January 19, 2024 at 4:21 am

Company Canceled His Interview And Expected Him To Pay Travel Expenses. So He Left The Rental Car In A Place That Cost Them Big.

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

It can be really exciting to get a call and an interview for a new job – especially if there’s a fun new city and a big new salary to go with it.

Back in the day, OP was heavily recruited for a specialized position.

During the dot Com boom in the late 90’s I became somewhat well known for my expertise with a now somewhat obsolete networking technology.

I ended up getting heavily recruited by a big telecom firm in Denver to run the technical side of a huge networking project they had underway.

After multiple phone interviews I was invited out for the big in-person sit down, a two day affair where I met with the big dogs, other techies, HR, etc. It was a pretty killer opportunity.

There was a little tension when he got there to interview.

Took the trip. First day of meetings went great, I felt it was a great match, etc.

I did sense there was some tension between two groups over network architecture; turned out that was one of the reasons they were bringing in someone more senior who could finalize the approach and get the project moving.

That was fine, all part of the job, whatever. Got wined and dined after the first day, was definitely feeling like the job was a match and that I’d be moving to Denver.

Went in the second day and after another round of interviews the division head takes me to lunch.

He did not expect what happened next, though.

That’s when it all blew up.

While we were at lunch the firm’s senior management canned the entire project and fired every person associated with it.

Apparently there was a huge internal political war going on, this project was ground zero for the big battle and this division just lost.

We get back from lunch and the manager escorts me to HR where we’re going to sit down and go over their offer.

Instead he’s told what’s going on and that he’s out of a job along with everyone else on the project.

At this point I was told to leave. No apologies, it was just bad luck for me.

What the hell?

OK then, I’m gone.

When they told him he would be responsible for all of his own travel expenses though, OP said no way.

I get back to the hotel and there’s a voicemail for me asking me to call the HR people. I’m mad but I call.

They tell me they’ve had to cancel my return ticket and that I’d need to pay for the hotel myself for now, but that if I would submit an expense report they’d might be able to get me a check.

There’s a second voicemail from the front desk asking me to provide a credit card for the stay.

And then I get a call on my cell phone from the car rental company which I didn’t answer. Turns out they also wanted my credit card.

F. That.

I called the airline and they said my reservation had indeed been canceled. But they also acknowledged that the reservation was paid for using a “fully refundable” ticket – which I was holding and which back in the 90’s was essentially as good as cash.

Said they wouldn’t know for certain if I could board until I showed up at the counter with the physical ticket.

Great. Just great. I’m on the hook for several thousand in airfare, nice hotel and rental car after taking several days of vacation from my job for this interview?

I don’t think so.

They hounded him for a little while, but a letter from an attorney took care of that.

I packed my bags and loaded up the rental car. Left the keys in hotel room door. Drove the rental car back to Dallas (stayed overnight in Amarillo).

Dropped the rental at the Hertz lot at DFW airport, took their shuttle to the terminal I’d left my car at and drove home.

Over the next few months I got several nasty phone calls from their HR and accounting departments demanding I pay them back for the trip including paying for the $700 drop off fee for the car.

Never answered them of course, just let them go to voicemail. Eventually got a demand letter from their legal department, paid an attorney a nominal fee to send them a demand for compensation / threaten a lawsuit letter.

Never heard from the firm again.

Side note: the ticket itself was still valid. I ended up selling it to a friend at a big discount and he was able to use it.

I bet Reddit is fuming, too!

The top comment is appalled at how this went down.

Source: Reddit/AITA

It’s wild that companies act this way.

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

Because this is not the way it is supposed to work.

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

People in the biz were curious for more info.

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

In the end, OP probably dodged a bullet.

Source: Reddit/AITA/iStock

Honestly, the nerve!

I can’t imagine why they thought this was ok.

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.