Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "Why would I want to do that?" => Topic started by: Waterlight on July 20, 2017, 04:50:16 AM

Title: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Waterlight on July 20, 2017, 04:50:16 AM
I got an email from my stepmom yesterday with a link to a job listing.  It's for a job in my former field (human resources), and the pay and benefits are good since it's a city job.  The job listing closes today.

But there's a catch...

It's in Smallville, my former hometown.  I live in Metropolis, which is about three hours away--and though I haven't had a full-time permanent job since the end of 2014, I've at least been able to get steady temp work, and at times have had to choose among several different offers.  My response to my stepmom's email was:  I got your email about the job.  I don't plan to move back to Smallville--but thanks for sending it!

I think I did fine--but unfortunately my stepmom isn't taking no (or "I'm afraid that won't be possible") for an answer.  She replied:  "Please give it more than just a quick decision....this has all the benefits that nothing in Metropolis seems to want to offer you.  Also, I never look at the City website as usual. I was looking something else up and just happened to click on openings....must mean something....."

This may be a job for "Why would I want to do that?"  Though I've so far resisted the temptation to JADE, I can think of a lot of reasons a move back to Smallville wouldn't work for me:

1.  I dislike Smallville, and would have nothing to do with the place if I didn't have family there.  (I didn't even like living in Smallville when I was growing up there!)

2.  I love Metropolis!  I've lived there for 24 years, and in my current apartment for almost 18.  I have a chronic health condition requiring medications that preclude safe driving--but in all the time I've lived in Metropolis, I've never needed a car.  I can travel by bus or light rail almost anywhere I'd want to go within a four-county area.  I've even gone on, and led, hikes using Metropolis' public transit!

3.  Most of my friends are in the Greater Metropolis area, including some social and spiritual groups that are really important to me.  There are no equivalents to these groups in Smallville.  Smallville also has a public transit system, but it operates limited days and hours, so I'd have to spend a lot of money on cab fare or ask for rides--which I hate doing if I can avoid it.   My health care providers are also all in Metropolis, and I have 4 upcoming medical appointments scheduled in the next two months and a job coaching session that could lay the groundwork for finding a better full-time job in Metropolis.

4.  Even if I liked Smallville, and all the problems with it were magically solved tomorrow, I've looked at the listing and I don't believe this is the Magic Opportunity I've been waiting almost three years for.  For one thing, a candidate with a valid driver's license is strongly preferred--and I don't have one.  For another, the listing mentions that the job has a strong customer-service component.  I've discovered in my years of temping that I do much better in back-office jobs without a lot of public contact; I'm better with data than with people.  The clincher is that the job requires frequent "extended hours" (read: overtime).  I cannot, because of my personal health situation, go over 40 hours in a week--frequent "extended hours" at my last permanent job triggered an extremely severe flare-up and I had to quit because of that.  My doctors have advised me that work/life balance isn't just a nice thing to have--for me, it's an absolute necessity if I want to avoid another severe episode.

5.  If I took the job anyway and it didn't work out, I'd be stuck in a place I hated, with very limited opportunities to find another job, and it would be extremely difficult for me to make the move back to Metropolis, where I really want to stay anyway.  If it did work out, I'd be stuck in a place I hated for the next 20 years!

So my question to any E-hellions reading this is:  How would you make "Why would I want to do that?" or some variation work in my situation, without JADEing?  I know my stepmom loves me and generally wants what's best for me--but her idea of "best for me" is a full-time, permanent job with benefits, and she's got blinders on when it comes to more intangible benefits like the ones I've mentioned here.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: athersgeo on July 20, 2017, 05:24:48 AM
While I get the desire not to JADE, in this instance I think a couple of small explanations why this job won't work for you wouldn't go amiss. Specifically pointing out that the hours wouldn't be possible and that you do not have all the qualifications (a valid DL is a qualification in this case!). She should know these things, of course, but pointing them out might just get her to back off.

