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How Robert Half Screwed Me Over

So now that I have a real job again (I’ve verified it–I’m sitting in the seat and everything) I feel comfortable enough explaining how I got into this position in the first place. Some background: in my last position, I was hired for Robert Half’s “Salaried Professional Services” program. Basically a contractor, but I was a salaried employee, so I got health insurance and didn’t have to worry about an hourly rate.

It all started on a Friday. Robert Half called me to let me know they’d be looking for new opportunities for me since my current assignment was ending. That was news to me. In fact, I thought they were transferring me to a different team (I had just had a small interview with the guy that day) and I was under the impression they had more work to do, since their product wasn’t out the door yet. They said they’d talk to their contact to confirm and get back to me on Monday. I expected this to be a miscommunication or assumption on Robert Half’s part;

But sure enough, the assignment was ending. No one from the company I was working with told me this. I don’t know why. Ain’t businesses great at communication? But their ball-drop was a drop in the bucket compared to how Robert Half treated me.

They told me that if I didn’t secure a job within two weeks they would be letting me go.

businessman on steps

What you need to know is that those two weeks were the dead middle of December. Literally the two weeks before Christmas. No one is hiring during that time. No one’s thinking about new employees. Barely anyone is even in the office. They’re not looking at resumes, they’re looking at PTO schedules. Once I realized how screwed I was I started applying to jobs by myself.

Here’s the rub–I had ASKED representatives from Robert Half multiple times “what happens to me when the assignment is over?” “How long do I have to find a position?” “what happens if I don’t get a position?”. They were all positive and hemming and hawing about being “on the bench”. No one ever said anything about a two-week limit. And how fair is it that this two weeks happened at the worst time for job searching?

Robert Half only found one opportunity for me during that time. The interview was a long trek downtown (which is its own subsection of wrath–it means navigating traffic, finding parking, looking for the office, etc.) And the interview was less than fifteen minutes. The guy didn’t have questions, he wanted to have a “conversation”. I think I asked him more than he asked me. And the “rejection” notice came that same afternoon.

Robert Half didn’t even give me a courtesy call to apologize or to let me know I had been officially terminated. They did a snail-mail a “reminder of responsibilities following termination” letter a few days later. I also had to remind them to send me COBRA information and converting my HSA into an individual account.

So yeah, first they withheld information from me, then they ignored me (or didn’t know what to do with me). And I was always talking to someone different. I was always being told that so-and-so would now be my new contact because the previous person had shifted positions or left or was moving accounts. Not like it really mattered.

The funny thing is, this is all after they wined and dined me to make sure I wasn’t going to leave the assignment early. I had updated my resume on Indeed–just because I got an email reminder to do so–and apparently that made them paranoid. So now they’re calling me every week, making sure I’m all right, seeing how the assignment is going, making sure I have everything I need. They even take me out to lunch two or three times. They were so concerned about keeping me at the assignment but forgot about me once it was over.

I’m not ever going to accept a position or offer from Robert Half again. They made me jobless for two months. They manipulated me. They put my family through undue suffering through what’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year. They’re on my blacklist, and if you’re smart, you’d do the same.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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