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I was offered a job in IT department at a public school system. Had 2 interviews and they called me on the phone the next day to say they wanted to offer me the job. The guy basically said "we want to offer this job at this pay rate, do you accept?" I asked if they could send it to me in writing and he said they don't do that. The rate was less than they advertised in their job posting and less than I need to take the job. I stupidly said I accepted but was thinking I could negotiate. They then said that I needed to send them an email stating that I accepted the job at the offered rate. I again stupidly followed their request. I felt pressured to respond and did not want to lose the position. They then said I should hear from their HR in a few days. That has been over a week ago and have not heard anything. After thinking about it, the rate will be insufficient for me plus this whole deal is setting off alarms in my head. I think it is reasonable to get their offer in writing and asked for it again in me acceptance email. They have not responded to that email. My question is, since I sent the email stating I would take the job at the low rate, is there any way to try and negotiate at this point since they have not been very good at handling this with me in my opinion. HR seems borderline incompetent, and I am not sure this place is somewhere I want to work since they seem so weird about giving me an offer in writing.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Philip Kendall, gnat, Chris E, mcknz, JasonJ Mar 13 '17 at 20:54

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    The verbal agreement may have been weak enough to push back for renegotiation. For example "Ya I think I could work with that" allows for "I agreed in principal to taking the job but did not agree on the details as I felt negotiation would come later" whereas "Yes I agree to work X position for $Y per year" is pretty black and white. The email is likely to be treated as a finalized negotiation. You wouldn't consider it acceptable if a company coming back to you for further negotiation after they sent an email offer. – Myles Mar 13 '17 at 17:33
  • If you don't have a signed agreement, you don't have a job. The fact that you don't have a signed agreement, however, allows you to renegotiate as much as you want. – mcknz Mar 13 '17 at 18:05
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    In the future never say you agree to anything which you wouldn't sign. In other words don't verbally agree to $X, if you wouldn't sign the contract saying you're being paid $X. If you would have immediately said: "I'd like to accept, but the amount you're quoting me is lower than what the job description stated. Could we negotiate a higher wage?" then - based on the reply - you would know whether you should keep looking or not. Instead you're now in a situation where you're not even sure if you're hired, and most likely won't be anyway once they hear you want more money. – AndreiROM Mar 13 '17 at 18:17
  • Iron rule: You never accept less than was offered, and you never accept less than you need to live. – gnasher729 Mar 13 '17 at 22:14
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My question is, since I sent the email stating I would take the job at the low rate, is there any way to try and negotiate at this point since they have not been very good at handling this with me in my opinion. HR seems borderline incompetent, and I am not sure this place is somewhere I want to work since they seem so weird about giving me an offer in writing.

Certainly you can decide to go back on your word for any reason and attempt to negotiate a better offer.

While it seems very unlikely to succeed, it doesn't sound like you care much anyway, so you have nothing to lose.

(As an aside, you can blame them for being "borderline incompetent" but you were the one who accepted both verbally and via email.)

  • On the other hand, the slowness of HR may be work to OP's luck. If they fail to follow up, he might be able to send a mail to ask whether the discussed offer is still valid, and, if no response, renege a week later by another mail without losing face. But, IANAL, and different rules may apply. – Captain Emacs Mar 13 '17 at 18:33
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    exactly - if OP doesn't care if the job is taken or not, just say "oh i got a new job offer at <insert rate OP wants here>, can you match? I wouldn't normally ask but you've taken 1+ weeks" – bharal Mar 13 '17 at 18:38

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