My late father was fond of pointing out any computer-related job he saw in the newspaper regardless of what experience/qualifications they entailed. I tried just saying "Oh, not for me" and equivalents and he'd just sit there like a three year old and go "But why? They're offering a bigger salary!". I ended up having to say to him "Look, they're asking for experience in PHP. I don't write PHP, I don't use PHP and I've no desire to learn it either!". That did the trick. (I won't say he never pointed out a job advert again because he did, frequently [!], but he did start accepting my "That won't work for me" without demanding further explanations.)
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Mayadoz on July 20, 2017, 05:27:24 AM
I'd agree with Athersgeo.
Thank her again for the thought, but point out the concrete reasons why it wouldn't be a good fit - the driving license and the hours are perfect examples that can't be argued against. 
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Margo on July 20, 2017, 05:28:47 AM
Do you have to respond at all? Leave it until tomorrow, when applications have closed.

Then, if you like, you can e-mail back and say, "Thanks for your message. It's not really a quick decision, I love living in Metropolis, I enjoy the fact that I'm in demand, and living here has lots of benefits for me, that outweigh the possible benefits of a permanent position outside Metropolis"



(phrasing it as 'outside metropolis' rather than 'in Smallville'  avoids it being a criticism of her home!)

Also, I think the advice not to JADE is really for toxic situations and individuals. If you and your stepmom generally have a good relationship then there's no reason not to give a bit of explanation, even if it's not as detailed as what you've said here. Maybe something like "I am really settled in Metropolis, I love living here, and as I don't drive, living somewhere with a good public transit system is a huge benefit to me. For me, the positives of staying outweigh the downsides of being in a temp position without [health insurance, or whatever it is that the perm. post has and you don't]. "

Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: wolfie on July 20, 2017, 07:13:32 AM
In this case, if she doesn't have a habit of sending you jobs, I would just say "thanks for the info!" and leave it at that. Even if you did apply it doesn't mean you would get it.  If she starts sending jobs all the time I would change that but for a one off why go through all that angst?
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Zizi-K on July 20, 2017, 07:36:48 AM
I don't think Stepmom's last email requires a response at all. It just said to please think about it. Well, you have! There was no question that necessitates a response.

Another option is: "Thanks for thinking of me, I appreciate it!"

A third option is: "This position doesn't suit me for a variety of personal and professional reasons, which I'd rather not get into. But, again, thanks for thinking of me."
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: YummyMummy66 on July 20, 2017, 08:53:53 AM
I would not respond.  You told her thank you, but no the first time.  She said please think about it.  You did.  You still say no.  You are done thinking about it.

If she inquires again, I would not give reasons.  I would just say, Thank you for the thought, but I am very happy where I am and I do not plan to change this anytime soon or at all.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: #borecore on July 20, 2017, 09:33:16 AM
No response is required here.
If she asks you in person: "That position wasn't a good fit, and I'm not looking to leave my city any time soon!" Or "My job search in my city is going fine. No need to expand to other places!"
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: gramma dishes on July 20, 2017, 10:05:17 AM
...   I would just say, Thank you for the thought, but I am very happy where I am and I do not plan to change this anytime soon or at all.

This alone is sufficient. 
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: EllenS on July 20, 2017, 10:25:49 AM
It all depends on whether your stepmom (or your family generally) are pressuring you to move back, or frequently giving unsolicited advice/interference about your job situation. Even otherwise non-toxic people can become smothery and annoying if they think they are "helping," or they get carried away with wishful thinking about how great it would be if only you lived closer, etc.

If she brings up you moving a lot (or there's a group of family members who do), I would be very clear and firm with the one big reason this is never going to happen:

"I love you and I know you want me close, but I have no desire to live in Smallville again, ever. It is not the place for me."

If there's no ongoing pressure to move and you think it might be nice to have an occasional heads-up about job listings you may have missed, then say, "I am only looking for jobs in Metropolis, thanks. This one is also not a great fit because (Specific job issue a, b, c)."

If you're getting ongoing pressure about your job hunt/life choices, or if your stepmom (like my mom) has just proven herself incapable of distinguishing the type of job you're really looking for, then either don't respond or say, "Thanks for thinking of me!"

