically admitted that he was winding me up.
        I had probably been a little bit passive-aggressive myself at this point, but it was deserved IMO given how unprofessional they were acting.

  6. Ramona Flowers*

    “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem”

    Someone said this to me once and it made me so mad. It was a very well-known, international company and they wanted me to sign a really dodgy contract. I ended up walking away and I consider it a bullet dodged. I’m glad you also dodged a bullet and that you’ve ended up in a great job! That’s awesome.

    1. Julia*

      Not even with contracts. Imagine complaining about co-worker X harassing you and being told that “it can’t be a problem because you’re the first to complain” (which is especially wrong if you’re just the first woman in the job or similar) – I think I may blow my lid on them.

    2. Mookie*

      So irritating! That is such a weaselly way of avoiding a legitimate inquiry. If it’s not a problem, explain further. I don’t care if other people don’t pick up on something fishy and I’m not going to take your word for it that they haven’t. Avoiding a direct answer to a direct question looks either like they don’t understand the question or don’t want to understand it. Neither bodes well.

    3. Ganache*

      Baffles me when people say that. As if that’s relevant to my own signing of a contract.

      I pushed for my written contract when I started my current job (a few weeks in I still hadn’t received it) as I’d been burned by the organisation before (a different faction of it, but it made me very wary and determined to ensure I had a contract in hand). My manager laughed and said ‘goodness, I’ve never known any other employee be so desperate to have their contract before!’ which got her the side eye from me. Other people’s handling of their business does not impact my own.

    4. Slow Gin Lizz*

      My brand-new landlord said this to me when I mentioned that the lighting in the stairwell was unsafe and he said, “Well, no one has ever complained about it before!” Well, welcome to me, dear landlord. It’s a total cop-out/lame excuse/maybe something people say when they are blindsided by something they weren’t expecting. I bet in OP’s case it’s the cop-out one.

  7. Augusta Sugarbean*

    Thanks for the update. It’s interesting to hear about hiring processes in other countries. And good for your for listening to your instinct, asking questions, advocating for yourself, etc. I don’t mean to sound patronizing but I wish all our letter writers could grok that it is their right and responsibility to do all of those things!

  8. fun fact*

    Re: “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem”

    When I was a student some friends and I were about to sign a contract for a letting agency, and we took it away with us to get all the relevant people to sign it. While we had it I read it and it contained some stuff I was pretty certain was not legal – like tenants being responsible for the cost of major building repairs, weatherproofing, etc. I took it to our student advice centre and they agreed with me that multiple clauses in it were not legal. I took it back to the office, spoke to the letting agent and was like “Hey, so these parts are illegal and I’d like them removed before I sign anything.” The agent was really annoyed and gave me that exact line – “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem”, along with “Our lawyers have looked at this contract, you really think we’d put something illegal in it?” I was like “Mm hm, can you just check with them about these points though?”

    I came back in a few days later and whaddya know, on reviewing it the legal department had deleted all the clauses I’d highlighted. Dodgy as fuck.

    1. Justice Served Cold*

      OMG sounds very similar to what happened to me, albeit mine was a job contract not a work contract but they said the exact same thing:
      “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem”, along with “Our lawyers have looked at this contract, there is nothing illegal in it and I’m offended you would even suggest that.”

      Well honey, you can take your easily offended self and go jump, I’m not a numptie and don’t you dare try to play the guilt card. Your HR, like I would believe a word you say when I know you’re only reason for being is to protect the employer at all costs and are happy to throw employees under the bus to save your own skin after you draw up dodgy AF contracts (sorry but I’m no fan of HR people after the amount of times they have tried to screw with me).

    2. only acting normal*

      A friend and his fiancee were having their pre-wedding meetings with their preist, and they queried a missing comma in the vows that completely flipped the meaning. The preist re-read it, confirmed they were correct, and said that no-one had ever noticed/queried it before, including him. :D

  9. Other Duties as Assigned*

    Great update and a terrific reminder to carefully read employment contracts before you sign.

    Years ago, I was a finalist for a job at a campus of a state university system. I was flown in for an interview which went well. They gave me a copy of the employment contract which I read on the plane ride home. The more I read, the less I liked it. Turns out, I would not have been an employee of the state nor of the university, but under a (supposedly renewable) one-year contract with the campus student government. No thanks. They offered the job to me and seemed shocked when I turned it down. I had no regrets about that decision.

