Bait and Switch Job Offer

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about job promise was misrepresented:

A game company with a job offer approached me. They said that they’d have a writing position (that matched my skills and job history) in 6 weeks, and that “they know it’s beneath me, but would I be interested in taking this testing position (for 1/2 the pay) for that time frame, then be transferred to the real position after?” Stupid me, I took the offer. I was freelancing with no upcoming contracts, so I leapt at the chance to get the position I really wanted, even if it meant taking a smaller job in the interim. Smaller job still equaled money coming in.

Long story short, 3.5 months later I’m still in the smaller job, and they’re telling me it will be 2 more months (at the earliest) before “my” position is available. I’m still earning the half pay. I’ve talked to the HR woman who initially made the offer, and she’s insisting she never promised anything. Not only that, but there’s at least one other person hired on as a tester who was promised that same position. HR has promised one position out to 2 different people.

Plus, they’ve opened two writer positions since. One was given to another employee’s (unqualified) daughter, the other is sitting open. They claim that both “are beneath [me], and [I] wouldn’t want them.” I’m interviewing around and looking for other employment, because I know the situation will never change. Is there anything that I can do to get back at this company or HR staff member? I admit I should’ve been more prudent, but I never would’ve accepted this job if I hadn’t been promised that there would absolutely be a real position available in 6 weeks. Thank you.

Signed, Took The Bait

Dear Took The Bait:

You can bad mouth this company. You can obsess about being a sucker. You can hang in there and do all you can to prove your worth. You can reflect on if what has happened was intentional lies. You can put your unhappy story in writing to HR and ask for an investigation. You can retain an attorney who will eat up your money while promising hope of “getting back at them.” You can soak up every bit of knowledge and job skills that this firm employs. Or you can bury your natural urge for revenge and get on with your career. Thank them. They have taught you the important lesson of getting an offer in writing; one that spells out the terms you negotiate. These are options before you while you are job searching for work that will use your skills. Do these options make sense?

Might this experience prompt you to widen your job skills? Might you now have contacts and have expanded your networking? Might you appreciate more the value of workplace integrity? Might you commit your self to shaping the next job to one that weds creativity to doing good? Might you now understand the meaning of my signature advice: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. My best to you as you meet the challenge of not allowing your self to become sour and lower your self to the misrepresentation you have experienced. Incidentally I have designed an Internet non-competitive game that I use in teaching communication.

William Gorden