Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another "What the Hell?" moment: No Deal!

Well, as I said, in the "Choices, choices" post below, I'm pretty close to deciding to pack it up and move on. I didn't renew at my current job. However, fearing that inertia would win and I'd then change my mind and want to stay, I applied for a few positions.

I got a couple of interviews and decided to go. It would just make me feel better for some reason. I got a job offer yesterday after 5pm. The offer, which was extended via email, had a letter attached that said I had until December 12th to let them know of my decision. Don't you know I just got a call from the person in charge of the department saying they'd not heard from me. I just looked at my phone. That call was around 3:10pm. I just looked at the email. It was sent at 5:45pm last night.

I explained that in the offer it said I had until Friday to let them know. She says she was unaware that the offer said this and it must have been a mistake. First, I'm sort of amazed that every person they extended an offer to was like "oh wow! Yes, yes, yes!" but it's not the first time I've been the odd one out. Second, I guess a minor error on their part means I have to be rushed into a decision. She starts pressing me about how if I can give her a "percentage" then she can start lining up some of the people further down the list if need be. I'm sorry but this saying hasn't gotten much traction here in South Korea, "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine!" However, it ought to.

I'm sitting here thinking "dammit, today is Wednesday and I've not even had the offer for 24 f&$king hours! Is it really THAT serious that you must press me right NOW?!!!" I'm thinking this is completely crazy because Friday isn't that far off. On the outside however, I keep my cool and just ask her when would be a good time to let them know.

I was thinking it would be fair if she said tomorrow sometime. I get my little 24 hour window and I'd be happy. However, she said today by 5pm! I point out that she's basically given me less than two hours to make a decision. She gives me some malarkey about pressure from her school. This is b.s. and I know this.

Plus, I have another job interview tomorrow. That's how I know this is b.s. because the interview is with another department at the same school. I just wanted to go through another interview because I felt it would help me make up my mind about this particular institution by giving me a feeling for the place in general. Also, it would help me think about staying or going in general. I mean watching the news on what is now a confirmed worldwide recession and the unemployment and underemployment reports that go with it is scary.

She's doesn't let up on the pressure. I remembered that in the interview she come off as a bit confrontational, and I see this was not a one time thing. This is simply her management style. Basically, if I accept, this is what I've got to work with. I realize she's helping me make my decision right now because if I do stay the last thing I want is to work under yet another heavy handed Korean academic who is in serious need of management skills. Also, the fact that she couldn't be bothered to review the documents sent out on her behalf rubbed me the wrong way. Usually, once something like this is revealed I've found it's not just an anomaly. It's a reoccurring theme - management makes a mistake but the workers are the one put on the burner for it.

So, here is to another moment where the person I'm dealing with completely lacks empathy and skill at dealing with others. Her need to push me into a decision made her look like a first-class ass. A year of dealing with her, hell no. That was more than enough to help me make a decision.

Decision made: my answer "no, thank you." Then she asks if I want to think about it.

Um, no deal!

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  1. "Then she asks if I want to think about it."

  2. I think she was trying to show flexibility in giving me those precious two hours to mull things over.

  3. I bet she was shocked that her attempt to go for the close led to a no instead of a "yes" under duress.

    a few of my Korean students and I discussed this, and they seemed more likely to be convinced by the pressure sell (for example, at the market), by the seller following them around the store, or insisting they purchase items they'd already said didn't interest them, whereas for me, that tactic will lead me to walk away from the table, and not buy the items I actually really liked, either.

  4. Well, I was already disinclined to take the job. I say this because I just got a "bad energy" vibe from the whole thing. The heavy pressure "you buy now" approach didn't help that bad energy feeling. It only increased it.

    It doesn't help that I think it's really just time to go. The whole process is the same ol', same ol', and I'm not enthusiastic about it. The economy is scary but I don't think the uncertainty of that is scarier than staying another year.

    That says a lot.

  5. Sorry you had to deal with such bullying, but good for you for going with your gut and saying no.

  6. Unfortunately, bullying like that is pretty common in Korea. Even on my current job, one, that overall, I liked much more than I hated, it's happened here. Koreans loose perspective when they rush, mess up and feel stressed and think everyone ought to as well.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.