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I have been working as a contractor for a huge company remotely from home. The manager I worked with asked me if I was interested in fte and apply for a position that just opened up. The job posting said remote potential, I interviewed with the Manager and Director (on company time) they both said it was a remote position and all the other details, a week later I received a job offer, I accepted, I received the Congratulations email, made my contractor company aware giving notice, also let my other contractor company know that I was off the market and 3 hours later I get a call from talent acquisition saying I am so sorry there was a mistake and HR wanted her to let me know the job is in office only (firm), out of state, told me the miles 50 miles and 45-50 minutes to get there in take the weekend and let her know my decision. Is this a bait and switch? a true mistake by everyone but HR? Did the company change their mind?

My company is not thrilled with me because I was leaving them after 6 years of working for them 5 months every year.

So here I am feeling confused, disappointed, mistrusting, and hurt. What do I do, what can I do?

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  • Do the reasons behind the change of terms matter? You're either okay with it, or you're not. Act accordingly. Feb 28, 2021 at 5:08
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    It does, I care for my 80 year old mom who needs someone with her at all times it’s not safe to leave her alone. The manager and director were aware of that. I accepted the offer, I got the welcome to the company, here is your start date, the pay, your benefits, etc, also fill out these forms before your 1st day, so if that’s the contract it’s signed
    – Jen M
    Feb 28, 2021 at 5:21
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    Is this a bait and switch? a true mistake by everyone but HR? Did the company change their mind? - Nobody can say definitively, but I will say this; Everyone makes mistakes. You, me, the HR person, the talent acquisition person, etc., etc. I'm not so quick to look for malicious or nefarious intent. Call HR, your new manager, the talent acquisition person, etc. and explain your situation and see what you can work out with them.
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 28, 2021 at 7:05
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    They both make the same error? Odd indeed. Sounds like bait and switch.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 28, 2021 at 7:33
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    You said you accepted. Do you have a contract that says "remote"? If so, do you live in a country were a working contract is actually good for something (so outside the US)?
    – nvoigt
    Feb 28, 2021 at 13:44

3 Answers 3

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The first thing you need to do is contact the manager and director and let them know the problem. This may not help but it's well worth the try. If the job is doable remotely then they can probably push that through for you if they want.

Your only other realistic option is to speak to your company about retaining your job.

You have one other option which is to find a caregiver for your mum, but I would never advise that.

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  • We tried caregivers when she 1st got sick but that did not go well. I plan on speaking to them on Monday. I would have never applied if it was a in office job.
    – Jen M
    Feb 28, 2021 at 5:55
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This is indeed an unfortunate situation. Something doesn't feel right here. This is NOT a trivial mistake to make and you had verbal confirmation from HR, manager and director that this is indeed remote. One person screwing up is entirely possible, three people screwing up the same way is rather strange.

Your best shot is to call the manager and/or director and talk to them. Be polite & friendly but also firm.

  1. State that you have negotiated in good faith, and that 3 persons you talked to you had confirmed that this is a remote position. If remote is mentioned in the offer, add this to the list.
  2. Ask what specifically what has changed between yesterday and today. Why can this work no longer can be done remotely as discussed?
  3. State that commute is impossible for you for personal reasons.
  4. State that you have already suffered damages since you have quit your existing job based on their offer.
  5. Ask and/or suggest alternatives. What exactly are the aspects of the job that can't be done remotely? Are there any tools or processes that can help? How about coming into the office once a week? Can the role be modified to enable remote work? What other suggestions or ideas do they have?

You will have to take your cues from how the conversation goes. If this really was an honest mistake, they would be apologetic and will probably be open to at least exploring potential solutions. If they dig in their heels or are defensive/aggressive, than there is not a lot you can do. They may have intentionally misled and you don't want to work for this type of people anyway. Just tell them "I can only work remotely" and leave it at that.

Contact your previous employers immediately and explore if you can rescind your resignation. You may have to eat some humble pie in the process, but many employers are ok with that and will take you back without too much fuzz. Fire up your network and start looking for alternatives. You may not need them, but now is the time to get started.

So here I am feeling confused, disappointed, mistrusting, and hurt.

You have every right to feel this way, but try to ignore this for now. You need to play this as professionally and level-headed as possible and strong emotions don't help

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Mistakes happen.

It's possible this is a deliberate bait and switch, but it probably isn't. If it was a bait and switch they would have waited more than 3 hours to tell you. Sometimes people just mess up. It's upsetting to have your hopes got up only to be dashed, but in reality you have suffered little. (It would be different if you had resigned from an existing job).

On the assumption that you absolutely do not want an in-office job (and it looks like you don't) then your actions are simple.

  1. Reply to HR and tell them that you cannot take an in office job. Thank them for the offer but you can't accept it. Ask politely if there is a chance the job can be remote, maybe with an occasional office visit. If they agree to investigate, fine.
  2. Whatever they say let your "other contractor company" know immediately that you are back on the market. Stay on the market until you have a firm, written offer for a remote job.
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  • Not a written offer, but an actual written contract that is signed by both parties. Mar 2, 2021 at 3:32

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