I had been considering two jobs. Job A, although I had not accepted yet, was mine if I wanted it. I was also reasonably sure that I could get Job B, but it was a riskier proposition, and I felt negatively toward it, in part because my research had turned up some troubling info about the CEOâ??s background (although I found no evidence of wrongdoing on his part, his former business partner was a criminal who is now in prison for fraud).
Wanting to explore Job B further, I emailed the companyâ??s CEO to express interest and request a phone call to ask questions. He agreed to a 10 minute phone call the following day, and told me to call his cell anytime within a three hour window.
Over next 24 hours, I became increasingly negative on Job B, and by the next day was almost, but not entirely sure I wanted to go with Job A. Unfortunately, from there, I proceeded to let indecision fuck me over. I didn't want to feign interest in Job B when I was almost sure I wouldn't take it, but nor did I want to completely rule it out by withdrawing my interest. Not wanting to take a stand, and assuming that hearing from me was a trivial matter to him anyway, I decided not to call him during the agreed upon time window and let it pass without doing anything.
Later that afternoon, the CEO shot me an email: â??You leave a very unfavorable impression by standing up the owner of a company. A professional courtesy would have been a simple phone call to cancel. Donâ??t bother contacting me again as we donâ??t have any interest in people that donâ??t honor their commitments.â??
That stung pretty bad. I responded with an apology for my indecision and lack of professionalism.
Now I'm wondering what to make of it. On one hand, I do see that it was unprofessional and immature of me to request a phone call, set one up, and then blow it off, and I definitely should have at least given him a call or email to cancel. It also wouldn't have hurt to call him and admit that I was leaning against it, but ask my questions anyway. On other hand, I'm wondering if I didn't doge a bullet, because those were some pretty heavy shots to fire over a 10 minute phone call with no firm appointment time that wasn't even an interview. My question is...how badly did I really mess up here, and was his response justified? Would someone like him be a nightmare to work for? Is his response merely stern, or is it an obnoxious overreaction?