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Sorry, am still having dilemmas about this job....

(31 Posts)
LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 13:11:10

So I have accepted the job offer (see here for details.

And now they're saying it's going to take them a couple of WEEKS to get the job offer letter etc out to me, and that the offer letter will explain that the offer is subject to references.

Does that mean they're going to wait a couple of weeks before even contacting my referees?

I asked them for a start date in my confirmation, but they haven't set one and have just talked about the offer letter and referees.

They seem to have gone from wanting someone to start immediately, yesterday, as soon as possible, to stretching things out as long as possible. Are they deliberately trying to reduce the amount of time I work for them before I go on leave?

The only reason I can think of for doing that is that they might be keeping the interim person currently doing the job on to cover my maternity leave, so they want to minimise the amount of time they'll have to pay both salaries, iyswim? Is that a possibility?

flowerybeanbag - you said they couldn't be trying to minimise the maternity pay as I won't be entitled to SMP, so the government rules on how to calculate it won't apply, is that right? Is that right even if they decide to pay me it anyway, as they said they would?

I'm still feeling very confused/anxious about this job, and now it looks like I won't even be starting for about a month. sad

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 13:25:25

bump bump bumpety bump?

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 14:29:03

Perhaps I should just quit moaning.....

ditheringdora Tue 30-Sep-08 14:38:51

so sorry littlemydancing, it does seem to me (totally unqualified) that they are messing you about and like you thought trying to drag the whole process out.

I would write to them thanking them for the meeting, that you're pleased to accept the job but disappointed at the delays which may ensue. Advise you are keen to start work and ready to assist in any way that you can.

Hmmm, hopefully more experienced people will come along. But how annoying. angry

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 16:28:05

It is annoying - I've agonised and agonised over whether to accept the job, and now I have accepted it, I want to get on with it!

They have a centralised HR department and are a massive govt organisation, so I suppose it's not unfeasible that it might take a couple of weeks to get the paperwork out, but it seems to me that if i was employing someone who only had five months until their maternity leave, I'd want them to start asap to get as much out of them as possible!

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 16:28:50

thank you ditheringdora, by the way - i'm having a rotten day today and seemed to be killing threads right left and centre, so I'm really pleased someone answered!

ditheringdora Tue 30-Sep-08 16:42:32

nah no worries, thought I was the only person who had that effect. As you say, they may be not as efficient as you and me (I?) but the conspiracy theory is an attractive one! wink
Don't fret about it honey you've a little baby on the way and they can't surely hmm drag it out 5 months!
have a lovely Galaxy chocolate caramel bar and a hug from me!

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 16:47:43

I suppose either way, I'll be better off than I would have been without the job, so I should just relax and let things take their course.

Got to phone one of my referees tonight, she inconveniently moved to Australia and isn't answering her email!

thanks again smile

NorthernLurker Tue 30-Sep-08 16:56:43

That's outrageous imo! Getting references back can take a while - but they should have requested them as soon as they offered you the post, if not before interview (which is what my organisation does and then we're ready to go). The really bobbins bit is the letter though. An offer letter does not take weeks to get out. It's a matter of entering your details, possibly calculating salary and annual leave and putting it in the post. Every offer letter I've ever done is less than an hours work with an added few minutes taken to notify HR of the decision. I think they're stretching it out in the hope that you'll take your pregnant self off elsewhere! Bastards! I'm really quite cross on your behalf. Could you contact HR direct and say you need a start date asap?

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 17:12:53

Hello NorthernLurker! Nice to see you smile

I did think it seemed a bit of a long time to get it all together somehow, so I'm glad I'm not insane in thinking that two weeks is a bit ridiculous.

I'm going to speak to both of my referees to ask them to let me know when they've been contacted and when they've responded, so I know what the score is at this end, but I don't think there's much I can do about hurrying it up, is there? I'm a bit loath to contact HR direct as I don't think it will make them any warmer towards me, and I'm obviously already a pain in the backside sad

The thing is, if they're doing it deliberately, it's working, I'm feeling really like I might as well just throw in the towel. sad

squiffy Tue 30-Sep-08 17:54:50

I would be wondering if they are secretly re-advertising the role, and holding you off whilst they try to find someone else?

