Just when I thought a final round interview was going great, they said I'd have to pay for my own plane ticket to attend the week-long training in another state.
February 15,2023 at 6:23PM UTC
This is for a B2B regional sales job that comes with a base salary I'm very happy with and could really use after being unemployed since May 2022. I told the interviewer (the President of the company who just got done boasting about their multi-million dollar profit margin from last year), that I would not be able to afford a $400+ plane ticket out-of-pocket and asked if that was negotiable. He said "It could be, but that concerns me because there are plenty of other expenses that will go into doing this job. We do reimburse weekly for those expenses, of course, but you will be responsible for your work-related expenses upfront. I'd hate for you to start in the hole and then have to quit a month in because you can't afford it."
I tried to explain that work-related expenses that come after I'm on the payroll and receiving my salary aren't the problem, the problem is that I cannot afford a plane ticket on top of the other out-of-pocket expenses that come with traveling to another state for an entire week because I have responsibilities like a high schooler, pets, etc. that need to be taken care of in my absence. I told him that I could attend the training virtually, or a training up in my region, with no problem whatsoever but I cannot afford to travel that far for that long if the expense isn't being covered in advance. He said "that makes sense" and that he'll talk with the other people who interviewed me and someone will get back to me soon.
I'm so frustrated that I felt cornered into a position where I had to reveal such personal details like that in an interview. At the beginning of the interview, he started out by sharing his professional background which began when his parents kicked him out at 18 years old and he had to find a way to make it on his own. After that story, I wrongly assumed he would have empathy for someone who is earnestly trying to land a good job. I know I'm getting ahead of myself because I don't know what decision he/they will ultimately make, but the interview should never have come to that conversation and my employment should not be conditioned upon whether I can afford a really expensive plane ticket.
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