“Lindsay, you won’t believe it.”
“What? What happened?”
“I just got an email from Burnham & Modine. They’re offering me a job. I can start on Monday if I accept.”
It’s not great, really. I mean, of course, it’s great that they have offered me a job. I’ve been unemployed for three months now. I got laid off from my last job literally like a week after we signed the lease on our apartment. The past few months have been rough, but I’m still not totally happy about this job offer.
After months of not getting anywhere in my job search, Burnham & Modine was the first architecture firm that didn’t send me a stupid form letter telling me how “impressive” my qualifications were but they “sincerely regret” that they couldn’t offer me employment. After my interview, I had a feeling they would offer me a job. The interview itself didn’t give me a good vibe or anything, but I just knew that since I didn’t want the job there they would be the first to offer me one.
“How much are they paying?” she asks. Normally money wouldn’t be the most important issue, but right now it kind of is. I hadn’t even thought to scroll down the email to look because I was so stunned to see the words “Burnham & Modine is offering you a position as an architectural designer…” that I forgot to even look at what they were offering. There is another part of me that doesn’t even want to accept the job, regardless of salary. My instincts are telling me to turn it down and wait for something better. They have offered me a job; that’s clearly a sign that my luck is changing and something better will come around soon.
I scroll down to find the part of the email where Mr. Modine explains the salary and benefits he's offering.
“It’s not much money,” I tell her. “Just barely more than I was making before.”
“Maybe it’s like a trial salary. Once you prove yourself and have a review, you’ll probably get a nice raise,” she says.
I’m not convinced and say nothing.
Lindsay frowns. “You don’t want to take the job, do you?”
“Not really. The place is a dump. It’s this small office in an old rundown building near Chinatown. The projects they do are pretty lame, too. I showed them my 3D renderings, and they were impressed, but I got the impression they don’t do that in the office.”
I knew before I even sat down for the interview I didn’t want to work there. It was a grimy-looking office, piles of papers everywhere. They never even gave me a tour. I thought that was a big red flag. If they’d offered me a lot more money, it would have been easier. But, nope. I’ll still be underpaid.
“I’m sorry, I know how much you like that 3D stuff, but beggars can’t be choosers, you know,” Lindsay says. “We have rent to pay and… other expenses to think about.”
By “other expenses” she means our future wedding. I haven’t proposed yet, but now that we’re living together, getting married has been discussed more than usual. Lindsay believes that it makes sense to wait until we’re in a better financial position and I agree. This job won’t exactly improve our financial position, but it will let me continue to save money for a ring.
“Right,” I say.
“Look, I know you’d like to wait out for something better. I understand that, really. But, you’ve been unemployed for three months, and—”
“I know. I know. I’ll take the job.”
“But I’m not going to settle for this place,” I assure her. “This is just going to be a bump in the road for me.”
“That’s fine. Take this job and see how it is. Maybe it will grow on you. If it doesn’t, you can keep looking. They say it’s a lot easier to get a job when you already have a job.”
“I hope so. If I don’t like it, I’ll start looking again in a few months.”
“That’s the spirit.”
I write Mr. Modine a short email, accepting his offer.
From: Jacob Evans
Date: Friday, March 24, 2017 9:43 AM
Subject: re: employment offer
To: Arnold Modine
I am very pleased with your offer and would like to accept the position. I believe this is a great opportunity for me and I look forward to contributing to the success of Burnham & Modine. I can start Monday, March 27th.
After Lindsay looks it over, I hit send, and she looks satisfied. “Thanks, babe. Let’s celebrate.”
I know it’s a good thing that I have a job again, but I honestly don’t feel like celebrating, and Lindsay notices.
“Cheer up, babe. You know we need the money. Sometimes we gotta do things we don’t want to do. We can’t afford this place on my income alone.”
“I know. I know.”
“So stop pouting. You got a job! This is a good thing.”
“Maybe it is, but I promise you here and now that within six months I won’t be working at Burnham & Modine anymore.”