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Work Advice: Accepting an offer?

Hivemind, I need your input from your vast years of collective experience and bullshittery some of you have put up with.

(If you want to skip to the point, it’s at the bottom, where it says The Point)

I have been working as an independent contractor at a company since last October. I was told it would probably become full time after a while.


In May of this year, when the job wasn’t going to full time, I decided to take another part time job. I met with my boss and the owner of the company to talk about this. It really didn’t affect much, as the hours were already ridiculously flexible.

In mid-June, my boss, who’d been a PM, quit and went to work for another company. I took on all of his projects. I met with my new boss, a woman (we’ll call T), the owner (P), and the CFO (S). At that time, the feedback was we’d get along with me part-time, and if a specific contract came through, there’d be the financial room to bring me (or someone) on full time to do the project manager work. In the meantime, they hired a production assistant part time. He’s making less money than me, but he’s on board for the full 40 hour weeks.

In the meantime, I’m PMing all new projects, and falling behind on things because I’m only working up to 30 hours a week, working another job part time, and July was hell because I was also preparing for a Fair. So after Fair, in a meeting, P said “Penguin, we know you’re busy, so here’s our sales guy who will help you with your projects.” Knowing sales guy, and what needs to be done, his help wasn’t very helpful. It’s like sending someone into a kitchen where you’re making a huge meal, and you have chicken marinating, and this person is like “Oh, I’ll marinate the chicken!” and you’re like “Well, that’s already happening, but I could use help cutting carrots.” “I don’t cut carrots. I’ll just help with the chicken marinating” and then grabs another chicken out of the fridge. It’s like that, but with websites.

I had another meeting with owner P about my hours, the position, the projects, the workload, etc. Long story short, he said he’d make me an offer.


A week later, I hadn’t heard anything. I sent out an email to the company about a project I’d just finished and launched, and P called me into his office. He apologized for a variety of things (being a crappy manager was one of them), then complimented me. Then he asked if I had anything I wanted to talk about. I said “What’s up with the offer?”

“Oh, yeah, since I’m a bad manager, I handed that off to T. She’ll get in touch with you about it.”


Two days later, last Friday, I ask T what’s up with the offer. She says she’s not sure, and I ask for a timeline. She says maybe a week, two, possibly more...Not sure. She said P mentioned the whole thing to her in passing in the hallway.

I tell T that I either need an offer, need to go over 30 hours as an I.C., or projects need to come off my plate.


Today, she tells me there’s an offer. They want to make it retroactive to the first of this month. I ask her if I can actually see the offer. She says she’ll send it once P and the CFO approve it. I say there’s also the question of how vacation will be handled, since I have upcoming vacation scheduled. She’s not sure on the details (in her defense, she’s not actually HR. P dumped this on her.)

THE POINT: So they want me to agree to say my start date was August 1, but I haven’t actually received a written offer yet. I’m super hesitant to agree to anything without an official offer in hand, and I don’t love the idea of back-dating my start date. Anyone know why they’d want to do this? What are the risks to me? Keep in mind, the first week of August, I worked 30ish hours. It wasn’t full time.


Thanks in advance!

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