I would be minded to try to find this out, and I might even go so far as getting a male friend to send in a completely fake and similar CV to your own into the agency asking them if they have any roles available....

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 18:02:38

I wondered that squiffy, but what would they do if they found someone else? The only option would be to say that my references weren't good enough, and I know they'll both be glowing, as both people have provided glowing references in the past.

the man who will be my boss is away till Monday, maybe they're waiting for some sort of input from him?

My sister is an employment lawyer for the Treasury, so she'll know the workings of government organisations, I might give her a call this evening and sound her out as to what could be going on.

I hate feeling this paranoid, but it does all feel a bit weird.

flowerybeanbag Tue 30-Sep-08 18:49:17

Who is saying this LMD? Who is it you're speaking to?

My immediate piece of advice would be to contact the person who will be your line manager but I think he's away or something is he? Don't be concerned about HR thinking you are a pain in the backside at all, do contact them. If you make a pain of yourself they're more likely to whinge at the appropriate manager to sort it out.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 30-Sep-08 19:57:30

Hello flowery! The Head of Department is the one who has said two weeks to get the offer letter out - she talks about 'fine print' and 'terms and conditions' etc. I suppose they could be checking into my rights and their responsibilities very carefully, I might be being completely paranoid. I know they've formulated the offer though, as they had it all at the meeting last week, which is why taking two weeks to write it in a letter seems odd.

The line manager is back on Monday, so I could call him on Monday and see if he'll talk start dates? Or do you think it would be better to talk direct to HR asap?

I might be making a mountain out of a molehill here, it's quite possible. wink

flowerybeanbag Wed 01-Oct-08 08:58:06

Sounds like she's the one who's the nightmare doesn't it? If your line manager is back on Monday that's only a couple of days, I'd be inclined to ring him then, reiterate how keen you are to get started, explain that you are having problems getting a start date agreed and getting your letter sorted, and take it from there. He will want you to start asap as well so he'll chase it up for you.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Wed 01-Oct-08 09:02:28

She does seem a little....erm.....let's say scary! Mind you, she's only recently started so she's probably still in that 'let's make an impact and show them who's boss' stage...

I'll contact my line manager on Monday, as you advise, and see what happens. Thanks Ms flowery, you're always so helpful!

And thank you squiffy, NorthernLurker and ditheringdora too, you're all great at keeping me sane!


LittleMyDancingForJoy Wed 01-Oct-08 09:03:28

ps one more question - if they don't get a response from one of my referees, can they use that as a reason to withdraw the offer, or do they have to let me know and ask me for another one? I'm going to try and contact the Australian one again today, but if I can't I might email them with a different UK based one, is that a good idea?

flowerybeanbag Wed 01-Oct-08 09:11:43

If an offer is subject to references that means that they could withdraw it if they were not able to obtain satisfactory references.

Having said that, they'd have to give you every opportunity to provide satisfactory references, including enough time, and in your case with the pregnancy situation, they'd be foolish to use a weak excuse like a delayed reply from a reference to withdraw the offer, as obviously they'd be vulnerable to you saying it was because of the pregnancy and was only an excuse.

So I wouldn't worry about that, but emailing with a different one to be safe can't hurt.

LittleMyDancingWithTheDevil Wed 08-Oct-08 15:21:18

So the saga sign of the offer letter as yet, it's been a over a week since I accepted the offer letter.

I called my line manager this morning - he got back from holiday on Monday so I thought I'd give him a couple of days to get his head round being back. Left a message on his voicemail, but so far he hasn't called back.

Obviously I know he might have a really busy day and he might call later or tomorrow etc, but it just all feels like traipsing through glue at the moment. sad

And I'm starting to wonder if this flipping job is worth it! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Spoke to my sister, who's an employment lawyer, and she said it does sound like they're messing me around, but there's not much to be done, really except wait.

