Smylers Smylers at
Fri Dec 9 11:42:14 GMT 2011

Rudolf Lippan writes:

> Good morning, Perl Mongers,

Hi Rudolf. Thanks for the warning, and sorry to hear that you're out of
a job you'd been expecting.

> This is a followup to my post to the Perl jobs-discuss mailing list.
> Terrence picked it up here:
> and
> the original can be found here:

Hmmm, I thought one of the features of the job discuss list was that it
isn't archived, but apparently it is.

> 1) That NET-A-PORTER was fully aware of the contract rate during the
>    interview process.
> 2) That NET-A-PORTER selected me to lead their US team and I was asked
>    to wait for final sign off.

Waiting for something to be signed off obviously means that it isn't
currently signed off, and therefore there's a risk that it won't be
signed off, surely? (Because if everything that might be signed off does
eventually get signed off, there's really no point in having a sign-off

It also means there's more than one person involved here: as a minimum a
person who wants to employ you (and is seeking the sign-off) and at
least one person to do the signing-off. It seems natural that the person
who wants to employ you would wish for you to wait for sign-off, because
if you don't wait then he/she doesn't get to employ you.

But at that point you have no contract with them -- if a better
opportunity arose during that time, you're entirely within your rights
to withdraw. If you do wait, that's your choice.

> 3) That NET-A-PORTER was aware that I let another opportunity go based
>    on my understanding that my employment was pending a 'final
>    signature'.

It's always tricky when you have a choice like that -- whether you
choose to take a job being offered now or hold out in the hope of a
better one, you can end up later wishing you'd chosen t'other option.

However, it doesn't really make sense for a potential employer to employ
somebody simply because he's turned down work elsewhere. If, to those
with final sign-off power, it isn't right to employ somebody then that's
the case regardless of what other opportunities the job-seeker has had
or turned down.

> 4) That as a condition of final sign off NET-A-PORTER asked that, at
>    the end of the 6 month contract period, I would be willing to
>    accept $30K less than the original budgeted salary with the proviso
>    that the salary would be open to renegotiation based on the market
>    conditions at that time.  Furthermore that I agreed to this.

So you negotiated a salary with a potential employer. It turned out less
than you might've liked, but that seems fairly likely.

> 5) That NET-A-PORTER decided to withdraw the position at this point

That's really unfortunate for you, especially since you'd turned down
other work. It certainly sucks from your side.

But I'm struggling to extrapolate from that into behaviour by
Net-a-Porter that I need to beware of. It sounds like they said they
hoped to do something but it hadn't been approved yet, then later turned
out that approval wasn't granted. That's unfortunate, and frustrating,
certainly, but it doesn't seem immoral.

(It quite possibly also sucks for the person there who had been keen to
employ you and was seeking sign-off.)

> For a company that espouses their programming culture and community
> support, I can't understand how they could think this was even
> remotely acceptable.

It seems quite acceptable to me, so I can understand how others would
also think that.

(For what it's worth, I have no connections with Net-a-Porter.)

Best wishes

Watch fiendish TV quiz 'Only Connect' (some questions by me)
Mondays at 20:30 on BBC4, or iPlayer:

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