I have spent over a week waiting for an agent to get back to me with an offer of a contract. I saw this company last Tuesday and the manager is apparently very keen to get me working there. The sticking point seems to be the money.

When the agent first spoke to me about the contract, they wanted to pay about £30 a day less than the minimum amount I currently feel comfortable working for. She agreed to try to get me my minimum amount. A couple of days later she called me to arrange an interview. She told me at that point that they had taken a couple of days to get back to us as they had been confirming that the extra money was available.

I went to the interview last Tuesday. I thought it went very well. So, I’m told, did the people who interviewed me.

But the money was still a problem. They asked if I’d work for their initial suggested rate. I said no. They said that at the rate I was asking for, the initial contract would only be for two months rather than the six months discussed in the interview. I said that would be fine (see – that’s me compromising).

On Friday of last week they told my agent that the money had been found but that (for reasons which were somewhat unclear) they still couldn’t make a firm offer that day. The offer would follow on Monday.

On Monday I had a call from my agent. There was still no firm offer, but the client had asked her to “keep Dave warm”. She tried to speak to the manager again on Tuesday, but he was out of the office for a day. On Wednesday I had no contact with them. On Thursday she called me to tell me that she still couldn’t reach the manager because he was off sick. And his team seemed to think that he wouldn’t be back the next day either.

At this point I was expecting them to tell me that they had the offer, but the dog ate it. Or perhaps that a big boy stole it and ran away. It seemed clear to me that there was some kind of stalling tactic going on somewhere in the organisation. But as my agent pointed out during Thursday’s conversation, this kind of prevarication doesn’t really endear you to someone who you are trying to do business with.

Fortunately, whilst this had all been going on, another opportunity had come along. On Thursday lunchtime I had an interview with another company. A company who, if I’m being honest, I would feel far happier about working for. And this morning they made me a firm offer. For more money and for a longer period of time. I, of course, accepted.

I felt somewhat sorry for the original agent as I told her that I wouldn’t be accepting an offer from her client (should one ever appear). But I hope she enjoys explaining to them exactly where they’ve gone wrong in this process.

The contract market isn’t great at the moment. But it’s still not bad enough that I need to sit around for a week waiting for an offer from a company that’s quibbling over £30 a day.

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