Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Adventures in Bluffing Prospective Employers

The salary negotiations are rather like a poker game. You must reveal enough to indicate your interest in their offer, but not so much that they know you will accept no matter what.

The day after the memorable proposal from Dr. Los Alamos, I got a call from the Oak Ridge guy. He told me what his offer would be, and it was disappointingly low. I told him about the offer from my other suitor, and he was evidently intimidated by it. He told me up front that there was no way he could match that offer, and I told him that was really okay, just to give me his best offer.

Well, today he called me up with a new offer, this one about a third more than the previous one, and I was thrilled, although I tried not to jump for joy or anything. I did tell him that if he got me that offer, I would probably accept it. He said it would take a minimum of two and a half weeks for the paperwork to get pushed through.

Actually, I would definitely accept it. It's more than the threshold I had set in my mind, above which I would nearly unconditionally accept. The cost of living in Tennessee is lower than the cost of living in Los Alamos, and living in Tennessee cuts down on the amount of travel necessary for visiting family, thereby making the cost of living there even lower.

The only case in which I would not accept his offer is if I got something better from IBM. But to tell the truth, it would have to be a lot better. I think the best fit for me is at Oak Ridge.

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