Misrepresentation

I accepted a job for what I was told was a Princeton location but once I started I found out it was actually in New York City.

You may be reading this in February, but the original post, written in late December, reflects on events from September 2023 to December 2023.

I asked ChatGPT to explain the word misrepresentation.

Misrepresentation refers to the act of giving a false or misleading account of the nature of something. It typically involves providing incorrect information or omitting key facts, often with the intention of deceiving someone or influencing their decisions or actions based on that inaccurate portrayal. Misrepresentation can occur in various contexts, such as in legal contracts, advertising, or personal interactions.

After a round of interviews, I accepted a consulting role with a well-known financial services company, enticed by the recruiter's confirmation of it as a Princeton hybrid position – ideal given its closeness to my home, just a 10-minute drive or 30-minute bicycle ride away.

Negotiating a New Jersey hourly rate to reflect lower commuting costs, I agreed to work (one day a week) from the client's Wall Street office for the first few weeks until I was familiar with the team. Wall Street firms value these types of interactions. Having once survived an undesirable pre-pandemic commute to New York City for a banking client, I voiced my unwillingness to repeat that experience. The recruiter reassured me, and she confirmed in writing that the role was indeed Princeton-hybrid and that the New York commute was only temporary.

After a month of tolerating the demanding two-hour (each way) trip, I talked with the manager about timelines for transitioning to the Princeton office. To my surprise, the manager explained that it was a New York City-only assignment. He also mentioned a corporate announcement about an upcoming change to two days a week in the office, starting January 2nd.

I raised this discrepancy with the recruiter, which led to them promising to discuss it with their internal management. After I presented the email evidence of their original written statement that this was a Princeton hybrid role, communication ceased on their end on December 20th. My attempts to reach out were met with silence.

Fortunately, I continued interviewing, hoping to find the right remote or local hybrid opportunity. Knowing that I did not want to commute to New York City and seeing no other way out of the situation on Friday, December 28th I accepted a six-month contract with a bank headquartered in Buffalo, New York with a start date of January 22. I informed the client and the consulting company that I was leaving the role.

Because of this experience, I no longer expect honesty, fairness and professionalism in the hiring process. Human beings are no longer involved. The process is dehumanising. I know that my resume and cover letter will be scanned by AI and despite years of experience and hard-won skills if it’s missing the expected keywords, it will be discarded minutes after my online application is submitted. I know that I will be required to complete up to five rounds of interviews for any role. I know that after all those interviews if I am not the ideal candidate, I will be ghosted with no feedback.

Author: Khürt Williams

a human, an application security architect, avid photographer, nature lover, and formula 1 fan who drinks beer.

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