But certainly don't do a litany of all the reasons this job won't work. It's defensive at best, and potentially insulting at worst.

Basically, demonstrate what you do want (acknowledgement of your choices, the features of a suitable job, or dropping it) rather than talking about what you don't want.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: DavidH on July 20, 2017, 10:59:12 AM
This does not sound like a great time to use "Why would I want to do that", since there are a number of easy answers that you pointed out in your post.  The obvious ones would be that you haven't had a full time, permanent job in about 3 years, this job offers good pay and benefits and is in your field.  By asking "Why would I want to do that" it says that you did not consider it or were completely oblivious to what it offers. 

This requires more than that, since her suggestion has some merit, perhaps not enough for you to decide you want the job, but it's not an off the wall, ridiculous suggestion.  Why would i want to do that is best used when there is no good answer, like a poster a long time ago who's parents suggested she give her relatives her house. 

Particularly since she seems to be trying to be helpful, outline a subset of what you said below.  For me, the issues with public transport, overtime needed, and your strong ties to where you currently live are all valid reasons and would be worth mentioning since it shows that you considered it even if you ultimately rejected it.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 20, 2017, 11:12:17 AM
'My life is here in Metropolis.  I'm not considering any positions that aren't in the greater Metropolis area, that can be easily reached by public transit.'
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: lowspark on July 20, 2017, 11:59:45 AM
I think how you answer depends greatly on the relationship dynamic between you and stepmom.

If you have a great relationship and you really want to explain all of your issues to her, and think she might be receptive, then I'm sort of surprised that she doesn't already know all that so maybe this *is* the time to have a heart to heart with her to give her some insight. This wouldn't be JADEing as much as it would be letting stepmom more into you life by giving her better understanding of how you live, again, only if you really want to do that.

If your relationship isn't all that great then your previous response of "I don't plan to move back to Smallville--but thanks for sending it!" should be sufficient and I wouldn't respond further other than to maybe just say, "thanks, I did give it more thought but it just isn't right for me."

I agree that "why would I want to do that" is too abrupt and dismissive.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Hmmmmm on July 20, 2017, 06:56:08 PM
I think all that is needed is to address the idea of moving back to Smallville and not the job.

"Thanks, but deciding to not move back to Smallville wasn't a quick decision. I've known for a long time I'd rather stay in Metropolis even if it means a delay in my career taking off. I appreciate the thought but I won't be applying. See you soon."
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Waterlight on July 22, 2017, 04:12:29 AM
Just a small update:

I called my doctor to discuss the job yesterday.  She doesn't think applying for the job would have been a good idea, and she doesn't want me to disrupt my life too much.  And a move halfway across the state to somewhere I don't even want to live certainly is a major disruption!  Especially since most of my support system is here, and Metropolis is booming right now so there are better job opportunities here.

So I think that's something I will mention... if my stepmom asks.  "Joan, I wanted to let you know I discussed the job with my doctor.  And she recommends I stay in Metropolis."
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Minmom3 on July 22, 2017, 08:15:57 AM
Could you/did you point out to SM that the job wants a driver, and you are not and cannot be a driver?  That's a pretty huge DQ for the job!  Add in the lack of public transport, your medical providers, location of your friends, and leaving the Big City would be a fairly bad move for you in particular.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: TootsNYC on July 22, 2017, 12:28:00 PM
Do you have to respond at all?

I wouldn't answer Stepmom.

You don't have to hit the ball back over the net--just let her email be the last one in the conversation.
You don't have to convince her of the rightness of your decision--YOU are the only one whose opinion matters, and you already have your approval.

Just ignore the whole thing from now on.

And if she asks, just say, "Oh, I answered you, right? You got my email about wanting to stay in Metropolis." And then, just the same answer over and over: "I want to stay in Metropolis." 

Just because she keeps asking for some other answer, you aren't required to keep coming up with new ones. Stick with the first one.

One other thought: It's often wisest to stick with the positive over the negative. So, "I want to stay in Metropolis" is stronger than "I don't want to live in Smallville."

