A Millennial's guide to turning down a job offer (for bad behaviour)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Could you ever turn down a job offer, for the interviewer's bad behaviour?

Well, last week, I stumbled on this Tweet where a young female – Olivia – shared with the world her experience at a job interview, and her response to the offer for the job.

In summary, Olivia had politely declined the offer, while calling out the interviewer’s bad behaviour during the interview.

(Yes… prospective employers are also capable of having bad behaviour too. They are not God)

When I read her tweet, I literally stood in the middle of my room, clapping and crying like this:

Related image

After which I screamed:


I'm not sure exactly which part of this letter rubbed me best. The fact that (i) she was aware enough to identify bad behaviour when she saw it. The fact that (ii) she was bold enough to call it out for what it was. The fact that (iii) she drove her point home, straight and clear, without an iota of insult or pettiness. Or (iv) the fact that she bit the bullet, despite the looming risk of staying unemployed.

She basically practiced “if I perish, I perish” in staying true to her principles and turning down the offer.


I know someone somewhere is muttering under their breath "these millennials sef... do they know what we suffered in our time?"

Sorry boo-boo, in case you missed the memo… that “our time” is looooooooooong gone, with the wind.

With #TimesUp and #MeToo, this generation has firmly established that the lid will no longer be left shut on bad behaviour from persons of power.

You see, people have realised (and rightly so) that being employed is not a favour: it is a symbiotic relationship between employer and employee.

You pay me money, I pay you services. We add value to each other.

No one should be made to feel less than they are worth for attending an interview. Not even a millennial.

Especially not a millennial.

The scary thing in this instance is that this was the treatment being meted at an interview. I cringe to imagine the nature of the actual work environment in itself.

And frankly speaking, outside employment, no one should be treated with disrespect. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness, irrespective of the circumstance.

I know, I know "why did she not just write to the company and leave it at that?" 

Do you know how many ex-employees and ex-interviewees have written to badly behaved employers/interviews, without it getting as much as a read past the junior HR Assistant? Because other than an actual Court order (or some other administrative action), there is little to keep corporate organisations morally accountable.

But thank God for Social Media, and the amazing millenials like Olivia, who put it to good use, by calling erring (prospective) employers to order, and reminding the world that we all are watching.

So Olivia, on behalf of all the non-millennials, the semi-millennials, and the millennials in the world, I stand on the centre table in the middle of my cold room, and roar one more time:


Thank you for doing this and for standing up for yourself. For you have not just strengthened yourself, but millions of others who come after you.

Posterity will be kind to you. 😘



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1. https://twitter.com/oliviaabland (Cover picture and tweets)
2. www.giphy.com

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  1. Dear Meg, I also share views on this topic but I do not think the ladies are alone in this. Its a good message to Craig and co who prefer to be bullish.
    I can imagine how the working environment would be like. A lot of ass licking I suppose. I told my boss I don't do eye service. Its been more hell ever since. Trust me am not prepared but we should be ready to say NO when we are fed up. Bless you

  2. I so agree...... especially the fact that Nobody is doing anyone a favour. You pay me for services rendered. #finito

  3. I shout a loud 'GURRRRRLLLLLLL!!!' too. No one deserves to make you feel worthless!