I got offered a job a year ago, to start after I graduated. I was due to start in July, but the company asked me to do some training first so I haven't started or been given a date to start. The boss has been calling me periodically for the last year checking I'm still interested, but I have nothing in writing, and no idea job description salary etc.
The boss says he is trying to arrange my training this week but I haven't heard anything so far. I've also been offered another job somewhere else and I'm due to start Monday.
I really really want the original job, but I'm worried that it will fall through and I'll be left with nothing. So I want to ask for some kind of concrete offer, so I know I definately have a job and can safely turn the other one down.
might be easier to phone and just explain the whole thing? you've been offered another job - concrete offer etc but you'd much rather have this job. unless you have something in writing, you are going to take the other job because you can't afford to take the risk. they should understand that, and if they don't you know they're taking you for a ride.
otherwise you could write an email listing the details you do know and a list of questions. then wait for the reply. after a couple of days, if no reply, say that you have another job offer and unless you hear from them by x date, you will unfortunately have to take the other job.
A firm job offer can prompt a vague one to turn specific. I was once in the position that my old boss wanted to take me back on permanently (my contract had finished), but there was no budget, blah, blah, blah... Yet when I called him to let him know of the firm offer, and that I would still prefer to go and work with him, he told me to not do anything. I had a firm offer from him by 6pm. Interestingly, it was the same parent company, so the "management" (responsible for budgets) lost nothing either way, as they would have been paying my salary in either case.
What would the firm offer place think? Do you need their goodwill, and will it piss them off for good if you say no now?