Stick with that, and don't go into any other detail, not even to parse the reasons why you want to stay.

Be vague. Let her questions and arguments slide right off as if you didn't even hear them--be Teflon.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Chez Miriam on July 22, 2017, 01:36:03 PM
Just a small update:

I called my doctor to discuss the job yesterday.  She doesn't think applying for the job would have been a good idea, and she doesn't want me to disrupt my life too much.  And a move halfway across the state to somewhere I don't even want to live certainly is a major disruption!  Especially since most of my support system is here, and Metropolis is booming right now so there are better job opportunities here.

So I think that's something I will mention... if my stepmom asks.  "Joan, I wanted to let you know I discussed the job with my doctor.  And she recommends I stay in Seattle."

I think I would be tempted to add: "and as this is where my heart is/I really want to be, I'm going to follow her advice."  Said with a smile, it lets her know that a) there's a valid medical reason for not returning to Smallville, and b) Waterlight really wants to stay in Metropolis anyway, so hopefully she will look out for jobs for you in Metropolis.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: sammycat on July 22, 2017, 04:08:34 PM
IMO, no response is required at all.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Mustard on July 22, 2017, 04:29:25 PM
I don't think I'd mention the conversation with your doctor either; it's none of your Stepmom's beeswax what you discuss with her.  You've thanked her for the info. and thought about it, but it's still a 'no'.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Hmmmmm on July 22, 2017, 08:01:56 PM
Just a small update:

I called my doctor to discuss the job yesterday.  She doesn't think applying for the job would have been a good idea, and she doesn't want me to disrupt my life too much.  And a move halfway across the state to somewhere I don't even want to live certainly is a major disruption!  Especially since most of my support system is here, and Metropolis is booming right now so there are better job opportunities here.

So I think that's something I will mention... if my stepmom asks.  "Joan, I wanted to let you know I discussed the job with my doctor.  And she recommends I stay in Seattle."

I wouldn't do this. It implies that your decision to stay in Seattle is based on a circumstance that could change. I don't think you need to justify your decision by referencing another "authority" figure. The only authority you are accountable is you (and the legal system).

As the mom of two young adults, I respect the decisions they make based on their choices versus giving me "reasons" why they can't do something. For example if I say  "I saw that wonder company is offering internships next summer why don't you apply" and they say things like "I don't think I'd get it" or "I've heard bad things about wonder company" or "My advisor thinks I should try for an internship in other field".... I see those as discussion points for me to reply "Oh, I think you are selling yourself short and you should apply" or "Really, I know Jim, and Joe and Sue who all work for wonder company and they love it" or "How much does your advisor about this opportunity, maybe you should discuss this with her".  But if they say "I don't want to do that because I want to do this" then I know they are making decisions based on their desires and not other people's influence or other fears.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Waterlight on July 27, 2017, 05:01:51 AM
Another update:  Well, I didn't apply for the job in Smallville.  Nor have I replied to my stepmom.  I've decided not to mention my decision at all unless I'm directly asked about it.

I do have an interview for a part-time (but temp-to-hire) job scheduled for next Tuesday afternoon.  Not only is this job in Metropolis--but, it's an easy bus commute; the pay is high enough for me to be able to afford to live in Metropolis even working part-time; and, it's for a nonprofit agency that deals with an issue very close to my heart!

*crosses fingers*

Thanks to everyone who's replied so far!  I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Mayadoz on July 27, 2017, 06:16:47 AM
Fingers crossed for you Waterlight.....it sounds like the perfect opportunity for you so I do hope it's meant to be.  :)
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: z_squared82 on July 27, 2017, 03:24:36 PM
I know the deadline has passed, but in case your stepmom brings up another job posting in Smallville, I would go with something like, "I've lived in Metropolis for 24 years. This is home. Why would I want to leave my home?" She might still think of Smallville as "home" to you, and I would do my best to relieve her of that misunderstanding.

