Author Topic: How long should I wait?  (Read 2589 times)

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mrkitty

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How long should I wait?
« on: September 06, 2013, 02:48:33 PM »
I applied to a job I found on an online board. A month later, (two days ago,) I received a call from a woman representing the company who left a message. When I came back inside (I had taken a walk) I checked the message and called her back right away - about 15 minutes after she called.

It went to voicemail, so I left a message with my phone number. She called back the next day (yesterday) and when she did, the first thing she said was "I have a missed call from this number. Who is this?" I told her who I was and then she said "I just got out of the dentist's office and have no way to write anything down. Can you call me back at this number for a phone interview tomorrow at 2:30? I agreed.

So at 2:30 today I called her at the appointed time, and again I got voicemail. I left a message indicating I was calling her for our scheduled phone meeting, etc.

My etiquette question is: how long should I wait for her to call me back? Personally, I think it's unprofessional to miss a scheduled meeting like this. In rare instances when I have to miss or cancel a meeting (even if it's just a phone appointment) I contact them as soon as I know I have to change plans. I rarely do this, as I try very hard (and am proud) to be very diligent about keeping appointments and being on time. I am very annoyed about this, and, frankly, have second thoughts about working at a place like this (I probably will not be pursuing employment with them further as I think flakiness like this is a big red flag, personally) so the question is technically moot, but I am curious from a hypothetical standpoint: if someone has a scheduled meeting and the other party doesn't show up, how long should one wait (or make themselves available by the phone) for the other party, who may be running late?

I vote 15 minutes. After that, I consider it a missed/canceled meeting. What are your thoughts? And, do you think I'm over-reacting and should give it a second chance, or do you think it is wise to consider this a red-flag? I'm so strung out with stress from my job search that I worry I'm not thinking things through as thoroughly as I should. Thank you for any advice or your thoughts on this. I am so stressed out.  :o
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CakeBeret

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 02:54:19 PM »
The whole "who is this?"/dentist's office thing would be, perhaps not a red flag, but a bit of a warning sign for me. Missing your appointment would also be an issue.

Because you are the one looking for a job, I would probably advise remaining available during the time the phone conversation would have taken (so, 30 minutes or so). Just because it's a "buyer's market", so to speak, right now.

Personally? I probably would not spend more time on these people, unless it was a job I *really* wanted.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 02:55:39 PM »
While I think you're right that you'd not be rude to leave after 15 minutes, I'd stick around longer if you really are serious about the job search.  A missed connection would be their fault, not yours, but you have the larger incentive to actually make sure you get to talk.

That said, I don't think she's all *that* rude, either.  Maybe 2 out of 10?  The initial month wait could be because they had another candidate who didn't work out (not rude).  You called back and got voicemail (again, not rude - not everyone is near the phone all day).  She returned your call within 24 hours (faster would be better, but still not rude).  And she didn't have a way to take down your info because she didn't realize it was work-related, I assume - she just saw a number on her cell and called.  Which is a bit rude - I hate when people do that without checking their voicemail first - but not really that big a deal.  So really that just leaves her not being there at 2:30, and given that she had no way to write down your info yesterday, she might not have been able to write down the 2:30 time either.  Without knowing the details of her job - how often she's at her desk, whether she might have been stuck in a meeting or on the phone with someone else - I'm not going to cast her into eHell just yet.

JenJay

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 02:57:10 PM »
She does sound flaky and unprofessional. I think I'd also give it about 15 minutes and then figure she forgot all about the appointment, likely won't check that message either, and plan to ignore it if she calls back. I bet you get another "Who is this?" call later. I'd probably say "Sorry, wrong number."  :P

WillyNilly

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 04:11:04 PM »
I think you pretty much dropped the ball if you called once at 2:30 and that's it. Personally I think you should have waited 10 minutes and tried calling her back - she might have gotten held up or something, and she might have a set time set aside to check VM, not just every time one comes in.

gingerzing

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 04:24:12 PM »
I would probably pass unless this is a really good opportunity. 

My biggest phone peeve is people who do no listen to voicemail.  Just annoys me to death. 
And her calling back a number and saying "Who is this?" is snotty and unprofessional. 
Plus the fact that you called and left a VM on a number that I would presume is a work number or work connected number.  So she should have expected work calls on it.  Plus if you are making a call (to an unknown number that is on your work phone) perhaps do it when you aren't rushing around from an appointment since it probably has to do with work.
I can sort of get the whole, not right there at 2:30 for the meeting thing, but if she set up the time  (I assume that you verified before the call ended) then she should have checked if there was a voicemail from you after that time.  Like "Hmmmm, I was suppose to have a phone call at 2:30 for that interview and it is 2:45.  Perhaps I should check if I have any voicemails."  (Most phones you can at least check to see if you have voicemails, some even how many and who they are from)
Too bad you didn't have an email or something to have as a secondary contact so you could make sure of the phone interview that day.

Arila

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 04:31:21 PM »
For me, it would depend on how large the company is. Would this flakey person be your direct boss or could this person be some HR recruiter (or recruiter for an agency)? It would be a shame to give up on what could be a good job (or for some people in this economy ANY job) just because of one person who you will never actually work with/for.

mrkitty

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 04:39:27 PM »
No, I don't agree that I dropped the ball. I called her at the specific time she requested. I also waited for 15 minutes, and at 30 minutes I called again and left a second voicemail for her. As far as I'm concerned, I did everything I could, although I could possibly send her an email message (I don't have one for her, and I tried asking for one yesterday when we set up the appointment, but she probably didn't hear me because she hung up) if I try to look it up from their web site, but right now I doubt it's worth the trouble.

I thought she was rude, snotty and unprofessional. The thing is, the position is for a staffing manager at a staffing agency...so if that's how they treat their clients or job candidates,  I want nothing to do with it.

