Being Exhibit A (or Still More From the Other Side of the Table)

So just when all was right with hiring in our department - after our decision was reached and the offer sent out - one of the jolly fellows I work with melted down. Now there are doubts. Now there are recriminations. And it turns out he may be an Abe Simpson look alike. The nuances of his difficulty are many, but what's most frustrating is that it's come after all of our discussion and after attempts to defuse at least some of the issues we thought he'd have.

There are two kickers for me buried in the midst of this. The first is that someone who is otherwise seemingly as progressive as they come, complained that a candidate would dare to try to negotiate. But the second is that I've been turned into a piece of evidence for his argument. And while his interpretation of me-as-evidence is flattering in many regards, it's also wrong-headed and factually incorrect, not in the least because the things he's upset about are all things I've done (including trying to negotiate when I took the job).

I've been sitting on the complaint (it so could have been its own version of "Things From My Inbox") except yesterday turned out to be such a relaxing day that there was no way I was going to deal with it then. But I know myself well enough that even in this small department, I'm not going to be able to avoid commenting.


2 Responses to “Being Exhibit A (or Still More From the Other Side of the Table)”
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Belle said...

What? You're not permitted to negotiate? Why? Does doing so indicate an insufficient factor of kiss-ass? Does it indicate that you are not so grateful to get a job that you dare not rock the boat?

Not good. I was just thinking of advising our in-process offeree to negotiate library money. Sheesh.

March 2, 2008 at 4:45 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Ridiculous, isn't it?

Yes, you should absolutely negotiate. I came up with a fairly long response that I'll edit down shortly about why it's good to negotiate (it needs to be stripped of some departmental specifics). But the idea that someone shouldn't is patently ridiculous.

March 2, 2008 at 5:17 PM