If, you know, that's at all accurate.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: miranova on July 28, 2017, 10:29:14 PM
I am glad you didn't response to the 2nd email.  It was a bit pushy, and borderline condescending.  I know that I would be a tad annoyed for someone to imply that a decision I was quite sure of was made "quickly".  However to give it the most kind interpretation possible, she may really believe it's best for you (even if she's mistaken) so perhaps she just got carried away.  Either way the best response is to ignore the 2nd email because there is no new question in it.  You don't have to reconsider or think harder or whatever just because someone wants you to.  You are in charge of your life and you are sure.  Rest in that confidence.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Morticia on July 29, 2017, 10:52:12 AM
Add me to the well-wishers who hope you get this job that would be so good for you.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Klein Bottle on July 29, 2017, 05:46:25 PM
Another update:  Well, I didn't apply for the job in Smallville.  Nor have I replied to my stepmom.  I've decided not to mention my decision at all unless I'm directly asked about it.

I do have an interview for a part-time (but temp-to-hire) job scheduled for next Tuesday afternoon.  Not only is this job in Metropolis--but, it's an easy bus commute; the pay is high enough for me to be able to afford to live in Metropolis even working part-time; and, it's for a nonprofit agency that deals with an issue very close to my heart!

*crosses fingers*

Thanks to everyone who's replied so far!  I'll keep you posted.

Keep us posted!    ;D That sounds ideal.

Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: gramma dishes on July 29, 2017, 07:00:11 PM
Have my fingers crossed for you also.  And I agree with you that you should stay where you are because you are happy there.

Just one thing.  I don't think she's making the suggestions because she thinks you are having trouble finding a job.  Please do take into consideration the fact that your step-Mom wants you to be near her because she loves you and enjoys your company. I think she's suggesting you come closer to her because she misses you.  It's really kind of nice when you think of it that way.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: artk2002 on July 31, 2017, 11:03:10 AM
I'm with the "don't respond" crowd. Responding only tells SM that her opinions and ideas matter. But they don't, do they? Her opinions and ideas are at odds with what you want for your life. Don't let her have that much space in your head.

"The people who matter, don't care; the people who care, don't matter." Not entirely true, but close enough for this situation. Someone who truly has your best interests at heart will listen to you; it sounds like she doesn't understand you at all.

If you must respond, "thank you for your interest" is what I'd use to keep the peace. "Why would I do that?" just makes it seem as if you want a discussion, meaning that her idea matters.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: bopper on September 19, 2017, 04:53:01 PM
I would not reply at all to stepmom...you have already done so. To do further would be to JADE. You do not need to justify your choices. It is your life.
If she says anything, then you say "I already told you I was not interested. If you see anything in Metropolis send it along." 

This is assuming that you are not dependent on her or your father for financial assistance.
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: mime on September 20, 2017, 09:32:07 AM
I don't think I'd mention the conversation with your doctor either; it's none of your Stepmom's beeswax what you discuss with her.  You've thanked her for the info. and thought about it, but it's still a 'no'.

I agree with Mustard on not talking about the doctor's advice, and I'm glad you didn't respond. I think it would invite further discussion.

Good luck on the interview!
Title: Re: "Please consider this job...."
Post by: Waterlight on October 01, 2017, 11:53:35 AM
I would not reply at all to stepmom...you have already done so. To do further would be to JADE. You do not need to justify your choices. It is your life.
If she says anything, then you say "I already told you I was not interested. If you see anything in Metropolis send it along." 

This is assuming that you are not dependent on her or your father for financial assistance.

Just an update:  The interview for the part-time permanent job has been postponed to after the start of 2018 because of budget cuts at the nonprofit.  So I'm still temping.  My current assignment, which started back in May, has been extended to the end of October and quite possibly longer.  My stepmom hasn't brought up moving back or anything job-related again.

And no, I'm not dependent on her for financial assistance. (My dad died in 2004.) Nor would I be unless it was a really dire emergency.  My job situation may not be as stable as she'd like--but I'm making enough through my temp work to pay all my bills, and I even have some money for extras like brunch out with friends or a concert once in a while!