Velvet in Dupont 20 Sep 2011 11:15 pm
It just doesn’t pay to be a nice person.
An old co-worker, Steve, called me earlier this year and asked if I would be interested in a 3 month contract job working for him at a property. I agreed and was able to fit it into my life as a Realtor. It ended up being a decent stint and I met some interesting people I’m still in touch with. At the end of my time doing the work, the company who employs Steve expressed an interest in hiring me full time.
We had been discussing various positions for the past few months, but it quieted down in late August. A week and a half ago, I heard from the company again, and met with Charlie for an informal interview. He told me that part of my responsibility would include lifting some work off Steve who was overloaded. Nothing seemed amiss.
The next day Charlie asked me via email if I was available immediately. I said if they could be flexible with my existing clients and time demands, I could start in the near term.
The day after that, X and I were at his mother’s house and when I went to check my phone and saw that both Charlie and Steve had called within a few minutes of each other. I called Steve back first. He said that they gave him “the talk” and that they were either demoting him or getting rid of him, but that they were giving me his job. I thought this was mega-uncool. Then I called Charlie back and got essentially the same story - there had been “a talk” and they were unhappy with Steve and planned to have me replace him. They wanted to tell me since he was my friend who basically introduced us and to see if it would be uncomfortable for me.
In this conversation I really went to bat for Steve. I set forth two points: First, I worked with Steve at another company and knew him to be diligent and attentive. If he wasn’t able to do a satisfactory job, I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do differently. Second, it just didn’t feel right for me to be the catalyst for them letting someone go, much less someone who had brought me into the company and they needed to resolve this first before bringing me on. X was sitting there listening and he said he was so proud of how I handled them and myself, and that Steve really was lucky to have me be so loyal that I’d forego a job for him.
Charlie recommended I talk to Steve and get his side. I had already done this, but we did talk again the next day. He confirmed that he was told to “get his resume together” and because he was one of the few who I was honest with about the IVF process, he said that the condition the company was in was so bad, that if I wanted to get pregnant I should really reconsider taking the job regardless. I did tell him that we felt like time was running out for us, and while no one knew of the IVF, I didn’t want to get pregnant and then lose a baby because of a stressful working environment or something else like that. In all, he was appreciative of the things I had said about him to his boss.
A couple days went by and Charlie emailed me to ask me if I had made a decision. I told him that I would rather that they resolve the issue with Steve, that if I took the job and they let him go that I would feel like the catalyst for it. I ended by saying we could talk at some point down the road. I didn’t hear back from him. I didn’t hear back from Steve either, for 5 days.
Steve finally called me to tell me that “nothing had happened.” He wasn’t fired last Friday as he had been led to believe, he wasn’t sure what was going on, and said that Charlie had told him to convey to me that the situation was resolved with Steve. Steve then said to Charlie, “Well, with them trying to have a baby and going through IVF, I seriously doubt she would want to get involved in this company.”
Um. Okay…I had said several times that Steve was the only one who knew about this, and that I certainly did NOT tell the company where I’m interviewing that I’m trying to get pregnant. First of all, I’m not actually pregnant so what does it matter, and second, it’s none of a company’s business and was totally inappropriate to say and now probably removed me from all consideration for getting a job there.
I’m just so pissed off because from what the company had told me, they were really unhappy with Steve and even went through specific performance related shortcomings about him. The fact that I didn’t take the job enabled Steve to keep his, and he sold me out. For no reason.
People really suck.