The situation: I have been looking for a new job and have realized I'm going to need to re-locate, as there aren't many jobs in the small town in which I live. A recruiter contacted me, looking to fill a position with a company in another city that I would not mind living in. That city is far enough away that I'd need a travel day to get to the interview and overnight accomodations. The recruiter says there is no travel budget for interviewees, so I'd have to pay my own way to get to the interview. Fortunately, I can drive to the city and I have friends there who are willing to provide me a place to stay, so an interview was set up.
A couple days before I was supposed to travel for the interview the recruiter called me to say it had been canceled, as the employer (thought they) hired another candidate on the spot during an earlier interview. However, that candidate changed their mind and now the company wants to re-schedule an interview with me.
Unfortunately, the recruiter has told me some things about the job that he says are non-negotiable and which I find unacceptable (e.g. the start date is sooner than I can accept; also, there would be no time off for several months, even though I have a once in a lifetime family event to attend in my hometown in that period). I've made it clear that these terms are not acceptable, but he says the company will not modify them. Nevertheless, he's telling me the company is desperate to fill the job and he is pushing me to interview - even though I would have to take (unpaid) time off from my current job and travel at my own expense.
It seems to me it would be good to talk to the company directly to explain my situation and see if these issues are truly non-negotiable. However, the recruiter is telling me that would be inappropriate. I do have the name of the employer, so I could look up their contact information and try to explain my situation and discuss things with the hiring manager.
The recruiter has made it clear that he won't work with me in the future if I don't interview with this company. Not having contacts in this city, I'm reluctant to burn bridges, but I feel I'm between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Would it truly be inappropriate for me to bypass the recruiter and contact the hiring company? (Yes, I suppose I could be burning the bridge with the recruiter that way also.) Are there other options I'm not thinking of?
Note: Yes, I'm aware there are other questions about bypassing recruiters, but those questions don't address a situation such as this.