  10. ArtK*

    A friend was offered a contract that included language that it could be “terminated by mutual agreement.” When she objected, they gave her verbal reassurance that they’d never enforce it. Not that it was actually enforceable (sounds a bit like an indenture.) When she asked that they reword it, they said “take it or leave it.” She left it.

    1. Lawyer*

      Not to get sidetracked, but most contracts can be “terminated by mutual agreement” — at the risk of oversimplifying a tad, that’s kind of contract law 101. Two parties conclude an agreement, they can agree to amend it, including to terminate it when it otherwise would remain place.

      The contract your friend received was a red flag the lawyer who drafted was a bad writer who forgot “brevity is the soul of wit.” (You don’t need to restate default contract law principles in a contract; you might as well say “the parties agree the sky is blue.) But it wasn’t a red flag anything beyond that.

      1. Coywolf*

        I’m wondering if ArtK meant that the contract could ONLY be terminated by mutual agreement. That would make more sense with the rest of their comment.

        1. ArtK*

          Yes. That was how the language was interpreted by everyone who read it. There was no provision for one party to terminate the contract.

          1. Lawyer*

            It depends if the contract actually said “this agreement may ONLY be terminated by mutual agreement.” If the drafter omitted the word “only,” then the above interpretation isn’t reasonable, in my view. You see language like this in agreements fairly frequently, especially in the UK as opposed to the US.

            Frankly, even if the word “only” was included, I strongly suspect it would be unenforceable in an employment law context, assuming that it wasn’t a fixed-term contract. I don’t practice employment law, so I’m speculating here, but from a common sense perspective, indentured servitude isn’t a thing in developed countries in the 21st century. At the very least, it’s a question I would have run by an employment lawyer before turning down an otherwise attractive job opportunity. I agree that someone at ArtK’s would-be employer was being stubborn in refusing to remove it.

            1. Legal Beagle*

              I would guess that if it ever went to court, that clause would be deemed unenforceable. Still, the employer’s refusal to amend the language is a red flag in itself.

            2. ArtK*

              It was fixed term.

              She turned it down in part because of that, but also because it was seriously low-ball. Under the circumstances, they really needed her but refused to acknowledge that. They’re beginning to suffer for the loss already.

  11. Justice Served Cold*

    Dodgy as all hell is what it sounds like to me.

    I just went through something similar. My previous employer in Perth wanted all the perks for them as me as a fulltime employee, but without the responsibilities on their end so they put me on a fixed term contract.

    The bastards first described the job as fulltime in the job ad, no mention of fixed term in the interview, then at some point during the probation period they raised their ugly head and told me I would be going onto a fixed term contract after the probation was up. What are you supposed to do when they blindside you? Say no? You have no choice but to sign or else they throw you out during probation. Employers have far too many rights these days while they do their best to shirk their responsibilities to employees. Quite frankly, I find today’s work culture quite abhorrent. Seems employers have all the loopholes and all the sympathy of government while employees are told to just suck it up.

    Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, long story short, I got the last laugh. I can’t go into details due t legal stuff, but what I can say is that I researched and researched and mediated with them and after HR stonewalled me during mediation I simply told HR to stop right there, their not the decision maker. The business has 24 hours or else I take this further, and lo and behold, less than 24 hours later…. VICTORY!

    All the while they still deny any wrongdoing and were incredibly defensive. Hmmmmm, yeah sure, all’s squeaky clean when you do a 180 on your mediation stance, not. I swear so many employers think staff are beneath them and not as intelligent as them. Well this employer got a shock.

    I have more ammunition than they think so in a few months I will blindside them for a change for the benefit of all employees as their illegal dealings will be aired for all to see. Hopefully it will be the nail in the coffin of this particular company. The higher-up management is utterly toxic and deserves to to have their little kingdom fall.

    1. Justice Served Cold*

      Oh yeah, and they used the same sort of language “No one has ever brought this up before and therefore it’s not a problem”, “it’s all above board, our lawyers have looked it over and it’s fine”, “these contracts are perfectly legal, if we didn’t use them we would go broke (my favourite lol one), some months we struggle to pay wages”… then you shouldn’t be in business should you.

