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I submitted a resume at 11am on Monday. At 12:30 I was called for an interview at 2:30 on Monday about 1 1/2 hours from me (the job is local, but the main office is in the LA area). I told the person on the phone that assuming I could find someone to pick up my son, I'd be there and would call if something changed. I made it to the interview a few minutes late due to parking issues that I didn't plan for. After the interview, I was offered the position (this is now 4 hours after I submitted my resume) and asked when I could start. Before accepting, I made it clear that there were some things relating to my son that I would need to be able to accommodate. I need to be able to take him from Vacation Bible School back to pre-school/day care every day for the week of 7/15. The last week in August I have no child care. While I will try to work things out, there may be a day or two that I do not have child care. I was assured that this would not be a problem since it is only a few days.
We left things with the interviewer that she was going to call me later that day to finalize my start time on Monday. I missed her call on Monday afternoon, but called her Tuesday. She called me back at the end of the day and said that she would have to call me on Wednesday. At 4pm Wednesday, she called me and said that the head person in the local office wanted to meet me at 9:30am on Friday 7/5. I told her I had my son with me all day because his school was closed. She was insistent that I find child care for him because she needed to have me there at 9:30 on Friday. Her exact words to me were just ask a neighbor or something. I told her I would try, but with the holiday weekend and short notice, it might be tough. I called her back last night and told her that I didn't think I would be able to find anyone to watch my son. I could either bring him with me and give him some crayons and a snack and he would be fine for a little bit or I could meet the guy on Monday and start on Tuesday. This apparently was unacceptable because she told me that I needed to find someone and call her back tonight (7/4!) because I needed to meet with this man on Friday.
My question is, has the hiring process changed in favor of the employer so much that they expect you to drop everything to accommodate them? My first reaction is that this is not a family friendly company (though in the interview I was assured that it was) and being a single mom might be an issues when things come up. The fact that I am expected to call her in the evening on 4th of July leads me to believe that there is a blurred line between work and home. People are telling me not to judge the local office based on the main office's HR person, but company culture usually comes, IMO, from the top. The job is OK. It's in my field, it's close to home and I'm a perfect fit for it. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
On the one hand, the presence of children at job interviews/discussions is not professional.
On the other hand, all that rushing you described seems inappropriate too.
Corporate work just does not appeal to me, as my impression of it is that the employer has a sense of "owning" the employees' time.
However, as we all look at our own needs first, unfortunately, before we look at the other's needs, the behavior you described sounded like they were desperate to fill their own work need, and expected/hoped you would accommodate them on their demands. And the needs of a single mother regarding child care are usually uppermost in her mind.
I don't know whether this is typical employer behavior, Kate. I am concerned myself as to what I will find when I seek a new job in a new state in a couple of years. And at my age, it may be quite tough to find an appropriate one.
It's not a corporate job, it's in the construction field, which from what I've experienced is usually family friendly or at least understanding to some extent. The companies I've worked for and have interviewed with in the past usually put a big emphasis on family. They expect you to work hard and put in the long hours when you need to, but they also allow you to play hard too. I think the last construction company I worked for and my boss really spoiled me.
Someone made the comment that this is how things are going since the employers have the advantage of so many candidates for so few jobs, and I'm jut not ready to buy it.
Bottomline, how much do you want the job, and how much are they willing to compensate you with salary and benefits? If it's worth your while, then go to the meeting. If you don't feel good about the situation, then excuse yourself from the meeting, and see if you should still arrive at work on Monday.
Remember, most places are operational on Friday. Quite frankly, for most job sites that I've been associated with, most contractors would close down on Friday. It mostly depends on if the job site is local to their operation or not (are their subs going home for the long weekend?), and how much they want the money or how much pressure they have to complete the project.
Good luck! BTW, at first I thought that the July 4th evening phone call request was due to a time zone difference, but I think that the person who you would be meeting on Friday is coming from out of town, and has a short window of time to be in your area. On the other hand, if you think that this is their normal way of working (and you can wait for another offer), then maybe you should pass on the job. BUT, give the Employer a chance! It pays the bills and it may all work out. I've had terrible "first days" that I endured, and stayed with the employer for awhile.
Hang in there, give it a chance if you can - make the job your own! You have my prayers for success in the endeavor.
I'm big on the whole, getting your ducks in a row before even approaching me on the work/hiring aspect, but there is always flexibility and understanding extended. Big red flags show up when I'm supposed to drop everything to accommodate a potential staff member, for it's taken a huge toll on my own being and major sacrifice in order to get the company to the point, of making it function and have some security behind it. Too many I see in the current younger generation want me to do so much of the thinking for them, I might as well just automate the process and get it over with.
Normally I am a planner and have everything covered in advance. I know my son's school schedule and have friends that are teachers that are able to help. I am usually the first one to put in my vacation request for Christmas, having airline reservations booked in June or July. I plan ahead and rarely need last minute accommodations. I've always had excellent attendance with the only exception being when I had a major medical problem which ultimately required surgery and my last employer who in a round about way caused me to have to take time off.
This is definitely not a first choice job. There are no benefits and they offered me almost less than I was looking for and about 10% less than the lowest part of my range. Unfortunately unemployment ran out in May and I need to support my family. I am a good employee. I come with excellent references and a good work ethic. Nothing was mentioned about meeting this other person during the interview. If it was, I would have been up front about the fact that I can't do it on Friday. Now that I think about it, I can see if the meeting could happen later in the day since my neighbor gets home around 3:30 on Fridays. Sometimes talking out loud helps!
1. People without kids...or whose spouses take care of kids...don't understand the challenges of single parenting.
2. How badly do you want the job?