DP thinks I should tell them I'll go away for £5k shock I suspect that would be construed as blackmail....grin

Not much to say, just venting, really. Am getting annoyed though as without a start date I can't book DS' childcare, I can't tell DP when I'm leaving his business, I can't plan ANYTHING.

I feel like I'm in limbo. sad

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Oct-08 15:24:27

If you only called your line manager this morning that's not giving him long. If he's been away he will be busy and will also need to check exactly what has and hasn't happened while he's been away with regard to your offer.

Give him a break for a day or so, maybe follow up with an email tomorrow if you haven't heard?

Wouldn't advise offering to go away for £5k grin

I know it's frustrating but it's probably only a day or two til you know more, so hang on just a bit longer.

LittleMyDancingWithTheDevil Wed 08-Oct-08 15:29:25

Thank you flowerybeanbag, I know you're right, it's not long, it's just frustrating and I think I am still questioning whether taking this job is the right thing to do, so I just want to get on and do it so I can stop worrying!

I had a nightmare about it last night, where I was at work and suddenly realised it was 5.45pm and I wasn't going to make it to DS' nursery on time to pick him up and they were going to close and leave him outside on the pavement all by himself. sad

Think I may be feeling a bit stressed. I'm not sleeping well and that's probably not helping.

Do you think I should tell my line manager my concerns directly, i.e. I'm concerned that it's taking a long time to get everything sorted out and that I won't have much time in post before I go on leave? Or should I just politely ask him for a start date?

p.s. when DP's business needs an HR consultant you're first on my list!

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Oct-08 15:34:35


What do you mean when? He needs one right now, obviously. Everyone does. winkgringrin

I appreciate that though, thanks.

I definitely think you should tell your line manager your concerns, absolutely, it will help motivate him to get it sorted.

Sorry to hear you're feeling so stressed and not sleeping -it's all adding to everything isn't it? I wish I could say something helpful to deal with that.

I do genuinely think that in a couple of days you will have some kind of resolution or at least a bit more knowledge which is always far better than feeling as though you are in the unknown and powerless. With a bit more knowledge you will be able to gain back a bit of a sense of control as you decide what to do next. I always feel a bit more control over what's happening is a great stress-reducer.

LittleMyDancingWithTheDevil Wed 08-Oct-08 15:43:24

You know, you're not wrong there flowery, he does need one, it's just persuading him of that is tricky! wink

You're absolutely right, it is the whole powerlessness thing that's making it hard. I think the urge to just say 'sod it' and not do the job is down to me wanting to take control back and say 'this is what's going to happen next' rather than waiting for them to get their arses in gear. I'd almost rather they withdrew the offer than arse around like this, then at least I could decide whether or not to sue them!

Realistically, they do have to follow through on all this, don't they, I mean they don't have a choice, as far as I can make out? Unless one of my referees slags me off, but I really don't think that's likely (not being smug, just know that both these people offered to be referees without being asked and have been unfailingly positive in my dealings with them).

Gah. Time to pick up DS and then eat chocolate, I think. grin

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Oct-08 16:01:25

Yes they do have to follow through. They have probably looked at ways of wriggling out but will have been advised that the only way to do this is to be off-putting so that you call it quits yourself.

(Don't want this thread to be about me at all, but just briefly to mention I am happy to do a free check of everything your DP has in place (or not in place!) if he would find that helpful.)

LittleMyDancingWithTheDevil Wed 08-Oct-08 17:20:07

Ah well, the check would be very short, as I can almost guarantee he has nothing in place whatsoever. It's one of the tasks for me/the person who replaces me to take on!

So having moaned and carped on this thread, I got home to find the offer letter on my doormat blush. So maybe they've just decided to get on with it!

Is six months probation normal? And will it affect any maternity pay/rights regarding applying for flexible working in the future?

Apart from that it looks fairly standard.

Now have to take deep breath and sign!


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