Who pays for lunch?

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
I always hated this kind of interview. You go to a nice restaurant, you order something you really want, then don't have time to eat it because of the tag-team interview process - you're always talking, while they get the time to take a bite.
I think most people do. I do. Either I do too much talking while they eat and wonder about how much they did hear or I eat and get left feeling like I missed half of whatever they said. :(

Either way the only thing I try to do is game the conversion and image of myself to work to my future advantage and looking like you enjoy the type of work they need you to do while also giving the impression it's a take it or leave it thing for yourself can't hurt you.

Either you get a job you might actually enjoy, where your employers thinks you're on their level in life or even higher and treats you as such, or you don't get a job working for people who would have more than likely tried to manipulate and take advantage of you as an employee.

People who will treat you as their equal are always good to work for and with and manipulators can smell independance a mile away and they will avoid it. Either way you win. ;)
 

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
796
I second that @DickCappels. It occurred to me that their courtesy becomes clear when they planned ahead, it also speaks volumes that you are respected. But, it also becomes clear it's all business and that your work reputation will be on you, which from what I have read on the forum is about you competing with you not someone else.

When I do my work I don't do it for the customer I do it for me and not the dollar, at the end of the day we go to sleep knowing you gave your all. I feel many on this forum think and feel that way, when it's time to put in 100% instead we put 150% that causes average people to think your weird because you go that little extra and makes them jealous or afraid of their work when they realize they can't or just won't do the same.

If someone else can do it better, I bow and let them do it because I'm a team player it's better to get out of the way, but if they fail because they boasted they could do it, thats when I pick up the peaces and finish it.

Best wishes in this holiday season.

Sincerely,

kv
 

SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,548
More of a "whose (name of ancient word processor removed by moderator) is bigger " back and forth a bit. But the other two were quick to chime in and vouch for me.
So, the two you had known for a while knew that your (name of ancient word processor removed by moderator) was bigger?
 
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Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,508
So, the two you had known for a while knew that your (name of ancient word processor removed by moderator) was bigger?
I think they knew we both were big LOL. He was more familiar with them and knew that they knew He was big. So maybe they over compensated for that.

He has more experience on large scale projects like chemical plants and and production lines. His work is impressive; he is what I revere as a true software engineer. He can sit at a desk and write a massive PLC program to control sequencing of hundreds of valves and email it to someone in the field to install, and have it work nearly out of the box. Whereas I typically require a more hands-on setting.

That being said, he's a one-trick pony and I'm a jack of all trades. I could design, build, and program an automated machine, where he could only program it. I can weld, machine, draw 3D CAD, python script, build PCs, etc.

In the end our appendages are the same size but different shapes. This project will be a departure from my norm, and a step into his world. I am outside my comfort zone on day #1. But I love a challenge.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
When I know someone is buying, I order what I would have ordered if I were paying. So even though I want the filet nignon steak and lobster, I wouldn't order it because I would not want to pay that much for dinner if I were paying.
 

Sinus23

Joined Sep 7, 2013
246
Never have I eaten a steak at a meeting. So my opinion is moot kind of like this comment So order noodles or spaghetti and slurp it when they speak while staring them in the eyes.:D

However in all seriousness. They are trying to woo you and in the end they will make more money of you than you of them.

Well at least that's their plan right...
 
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Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,508
However in all seriousness. They are trying to woo you and in the end they will make more money of you than you of them.
If that were the case I wouldn't have any problem with it in principle. But I don't think that's the case. I think they bit off more than they could chew with a HUGE customer that they want to keep happy, and I was probably their last ditch effort before farming the work out to one of their competitors at a loss (again, just to keep the customer). They're probably making some profit off my work but I doubt it exceeds my pay.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,290
If that were the case I wouldn't have any problem with it in principle. But I don't think that's the case. I think they bit off more than they could chew with a HUGE customer that they want to keep happy, and I was probably their last ditch effort before farming the work out to one of their competitors at a loss (again, just to keep the customer). They're probably making some profit off my work but I doubt it exceeds my pay.
Sounds to me more like you're saving their butts... which is a good thing. Remember, you have to quote in proportion to their needs, not yours.
 

Sinus23

Joined Sep 7, 2013
246
If that were the case I wouldn't have any problem with it in principle. But I don't think that's the case. I think they bit off more than they could chew with a HUGE customer that they want to keep happy, and I was probably their last ditch effort before farming the work out to one of their competitors at a loss (again, just to keep the customer). They're probably making some profit off my work but I doubt it exceeds my pay.
Be that as it may. Play it smart.
 
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Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,508
Sounds to me more like you're saving their butts... which is a good thing. Remember, you have to quote in proportion to their needs, not yours.
They quoted 190 man hours to their customer which I thought was high, but I based my price on that anyway. After digging into it today, I think they are right on the money.

He threw out a dollar amount first and I already had a dollar amount in mind. My amount was 150% what he said. I told him the number I had in mind and he got a little nervous, rambled a bit, and said he could do that number but I would have to wait until they got paid for the job before I would get paid for it, because my rate would put them in a bind. I was expecting him to counter offer, you know, a bit of haggling, but that didn't happen. And going over the conversation in my head over and over now I'm a little nervous. I don't know what was going on in his head but I hope it wasn't "fine, if you're not going to do it for the amount I offered, then you're going to do it for free."

