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Advice on refusing unwanted job

By smatteson ·
I've been working as a network administrator in a good job for several years now. One of my in-laws gave my resume to his organization and they would like to interview me for a network support job dealing with a certain network software/email system that I have past experience with but do not want to spend further time supporting (I consider it to be outdated and archaic - I want to avoid a holy war so I will not specify the products in mind).

The job would also involve relocating to another state which I absolutely do not want to do. I'm happy in my current job and in my current house, both of which I've spent a lot of work on to get just the way I like it.

Because a family member set this up, I feel I have to go on this interview and while I plan to conduct the interview honestly and to the best of my ability (showing up drunk and telling female interviewers my x-ray specs can see everything might work on Three's Company, but is hardly realistic in real life), if I am offered the job I feel the game is over: I would have to take it, have to move, and have to change career paths down an unwanted direction.

I know the correct thing to do here is to explain to all involved why I do not want to relocate, but my wife feels that moving would be better for our kids, whereas I disagree with her on that for several reasons. The area we currently live in has better opportunities and a higher quality of life.

My plan therefore is to simply ask for too much so as to be refused the job; too much salary, too much time to leave my current job, too many perks like relocation assistance, etc. That is probably going to kill the deal and also lead the folks at this organization to tell my in-law that I'm a selfish person who blew the opportunity by making unreasonable demands, but short of knuckling under, quitting my current job and moving to someplace I don't care to live, I just don't see an alternative.

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can graciously get out of this situation so my life can continue as normal?

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by Cactus Pete In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

But what if they say OK?

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Good point

by smatteson In reply to Hm

It would look too outlandish to say "Did I say $75K? I meant $100K!" if they were to, theoretically, agree to the first figure. Ditto tacking on freebies like "And I want an assistant who looks like Heidi Klum, a company car, a box of donuts on Friday..." Being too extreme would just make it obvious that I don't want the job and am trying to be unreasonable to get out of the situation. Which then goes back to the in-law and the wife and then has me camping out in the shed.

The problem is, being reasonable won't help either. If I tell the interviewer: "Look, I appreciate your time here, but this was set up for me by a family member and I don't really think this is a good fit" then as before, that gets back to the in-law and then the wife, and suddenly I'm in hot water for throwing away "an opportunity to make a better life for our kids" (I truly do not believe the economically and culturally depressed state in which this job is located would offer more in the way of opportunities for my children than where we currently reside).

Maybe the thing to do is bring just enough of an attitude to make them decide against hiring me, without them badmouthing me to my in-law. Ridiculing the "stupid users" at my current job, for instance, ranting about the evils of (insert famous software maker name here) and referring to its loyalists as "mind-numbed, programmed imbeciles" or saying "Is there a dress code? I hope there isn't because I won't wear anything but jeans" might do the trick.

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by JamesRL In reply to Good point

How do you think its going to look when (its not if) your in law asks the interviewer what happened? And trust me it will happen.

Be honest as soon as possible. Tell them you are flattered and considered their job, but that you and your wife decided against moving because you are happy with your location.

They will understand.

Anything else risks your reputation and risks your relationship with your in laws.


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I would like to do that but..

by smatteson In reply to Honesty

.. if I tell the interviewer my wife and I are against moving, the interview will tell my in-law that I refused the job, which means my next destination is the doghouse.

This situation is really a tough one as I do not want to engage in any sneaky tricks or deception, but on the other hand my family members will be offended and disgruntled if I hold my ground and say I'm not changing jobs or moving.

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Have the guts to do whats right.

by JamesRL In reply to I would like to do that b ...

Your choice, refuse the job and look bad, or try to flunk out the interview and look bad.

My choice is the first one because at least you will be honest. What happens if it slips out, from you or your wife that you sabotaged the interview - do you think you will be better off?


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Difference between inlaws and outlaws?

by Tantor In reply to Have the guts to do whats ...

Outlaws are *wanted*.

So your inlaws are meddling in your life. It's what they do. If it wasn't this, they'd be complaining about the car you drive, or your kids, or where you chose to buy your house. And they will never butt out of your life until you tell them to. Granted, diplomacy states you need to do this nicely, but you need to do it.

And if the real issue is your wife, then you have bigger fish to fry. I would hope that the relationship between you and your wife is importnant enough to her to stand beside you no matter how unpleasant the fallout.

My in-laws were just insane. They nitpicked everything from the fact that I drive a German car to the fact that I didn't name my son after anyone on their side of the family. They don't like where we live, They don't like the schools we put our kids in, they don't like anything about the choices in life my wife and I have made. They CONSTANTLY got involved in how we raise our kids and that was the final straw.

And one day about three years ago, my wife and I sat down with them and explained that they don't have to like that we have the big suburban house and the two car garage and the kids and the world we created. But if they wanted to be a part of it, they had to *accept* it because we were pretty damn tired of being constantly nitpicked.

They didn't like it because they thought they were totally right, but eventually they accepted that the life we were living was ours, not theirs. And they've backed off.

Don't do anything to comprimise your integrity. Don't **** an interview or make ridiculous demands. Stand up, be honest and kindly ask them to butt out.

At the end, all you have is your diginity. See the key is that if you stand up for yourself and can look yourself in the mirror every morning that's great. It's your life.

If you try nothing but making them happy, you'll be chasing that purple elephant for the remainder of your life.

And you'll be miserable for it.

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Right on bor'

by BlueKnight In reply to Difference between inlaws ...

Excellent illustration and your advice is dead on!I think the "in-law test" is the final exam to see if you've fully grown up. Can you stand on your own, or will you still bow to parental pressure. You and your wife did it the right way.

Well put.

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Very nicely put

by vltiii In reply to Difference between inlaws ...

This was so well stated and addressed the core issues. When people wed, their spouses/children become their family and siblings, parents, inlaws, etc, become extended family.

Remember during the most wedding ceremonies (depending I guess) the question is asked who gives the bride away? Normally, it's the father that responds with "I do." The bride is no longer his little girl, but more importanly her husbands wife.

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Who runs your life, you or them?

by BlueKnight In reply to I would like to do that b ...

The dog house is a far better place to be than being miserable because you gave up the home you've worked so hard on to work in a job and location you didn't want in the first place.

You family members will get over it quickly. They must realize that it's YOUR life, and if anyone is going to ruin it, it will be you, not them.

Suck it up and tell them "**** no, I won't go."
You'll be glad you did.

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Grow Some

by vltiii In reply to I would like to do that b ...

There is nothing tough about this situation. In fact I wish all of my life were this simple. You need to stand up and be recognized as a man. If you don't, how are your children going to learn to make decisions when they enter the real world. Why are you so afraid of your inlaws? You and your wife are heads of your household--not your inlaws.

If you're unwilling or incapable of standing up and being a man you need to cease this thread, cower to your family's desires and never complain about it again. When it's time to enter the world and you see that you kids cannot make simple decisions--remember who their role model is.

I don't mean to come off as if I'm attacking you, although in reality I guess I am, but I would think the needs of your wife/children would come before the whims of your inlaws. This really is a simple situation. As long as you let your inlaws control your life they will!

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