TL;DR: I was hired as a receptionist, with hopes to be promoted. After a year of thriving at the position, I was promoted. Now they are losing the new receptionist, and want to bring me back to my old position, but with a deal that it's not a "demotion", and they'll bring me back up later.

This story is long, but there's a lot of elements to it that make it easier to answer than without those details. My question for you guys is on the bottom. Thanks for reading.

I work in an industry that allows a lot of growth for people who start at the front desk. Which is why, I took the position as a receptionist last spring at a family-owned company. Because I had hopes to receive a promotion one day, I took on extra tasks asked of me, and continued to perform my position as a receptionist as well.

This allowed me to fall into a roll which could otherwise be seen as a new position in itself. However, I was still tied down to the front desk - where I would continue to perform in that role.

In the summer of 2018, things started getting busy. Seniors started asking management to hire on new project managers, AND to promote me as well. I was promoted to project management.

Now, let me give you some background on who the "management" is.

The company is owned by 2 people who partnered up years ago. One of these owners has a son, Let's call him "Ku". Ku, among other things handles what would fall under "HR"

HR doesn't seem to be very consistent. There is a person who has been here for 13 years, and they have received 3 reviews & upgrades in their payscale.

After being here as a receptionist 15 months, and after receiving 5 paychecks at my rate as a receptionist while in the new role, I was given a raise, but with no back pay.

Ku promised me a contract to sign, but after 4 months, I still don't have it. It has been 4 months.

The new receptionist did great - but now has a job offer elsewhere (she is in a different industry than me). So she's leaving tomorrow.

We are much less busy now, so the owners are not inclined to hire on new people, even though we have had two people leave last month. After the current receptionist leaves, it will be three. Well,

They don't want to hire a new receptionist. They want me to handle it, but are trying to work out a deal to promise that they will find someone new come January, but I do not trust Ku's to honor this agreement.

So my question is... Do I ask for an incentive, or what?! How do I ask "What's in it for me"? Or should I just jump ship? I'm not sure about leaving unless I have an offer elsewhere, but I want to hear everyone's opinions.

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    I suggest you summarize your post. I know details are important, but some of them are secondary to the question. Try to retain only those that are critical. – DarkCygnus Nov 15 '18 at 17:14
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    Bit too long post, very opinion based question. Could you please reword it a bit? – Strader Nov 15 '18 at 17:21

Are you going to trust your employer again after this? No. So, get along with what they want you to do while you pursue another opportunity. It's not worth even taking the time to ponder what to do. Just move on.

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    Rarely is "Leave" the right answer, but when nepotism is involved: Run! – Wesley Long Nov 15 '18 at 17:40

You're not a receptionist. You're a Project Manager. If you don't want to be a receptionist again, look for a PM role somewhere else. Otherwise, your resume will read "Receptionist->Project Manager->Receptionist". Which gives the impression that you weren't any good as a Project Manager. You don't want that.


I was finally given a raise. However, no back pay. He promised me a contract to sign. I still have yet to get this contract. It has been 4 months.

No follow through on promises + no formal contract to point to (or take to court). Is your raise documented anywhere? If not, they could just reinstate the old rate. You might be able to take them to court, but that would be expensive.

I truly do not trust Ku's ability to maintain a deal.

You, quite understandably, don't trust your boss. Even if you negotiate something, it's unlikely Ku will stick to it.

What I'm doing right now is reaching out to other agencies in hopes that I can use my experience & personality (lol) to get a new job.

Keep doing this.

So my question is... Do I ask for an incentive, or what?... Or should I just jump ship?

If you get another job, take it. As for what to do in the meantime.

Go above Ku and talk to their family (the actual owner). Explain the situation (and the raise) and see if the family will honor the deal. This may further sour your relationship with Ku, but that's probably ok with you.


You mentioned asking for an incentive. As you have learned, you should never ask the company for anything that you can't receive on the spot or have a signed contract for, because their promises are worth nothing. Accept that, and expect it to continue in the future.

If you're proposing a contract, make sure that it says what you want (such as no receptionist duties after January). Run it by an employment lawyer to check it for problems, and have that cost written into the contract to be paid by the company. They're very likely not to come through, but likely to make promises about working something out.

It is usually best not to resign until you have a written job offer with everything nailed down (starting date, compensation, etc.). When you receive an offer you like, that's when you either have the incentive or you resign.

You don't mention why business has become lighter. If it's seasonal, that's one thing, but it could be a sign of the business failing.

So, you need to start looking for another job. Feel free to ask for an incentive, but don't count on it. Don't accept promises. If the incentive is money, get it in your account. If it's hiring another receptionist, that needs to be in a signed contract that relieves you of receptionist duties. If you get a satisfactory incentive before you find another job, you can drop the job search.


IMHO, you should not agree to any of the receptionist duties without them being individually or bulky priced and paid while you performing them in addition to your main duties, on temporary / permanent basis.

This would give "KU" incentive to find receptionist faster and keep you in your position with "receptionist" being an addition and not the other way around.

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