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Being offered half a job: the work without the pay.

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Jolly_Roger1, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I would be interested in hearing how people would field this question, at interview, "If we could not offer you the paid position, would you consider doing it on a voluntary basis?. Your answer will have no influence on our decision, of course!" This happened to me when I went for an intervention role. This sort of question seems a bit Catch-22; you're damned whichever way you answer. I answered the question 'yes', and I got offered the job but not the pay!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Goodness gracious . . .

    What a bind. I am totally stuck at present for a suggestion of how to answer that question . . .

    But as a volunteer - do you have a contract? Are you insured to be on school premises? What are your responsibilities, what are theirs towards you?

    Best wishes

  3. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I dissembled by saying that I would have to work out my availability around my other, paid work commitments (a lie, I admit. Paid work: I wish!) and get back to them. I haven't done so, and they school has not contacted me. I don't suppose it will; I think they were just trying it on.

    What rankles with me is that I find it such an insult: being 'considered' good enough to do the job but not to get paid for it.
    missrturner and midnight_angel like this.
  4. oHelzo

    oHelzo Occasional commenter

    Very different role, but years ago I was in a retail job and went to a workshop to encourage us to sell more branded items called 'Be proud of your prices'. Much as certain brands of hair products tell you 'Because you're worth it'. And so on.

    No, you wouldn't do it for free because you're worth paying top dollar for. The shiny packaging and reputation you pay extra for really does inspire confidence and this applies to people as much as lipstick and ibuprofen!

    Edit: perhaps it was put there more to see you under pressure with an unanswerable question, or understand your reasoning skills more than the actual answer?
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I think some schools just see people like me, drawing my TP, as a source of free labour; even doing me a favour by allowing me to 'put something back'. :mad:
    midnight_angel likes this.
  6. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Have you ever done any voluntary work 'Jolly Roger'?

    I always have. Helped me develop professionally too.

    Took a class at a hospital school last month. Great fun.

    Kevin the Clown
  7. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I have tried to but I found the costs too high: multiple CRBs, PLI and 'training courses'.

    If the job had been advertised as voluntary, fair enough, but to advertise it as a paid job and then offer it to you as a volunteer is a bit of an insult!
    midnight_angel likes this.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    (The missing thumbs-up emoticon)

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    My very cynical side would think if a school can get high quality teaching or support staff for free they will! But yes they advertised it as paid therefore it should be paid to my mind.
    midnight_angel and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @Gsr25: Serously! If I were six inches taller I would 'stuck one on' anyone who suggested that I should 'put something back', by now, as I am fed up with it.
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Taking "a class" is a long way from doing a job for free.

    Not that I believe anything you say, mind.
  12. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I don't blame you! It's an absolute disgrace that you were asked that question and expected to work for free.
  13. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    This is how I prefer interviews to proceed:

  14. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I'm sorry if my response was a bit strong. It wasn't aimed at you but at 'employers' who think that retired people are ripe for exploitation. It's so galling to be asked to work for nothing by someone who is earning £ 75 - 100k!
    midnight_angel and Vince_Ulam like this.
  15. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    It's a strange question to ask at an interview for a paid position, but I don't think it's a Catch-22 - just tell the truth. Given your answer, I don't think they have done anything wrong by offering you the job on a voluntary basis. As you have said you would be happy to work for free, it would be silly of the school not to take you up on it!

    My response would depend on the reason I was applying for a job. I have had jobs to earn money, to fill time, and to gain experience. Obviously if I needed the money I would have replied that I was looking for a job at the advertised salary. I would be unlikely to offer to work a job with set hours on a voluntarily basis, but I have worked for a 'symbolic' sum before. If I was willing to do so for this job, I would probably have replied that I would consider a lower salary but would not be able to work on a voluntary basis.
  16. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @Kartoshka: In hindsight, I think you are right. This was the first time I had been asked this question at an interview, ever. I wasn't prepared for it and didn't know how to answer. It had never occurred to me that anyone would ask this sort of question at an interview for an advertised, salaried position. I thought perhaps that it was some sort of 'test of dedication'. As I said, I think it was a 'try on', as the school have not tried to hold me to it; I don't see how it could. Subsequent experience has shown me that that the assumption that people will work for nothing is all too common.
    midnight_angel and Kartoshka like this.
  17. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    Not at all, it's not just the retired who can be treated like this but those who are on a career break also.
  18. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Some of the interviews I've had for volunteer posts (and the application forms) have been quite gruelling. I'm happy to volunteer, but not prepared to do so, if it has negative financial implications. And I loathe the 'putting something back' phrase. What do they think we were doing in all those years of teaching?

    I might have said, when faced with the question, that if I am worth offering the job to, then I am worth paying for it! Mind you, in the OP's position, I probably wouldn't have thought of it at the time.
  19. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @foxtail3: I get the impression that 'volunteering' is getting to be a bit of a 'racket', with would-be volunteers expected not only to give their time for nothing but to pay for the privilege of doing so.
  20. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    There must half a dozen charity shops in Uxbridge High Street, many of them having notices in the window asking for volunteers. I quite fancied 'playing shop', so I applied and got back a few forms. I noticed that some of these had a box you could tick if you were prepared to meet 'administrative costs'. I suppose this was a sort of self-selection; I didn't tick this box and I never heard anything more form most of them. One charity that did reply included a list of the these 'admin costs', which included: CRB check, PLI (which they offered to arrange for you), and a course on how to use an electronic till. All this totted up to about £150!

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