When I was conducting hiring for my own company, I was used to my fair share of candidates who were flaky. They were not given a second chance unless they had a very compelling reason for not showing up to the interview or picking up the phone for a scheduled phone interview. I certainly never blew off a candidate for a position I was hiring for - especially since I was the one determining what time the interview was going to be...it just wouldn't make sense.

So, no, I think I'm going to move on from this one. I'm not sure about the company - I have never heard of it before and the company web site just seems a bit "off" to me. I sort of suspect I was on the receiving end of some kind of scam, or at the very least some very off-putting and unprofessional behavior. Yes, I'm desperate for a job - but not that desperate.

If she calls me back with an apology and a very good reason for her flakiness, I might be convinced to reconsider, but I doubt I'll hear from her again. But even then, there are too many red flags. I don't take kindly to rude/snotty behavior, and truth be told, if they treat their candidates that way, I doubt they treat their employees much better. In my experience, it doesn't get better from the interview stage when usually parties are on their best behavior. So, um...no. Not going there with this one.

And yes, for some people any job would be worth it...but I've had my share of *just any jobs* and came to regret it. Yes, I do need a job, but not one badly enough to know going in that it wouldn't work out. In my neck of the woods, people I have worked with have been *very* flaky. I'm a little gun-shy because my experiences out here haven't been remotely good. I left a position last year because of it and now I'm very careful. 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 04:42:55 PM by mrkitty »
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gingerzing

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 11:39:07 AM »
Sounds like you may have gotten away unscathed. 

A while back I had been working with a headhunter company.  And in general they were a pretty well established company who specialized in IT workers.  But they had a few companies that they worked with that came to them for Admin Assistants so those were the jobs that I was interested in. 

Except they were really bad at the Admin jobs.  Two of the four interviews that I had in a month cancelled for suspicious reasons.  The third interview was okay. 
The fourth was HORRID.  Was told that the job was for an assistant position.  It wasn't, it was for a receptionist (which would have been fine - better for me in fact, but I had not been told that).  When the interview - 2nd worst one in my life - was done, I drove back to the headhunter company. I waited for my "employment coach" ::) to get off her phone in her office.  I can hear her clearly telling the person on the phone directions to the place I have just interviewed at and wishing them good luck.  Coach came out and said (this is the direct quote) "Oh I just now hung up the phone with *client I had interview with* and they were really pleased with you."     Liar >:(

A month later I was called into the headhunter's office to interview there in the office.  I finally asked the lead guy what job he was talking about.  It was a combination receptionist and employment coach.  then he told me it was for my coach's position, but he had to do it when she was away.    Yeah, no.  Bad employees and then sneaky management?  No thank you.


veronaz

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 12:34:54 PM »
Quote
If she calls me back with an apology and a very good reason for her flakiness, I might be convinced to reconsider, but I doubt I'll hear from her again. But even then, there are too many red flags.

Her apology would be worthless.  As you just said, there are too many red flags.  Yet you say you "might be convinced to reconsider"?? ???  Sounds like you're still undecided, but I can't see why you would even want to hear from her. Time to move on.

Quote
It was a combination receptionist and employment coach. 

 ::)
Employers often try to combine “Receptionist” with other job titles.  Office manager, bookkeeper, whatever.  What they mean is they want you to answer the phones because nobody else wants to and they want you to do the work of another position but PAY receptionist wages (which are low).  Stay away……far, far, away.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 12:54:41 PM by veronaz »

mrkitty

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 01:16:23 PM »
Quote
If she calls me back with an apology and a very good reason for her flakiness, I might be convinced to reconsider, but I doubt I'll hear from her again. But even then, there are too many red flags.

Her apology would be worthless.  As you just said, there are too many red flags.  Yet you say you "might be convinced to reconsider"?? ???  Sounds like you're still undecided, but I can't see why you would even want to hear from her. Time to move on.

Quote
It was a combination receptionist and employment coach. 

 ::)
Employers often try to combine “Receptionist” with other job titles.  Office manager, bookkeeper, whatever.  What they mean is they want you to answer the phones because nobody else wants to and they want you to do the work of another position but PAY receptionist wages (which are low).  Stay away……far, far, away.



I think you're right on both counts. Just for the record, I did not hear from her again. No loss. Better to find out now and move on. I'm just frustrated as all get-out.
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veronaz

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 01:48:38 PM »
Sorry for your frustration.  I’ve been there.  But be careful that your frustration doesn’t cause you jump into a situation where a couple days/weeks into the job you think “Uh-oh.  What have I gotten myself into?  :(

It would not surprise me if you were to hear from that woman again………after they go thru a couple people who they let go or (most likely) walked out.  But in order to truly move on you need to get unstuck.  By that I mean you need to stop speculating about that particular job/woman and stop wondering if you will hear from her.  What difference does it make?  None.  Put your time and energy to better use.  I wish you the best.

mrkitty

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Re: How long should I wait?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 02:01:55 PM »
Sorry for your frustration.  I’ve been there.  But be careful that your frustration doesn’t cause you jump into a situation where a couple days/weeks into the job you think “Uh-oh.  What have I gotten myself into?  :(

It would not surprise me if you were to hear from that woman again………after they go thru a couple people who they let go or (most likely) walked out.  But in order to truly move on you need to get unstuck.  By that I mean you need to stop speculating about that particular job/woman and stop wondering if you will hear from her.  What difference does it make?  None.  Put your time and energy to better use.  I wish you the best.

Yep, absolutely, you're right. The last thing I want to do is wind up in a situation where I accept a position out of pure desperation only to find out that it is completely the wrong fit for me. That's a rotten thing to do to myself and the company. Been there, done that.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement! :)
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