Archive for the ‘Negotiation’ Category

Service of Traveling Companions: Spoiled Trips or Saved Voyages

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Many think traveling with someone will ensure a great trip. Obviously you should know the person you’re planning to travel with–or think about what kind of companion they would be abroad or far from home 24/7, for a period of time.

These true stories show that even the smartest and well-meaning of us can be tripped up. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Drastically Uneven Budgets Ensure Disappointment

We’ll call the first twosome–dear childhood friends–Mary and Agnes. They lived thousands of miles apart and thought a trip, just the two of them, would be just the ticket.

Mary was on a modest budget and Agnes, it turned out, had barely a cent to spend. Before the trip Mary didn’t realize Agnes’s financial constraints were so dire. On their return Mary confided that she was disappointed at not being able to visit a single restaurant as Agnes wouldn’t let her pay yet she couldn’t afford such a meal.

Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Then there was Tricia and Polly–also made up names. Tricia said her trip was one of the worst experiences of her life.

Polly invited Tricia to Europe. Tricia grabbed the chance of a free trip.

She’d get up early to fit in as much sightseeing in a day as possible and Polly slept late and didn’t want Tricia to leave their hotel room without her. For dietary reasons Tricia needed to eat three meals a day. Polly would eat a candy bar at 11:00 a.m. and say she wasn’t hungry for lunch and wouldn’t stop for Tricia to grab something.

Tricia told Polly that an office friend had asked her to bring back a few bars of chocolate naming an ordinary brand not yet available in the States. Polly had never heard of it. Tricia would duck into store after store and come out empty handed because they didn’t have the milk with nuts favorite.

Their relationship was so frayed by the time they arrived at a picturesque village that they finally agreed to explore it separately. Tricia found a newspaper store and asked about the elusive chocolate bar. “A woman just left with the last five,” said the shop owner.  Guess who showed up with a little bag and the chocolate? And she wouldn’t give even one to Tricia for the office friend.

This Gift Horse Who’d Had It

Another pair–let’s say Gail and Francesca–were cousins. Gail invited Francesca on a Viking River Cruise. [I love their tempting commercials on PBS.] The women hadn’t seen each other in years. Turns out Francesca had gained so much weight she could hardly walk and wasn’t up to taking side trips or moving much at all, putting a damper on the experience for Gail.

She changed partners for her next Viking Cruise. This time her friend/guest Marilyn made troublesome disappearing acts. In one port she took off in mid land tour. Gail waited for her at one stop and missed most of the side trip. In addition to that frustration she feared something had happened to Marilyn. As great as the cruise was otherwise, Marilyn’s childish games spoiled Gail’s time.

My Guidelines for Traveling with a Friend

With the exception of business trips, my travels have been mostly with a parent, significant other or spouse. A trip alone eons ago to an intimate island resort turned out to be one of my best vacations–but I digress.

Before the first trip with anyone, even the love of your life, an adult would be well served to explore their traveling companion’s expectations and to spell out theirs so as to agree on a few guidelines before taking a step.

Given the experiences noted above, my druthers would be:

  • We each get up when we want [unless we are catching a flight or train].  No resentment if one wants to veg out in the room and the other is raring to explore.
  • In cities, if we want to visit different things, we can meet back in the room at a predetermined time.
  • Especially if a shared bedroom is small, keep it neat as possible.
  • Address budgets–level of restaurant expense and timing of meals. Figure out how to make it work–or at least know about it beforehand–when one eats no breakfast and the other, no dinner.
  • ID each person’s “must see” attractions before departure and make sure each departs the vacation happy.
  • No problem if one or the other doesn’t care to go on a tour.

Have you had–or heard of–a ruined vacation because of a mismatched travel partner? Would you discuss guidelines/druthers before a first trip? Are there rules-of-the-road you insist on? Have you been happily surprised by the experience of traveling with a pal? Would you rather travel alone?

Service of Salary Secrecy

Monday, May 17th, 2021

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Job seekers have shared their opinions with me about whether to insist on knowing the salary range before pursuing a position and in the first conversation revealing, to the prospective employer, the remuneration they expect. They fall into two schools of thought: Do and Don’t. The same thing applies to a PR agency before staff takes time to write a proposal. The risk of failure increases when the client doesn’t share how much the company is budgeted to spend.

One friend at the top of her game won’t work for less than $X and doesn’t want to waste her time on countless interviews for nothing so she says she won’t move forward on a job lead without salary information. She’s also fine with sharing her salary expectations with headhunters and hiring managers.

Alison Green wrote “When Employers Demand a Salary Range From Applicants but Refuse to Suggest One,” asking why “hiring managers play such coy games around salary.” In her article in getpocket.com she reported that employers sometimes wait until they make a formal offer or late in the process yet they require that candidates spill their figure right away. She commented, after being contacted by a close-lipped headhunter: “Why not just tell me what [the salary] is so we each know if we’d be wasting our time or not?”

In one example, she was told the interview process entailed, after HR screening, a call with the hiring manager, a full day of interviews in the office, potentially a second day, and maybe having to complete a project or test.

There’s no surprise why employers opt for secrecy–they want to pay as little as possible. Candidates fear if they mention an amount they won’t be paid what the employer is willing to pay. If the job is appealing enough an applicant might be willing to accept a lower salary but fears, by mentioning a higher one, they will knock themselves out of the running.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Green wrote: “Job seekers who just ask directly what range the position will pay risk running into interviewers who bristle at the idea that money might be a key factor in someone’s interest level.” That happened to her in the example above that potentially entailed two days of interviews. “The HR person got really cold and awkward and said she couldn’t tell me that information. … I received an email later that afternoon that said because I was so interested in salary and not the company or the job, they weren’t continuing with my candidacy.”

She found that some employers say they duck offering a compensation range because candidates will be disappointed if not offered the top salary.

She advises job seekers to do research about jobs in the targeted industry by speaking with recruiters, directors of professional organizations and colleagues. “Ultimately, as long as employers treat salary info like a closely guarded trade secret, candidates will be at a disadvantage.”

Have you been caught up by the salary question? Should employers be open about their salary range and prospective employees be relaxed about sharing their expectations? Aren’t employers who object to candidates asking what the pay will be naive to think that people work for fun, with no concern about covering expenses or what others in the industry pay? What about prospective clients who won’t tell an agency what their budget is–do you write a proposal anyway?

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

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