I've reached out to him to talk about it again but he is on vacation. When he gets back I want to talk, give the negotiation another go; I don' t think either one of us got what we wanted out of the negotiation. I would be willing to accept a lower amount if I could get half up front.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,290
I would be willing to accept a lower amount if I could get half up front.
Personally, I wouldn't bulge. And I would ask for half up front (or at least 40%) anyway. You both have come to a tacit agreement, and there's no reason for you to lower your bid. Besides, you've said that you're partly venturing into the unknown here, so it makes sense that you should charge a bit more to protect yourself. This project might take a considerable larger amount time that you realize.
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
He threw out a dollar amount first and I already had a dollar amount in mind. My amount was 150% what he said. I told him the number I had in mind and he got a little nervous, rambled a bit, and said he could do that number but I would have to wait until they got paid for the job before I would get paid for it, because my rate would put them in a bind. I was expecting him to counter offer, you know, a bit of haggling, but that didn't happen. And going over the conversation in my head over and over now I'm a little nervous. I don't know what was going on in his head but I hope it wasn't "fine, if you're not going to do it for the amount I offered, then you're going to do it for free."
At this point I would recomend getting absolutely everything in a signed work contract up front for the unlikely possibility of needing legal action down the road to get paid. Include a legal fee rider or like inclusion on the contract that stipulates that if you don't get paid and it goes to court they pay your legal fees in the end as well.

If they are on the up and up they won't have an issue with any of it but if not they will back out of everything and you will know what sort of plans they had for you well before you ever did anything.

I have never had to deal with a shady deal job such as that before but a shirt tail buddy of mine got wiped out on one doing a major house construction project. for a crooked guy Poor upfront planning in not having a final payment agreement or such in a signed contract pretty much left him with having built someone a new house on his own time and money and got nothing in return for it thus wiping him and his small contracting business out in one shot. :(
 

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
960
It wasn't really like that. Or maybe it was, I'm a bit oblivious to social nuances. It was 2 guys I've known for years and they know what I'm capable of, and one guy I've never met, who is their new technical guru. The new guy did probe me a bit about my previous experience and I also probed back. More of a "whose (name of ancient word processor removed by moderator) is bigger " back and forth a bit. But the other two were quick to chime in and vouch for me.
I had to laugh at the word processor comment. My first real job out of school had them all over the place and it was kind of a running joke. One of the secretaries (yes, we called them that back then) had a ruler from the aforementioned word processor company with the name emblazoned on it. It was for legal documents - 14" long.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,057
Well this thread was all for naught. The waitress brought the check to the guy sitting next to me and I never even realized she had brought it until she brought his card back to sign.
Your question is an interesting one. Most of us would use some kind of intuition or mental heuristic to make the decision of who pays. I think most people would get it right most of the time, and yet it would be very difficult to write down a precise set of rules.

I was going to suggest looking at it from their point of view. Would it have been reasonable for them to expect you to pay? There were two of them and one of you. That alone would shift some of the burden to them. Just imagine there were 5 of them and you - it would be unreasonable to ask the one guy to pay for the five others. Did they pick the location (and/or the time)? That shifts the burden also, since it clarifies who is inviting who. Who interacted with the hostess and waitress, and how? Generally the guy expecting the check will behave subtly differently. They might order appetizers for the table, for instance, or choose the wine. Not something you would do if you were hoping for the other guy to pick up the check.

Humans are complicated critters and our social rituals are probably handled by a part of our brains we can't even access rationally.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,508
Your question is an interesting one. Most of us would use some kind of intuition or mental heuristic to make the decision of who pays. I think most people would get it right most of the time, and yet it would be very difficult to write down a precise set of rules.

I was going to suggest looking at it from their point of view. Would it have been reasonable for them to expect you to pay? There were two of them and one of you. That alone would shift some of the burden to them. Just imagine there were 5 of them and you - it would be unreasonable to ask the one guy to pay for the five others. Did they pick the location (and/or the time)? That shifts the burden also, since it clarifies who is inviting who. Who interacted with the hostess and waitress, and how? Generally the guy expecting the check will behave subtly differently. They might order appetizers for the table, for instance, or choose the wine. Not something you would do if you were hoping for the other guy to pick up the check.

Humans are complicated critters and our social rituals are probably handled by a part of our brains we can't even access rationally.
Yeah that's my point. I feel like that part of the human brain which intitively "knows" these things in these situations is deficient in my brain.

Like the other day, I overheard a conversation (I wasn't snooping, long story) that I wasn't supposed to between my boss and his boss, on the topic of downsizing. I heard the names of some people who are going to be let go, and some who are still tentative (me included there). That same day, I was approached by 3 coworkers on the layoff list, expressing fear that they wouldn't have a job soon. They cited weak reasons like expenditure requests not getting approved and a change in my boss' demeanor, but mostly just a "gut feeling." I was blown away, because I was totally oblivious. If I hadn't heard that conversation I would have thought them paranoid. And these are people less privy to the internal goings-on in the company than I am. It just highlighted once again to me that I am deficient in reading social situations. It's the reason I ask stupid questions like this.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
Your question is an interesting one. Most of us would use some kind of intuition or mental heuristic to make the decision of who pays. I think most people would get it right most of the time, and yet it would be very difficult to write down a precise set of rules.
I think there's a lot of truth in that -- and I suspect that most people would get it right most of the time primarily for two reasons. First, there are many variants that would qualify as "right", and second, most of the time neither party wants the interaction to fail because of something at this level, and so both sides are willing to accept an even broader range of variants that are "right enough".
 

philba

Joined Aug 17, 2017
960
Regardless of how attuned you are to the situation, the current result is that you feel vulnerable. I would too. Having lived through both sides of RIFs (at risk and doing the layoff), those were absolutely worst periods of working life. I never got dumped but it sucks going though the period of uncertainty. I feel for ya. It probably doesn't make it any better but being on the other side - deciding who goes - is actually worse in my mind. I still see the face of this one guy I had to lay off - 17 years later. Felt like I was wrecking his life.

For what it's worth, I would start the process of looking elsewhere asap. Once the RIF happens, there will be more competition for the available jobs out there. Who knows, you may discover a better job.
 
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