      I am so very sick of businesses placing all the onus and responsibility on staff for their business’ success, shifting all risk onto employees with their stupid zero hour contracts and other dodgy contracts, finding loopholes to get out of paying overtime and demanding more and more. Many have become incredibly entitled since the GFC.

    2. Cunning Linguist*

      I can’t speak to the practice in Australia, but I wouldn’t read “full-time” as the opposite of “fixed-term.” It would read “full-time” as the opposite of “part-time” and “indefinite duration” as the opposite of “fixed-term.” For example, you could agree to work full-time for a limited period of, say, two years.

      1. Ladybugger*

        I’m in Canada so OP’s mileage may vary, but here “full-time” would be implied to be indefinite, and “contract” or “term position” are used to indicate that the position ends at a fixed date in the future. (Sometimes “maternity leave coverage” or similar, since our parental leave is 1 year long.)

        I think I would forgive anyone for assuming full-time meant an ongoing position, particularly if the term part was only communicated AFTER the OP started working there! That really gives the impression they meant to deceive OP. After all, why not mention it in the interview? The offer? I would have expected OP to know about this well before giving notice at their old job.

  12. ScarlettNZ*

    Well done OP – it sounds as though you dodged a bullet. Your comment about people not taking the time to read their employment contracts doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I used to work in HR and I swear that a huge proportion of our staff had never even glanced at it before signing.

  13. Bea*

    The last person to say “well nobody else has questioned it we’ve done it this way forever.” was a horrible boss. I left very soon after that interaction. I’m glad you didn’t take a job with that kind of behavior!

  14. Bobstinacy*

    A few work places ago I had to sign a ‘contract’ that essentially waived all my federal and provincial employment rights. It turned out that it was completely bogus because you can’t sign away your basic human rights, but the company used the ‘contracts’ to keep people in line.

    I was so glad I spoke to a lawyer about it because it gave me the power to stand up for myself when they tried to pull that crap on me. Like you I was considered a problem person because of it :/

    1. Lawyer*

      I think this is a great lesson. Contracts get reformed all the time. If in doubt, speak to a lawyer before assuming everything is enforceable.

  15. Letter Writer*

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the supportive comments, folks!

    The funny thing is that I met my current boss during this whole process, and job stuff came up in conversation, so I mentioned about this whole situation (only in broad strokes, not in a gossipy way). I think the fact that I actually read my contract and was willing to push back on things impressed him. So when things fell over with the first company, I ended up going through his company’s recruitment process, and the rest is history ;-)

  16. Emily S.*

    I’m so glad to hear that you not only dodged that bullet, but found a good job at a different company. Well done!

  17. Bitey Gobstopper Psycho*

    Good on you, OP! I grew up with a lawyer dad, and like many others in the comments, I’ve been given the stink-eye by all sorts for *gasp* actually reading contracts and signatory documents before signing. Apartment leasing agents in the US especially hate it when you read the leasing documents, I’ve found – they hide all kinds of crazy stuff back there!

    (My one exception is EULAs, which I just skim these days because they’re almost entirely identical)

    1. TardyTardis*

      Although Jason Sudeikis as The Devil on Saturday Night Live had some fun with end user agreements–with a huge laugh at people who didn’t read them.

  18. Ladybugger*

    Hooray update! One of the things that was wonderful at the start of my job is that my boss-to-be was very open and upfront about the job offer (not a contract but sets out the expectations), answered all my questions even though we went back and forth about it for two days, and was totally chill about the whole thing. It gave me total confidence in the integrity of the company. I didn’t get everything I wanted, but they respected me throughout the process and I’m very happy where I am now. Not being cool during the negotiating/contract/offer process is a HUGE red flag and I’m glad you’re somewhere great now!

  19. a different Vicki*

    Related: Some years ago, my doctor wanted to put me on a new medication, which came with a several-page document about possible side effects, etc. I read through it, found him, and started asking questions. That was when I discovered that not only had nobody asked him about it, the doctor hadn’t read the paperwork either.

    I looked into everything and decided that I did want to take that medication, but the idea that I was the first person, doctor or patient, in that office who had read the thing was disconcerting.

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