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Who was more unprofessional? Me or the employer?

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I had been entertaining two jobs. Job A, although I had not accepted it yet, was mine if I wanted it. I was also reasonably certain I that I could get Job B, but it was riskier, and I had some doubts about whether I wanted it and the company itself. A few days ago I emailed the owner of Company B to express interest and request a phone call so I could ask some questions about the company and demands of the job. He agreed to a 10 minute phone call today, and told me to call his cell anytime within a three hour window. This was not to be an interview, just an exploratory discussion. In the intervening period I became increasingly negative on Job B, and by this morning I had decided firmly to go with Job A. I assumed that hearing from me was a trivial matter to the other employer, and was embarrassed to have changed my mind that fast, so I just didn't call him.This afternoon he shoots me an email saying "You leave a very unfavorable impression by standing up the owner of a company. A professional courtesy would have been a simple phone call to cancel. Don’t bother contacting me again as we don’t have any interest in people that don’t honor their commitments." That stung pretty bad. On one hand, I do see that It was unprofessional of me to request a phone call, set one up, and then blow it off, and I definitely should have at least given him a courtesy call or email. On the other hand, I'm wondering if I didn't doge a bullet, because those were some pretty heavy shots to fire over a 10 minute phone call with no firm appointment time. I emailed him an apology and am moving on with a lesson learned in professional courtsey. My question is...how badly did I really mess up here, and was his response justified? 

Edited by happiness

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I think part of the justification for his response could be seen in the competitiveness and caliber of professionalism required in the industry. Such as, if you were to set up that appointment at JP Morgan and the position was for a high level account manager, I could see him being miffed at you and deciding you weren't up to snuff. 

But, if it was the local grocery store than he's a hot headed borderline and you dodged a bullet.

Any way, how does he know you didn't get hit by a bus, and that's why you didn't call? He seemed eager to pigeon hole you with "people that don't honor their commitments" pretty quickly. That might be something someone with poor self esteem would do.

Edited by chev

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You shouldn't make a habit of it. On the other hand, you're well out of that one. Somebody as vindictive and bad-tempered as this guy would be hateful to work for.

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Look at it this way. You chose to communicate an intention to talk about being hired. You asked someone to take time out of their day. Then you say nothing because you thought it was trivial. Is there any good reason to ignore an agreement? It seems like you thought running away from a minor embarrassment was more important than a courteous apology for the sudden change.

I disagree that this guy from job B acted unprofessionally. All he did was inform you of fair consequences. He might have been quite calm typing it. I'd probably respond similarly. It's being firm and holding standards - and informing you honestly. I am sure it stung, you don't sound like you wanted to portray yourself as rude or unreliable. (Although it would be better of him to ask what happened first.)

It's great you emailed an apology later, that's admitting a mistake, and very honest of you.

 

Edited by Eiuol

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Look at it this way. You chose to communicate an intention to talk about being hired. You asked someone to take time out of their day. Then you say nothing because you thought it was trivial. Is there any good reason to ignore an agreement? It seems like you thought running away from a minor embarrassment was more important than a courteous apology for the sudden change.

I disagree that this guy from job B acted unprofessionally. All he did was inform you of fair consequences. He might have been quite calm typing it. I'd probably respond similarly. It's being firm and holding standards - and informing you honestly. I am sure it stung, you don't sound like you wanted to portray yourself as rude or unreliable. (Although it would be better of him to ask what happened first.)

It's great you emailed an apology later, that's admitting a mistake, and very honest of you.

 

I agree with this and it was my initial reaction. I only asked because I posted the story on another forum and many people criticized the employer. Liberals I guess.

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Well, the other 2 posters here even did that. I think many people are biased to over-focus on negative details. Reidy suggested the guy was ill-tempered and vindictive, but I just don't see a stern email as anywhere near an overreaction. Employer B made a mistake not asking what happened, but it's not a major issue.

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The response wasn't justified. Yes, it's common courtesy to keep an appointment. But it's also common courtesy to keep your unsolicited opinion about other people to yourself. It's not acceptable to contact a stranger just to tell him you don't like his manners.

To answer your question: he was the bigger asshole. By a mile. Someone who does what he did on a regular basis is a nightmare to work with. Failing to give a meaningless courtesy call is a minor annoyance at worst.

Edited by Nicky

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I disagree that it is unsolicited opinion to give a brief follow-up to a planned meeting. It's not as though the employer was ranting on about things unrelated to the topic of the job.

Happiness, what was the job? It's important context.

Edited by Eiuol

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I disagree that it is unsolicited opinion to give a brief follow-up to a planned meeting. It's not as though the employer was ranting on about things unrelated to the topic of the job.

Happiness, what was the job? It's important context.

Precious metals sales.

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By definition professional ethics are the standards of personal and business behavior, values, and guiding principles. Reading your situation it takes me back to this definition, just because it is clear that his response to your action where professionally incorrect. First and foremost, not writing an email or calling to say that you were not interested was a flaw by your hand. We always need to remember, when entering a new job, going to an interview, or even having a casual business dinner first impressions are very important. Even if we do not get the job, we will never know if that person who is recruiting will help you in your future. Nevertheless, the words he wrote in his email were even worst. As a professional it is important the way we communicate and express our thoughts. Is clear to me that his response is not justified, but the reason he wrote to you could be understood. 

In conclusion, you have made a good decision by not letting this affect you and moving on. Also, writing an email apologizing was a great move, professionally and personally. Just learn and move one. Now you know what to do if the situation is repeated! 

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That guy's a complete idiot and you should be glad that you didn't go forward with that job considering his asinine, immature behavior.  What you do, and who you call or not is your business alone. I would of responded to the idiot's email with one saying he can go fuck himself.

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