1. Pam

    I have been chosen to be hired at a public institution where I interviewed about 2 weeks ago. The institution is going through some hoops to hire me, as they want me but I am on a civil service list. There are people above me whom they do not want, so they are using another way of transferring me. It just has to be approved. I was told that my salary would be between x and y, and it’s a difference of $2,000. Obviously I am hoping for the higher number, although both are higher than what I earn in my present location. I hate the idea of even having to say anything if they tell me my salary will be the lower amount, but should I? It being a public institution, it may not even be a matter of negotiation.

    • Elizabeth

      Congratulations on your new job!

      Your dilemma is an interesting one. However, it’s a bit strange because usually one is offered the job with a specific number attached to it, which you then have the opportunity to turn down, accept, or counter with a different salary requirement. It’s important to have done the research to know what you *should* be making in this position. I would also be curious to know why they offered you a “range” and not a final number. What does it depend on? You should not be shy to ask. They obviously want you and have been jumping through hoops to get you. On one hand, this could place you in a position of power from which to negotiate. On the other, you might feel like you should accept a lower number because of how much work that jumping-through-hoops was. If you are considering this second attitude, you must quickly convert to the first one. They aren’t doing you a favor; rather, they want your “package” – your skills, experience, demeanor, connections, potential, etc. I would call the hiring manager (or whoever you’ve been dealing with) and say that you’d like to revisit the salary conversation, as you were left a bit uneasy at being given a range. Say that people are typically offered a job with a specific number attached, and you were curious to know why that wasn’t the case. Let her answer guide you from there – but be prepared to make the case for the higher salary (you can bring up research that you’ve done, you can highlight your own skills, etc).

      I think it would also be worthwhile to read up online on how to negotiate for salary – there are some great resources out there, and it would be good to prepare yourself in any way that you can.

      Good luck!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      If this is a public sector job, chances are the difference between x and y is what grade and step you are ultimately awarded. Generally, that requires HR to carefully examine your qualifications. I would ask if this is the case, if yes, offer if there is any additional documentation you can provide to justify your being hired at a higher grade. Congratulations on the new job!

  2. Nina

    Hi Pam,

    Congrats on your new job–that’s wonderful news.

    Since they mentioned both numbers to you, if you think you deserve the higher amount, I think it’s fair to politely bring it up again and just drop it after that if they are not receptive. Like, if they tell you the starting salary and it’s the lower number, I think it would be ok to politely say, “Oh, ok. I had thought since I have experience/training x, y, z, I might start at the higher end of the range.” Look hopeful, and then see what they say. Even if you’re stuck with the lower salary, they’ll probably mention when you’re eligible for a raise. Either way, reiterate that you’re happy to have the job and looking forward to it.

    It’s really hard to tell how much flexibility managers have with salaries–some have no choice, some do. I once got offered more money because I waited a few moments before agreeing to the first offer–I didn’t even say anything!

    I hope it all goes well!

  3. Natalie

    A good friend of mine’s husband recently passed very suddenly. The family invited donations to one of his favorite charities in memorial. His wife has received the list of donations and learned that the charity sent thank you notes for each. What is the etiquette on her need to send thank you’s as well? There is one large contribution in particular that she feels she should acknowledge, but sending a second note to everyone seems like it may just be redundant? Thanks!

    • Elizabeth

      Natalie, your friend should send notes, they will not be redundant. While it is good that the charity has thanked the donors, it’s up to her to also thank them for honoring her husband in that way. The charity cannot thank them for that aspect of it.

  4. Courtney

    I’m currently reading ‘Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette”, but there is one question I cannot seem to find the answer to (though I’m only half way through the book). I know the bride and the groom are expected to pay for their attendants’ hotel rooms, and the attendants are expected to pay for their attire, but for the bridesmaids, who is expected to pay for hair and makeup? Thanks!

    • Elizabeth

      The bride and groom are NOT required to pay for their attendant’s hotel rooms. Nor are you required to pay for hair and make-up.

      (You cannot really require them to have hair and make-up professionally done, they can choose to do it themselves. Though, if you make it known that the plan is to have appointments at a particular salon, most will decide to get their hair done. Very few, I think, elect to have their make-up done, as it is expensive and time-consuming, and many women feel that they can do it well themselves. Oftentimes, salons do not have the capacity to do the make-up of more than one person at a time, so usually their time is reserved for the bride and the MOB. Some brides choose to hire stylists and make-up people to come to them, so “everything’s available” for a price.)

      However, for the bride and groom to pay for these things, would be very generous and appreciated, indeed.

    • Alicia

      Bridesmaids pay for : Attire, hair and makeup if optional, lodging
      Bride and groom pay for :hair and makeup if mandatory (I’ve been in several weddings where proffessional updos were required that the bride needs to pay for, bride does not pay if it is truly optional and bride is truly ok with the hair done in whatever neat manner the bridesmaids choice), bride and groom need to help the attendants find lodging ie give them info on hotels in the area in a range of prices and discount codes if they know them. If the bride and groom insist on attendants staying in a certain place they pay.
      So basically anything other then attire that bride and groom insist on bride and groom pay for anything that is option bridesmaids pay for.

    • I agree with the other posters here, and will only add my personal experiences. Last year when I wed, I paid for my Matron of Honor’s dress and hotel. She paid for my hair and makeup (it was a lovely, unexpected gift from her). When I’ve been an attendant in the past, and when my husband has been a groomsman (many times), we’ve always paid for everything ourselves (hair, hotels, transportation, clothing, etc.)
      The most important piece I’d like to note is communication. If the bride and groom clearly communicate their expectations, and attendants clearly communicate their needs and expectations, there won’t be any financial surprises (“what do you mean, I have to pay $300 to stay at the Hilton? I didn’t budget for that!”/ “You demand what designer shoes at the last minute?!”), and everyone will be able to focus on the wedding.

      • Courtney

        I wasn’t aware that the bride and groom pay for hotel room either, but Emily Post’s book has said so multiple times. So now I’m even more confused on the matter.

        • Alicia

          I’ve been a bridesmaid , maid of honor,or groomsmaid 11 times. I’ve only had my accomidations paid for once and that was when the wedding was at a bed and breakfast and thus the entire place was rented out as part of the contract and thus the entire bridal party stayed there. Transportation has never been paid for. Hair has been paid for a few times( When matching updos required or one time when the bride wanted us all in cornrows which I hated as I have very fine very blond hair and it looked awful on me although fine on her other friends) I’ve always bought my dress except once(custom made saris made in india by the company the grooms family owns) and shoes (I hate it when they require specific shoes as opposed to saying for example silver heels) Nails were paid for once when bride wanted us all to have purple french manicures and henna was paid for once when henna was required for the women.(kinda cool itchy during the process but kinda awesome only time I have ever had henna done to my hands and feet)
          Generally it is a bit expensive to be a bridemaid as the cost of things you never wear again will add up(nobody ever wears a bridesmaid dress again no matter what the bride says) but you do it as you care about the friend or friends involved. However hotel costs are the same as if you were attending the wedding as a guest.

          • Alicia

            Wow!!! Ok I take that back then but I do believe it is uncommon and unusual for people to rewear bridesmaids dresses and it does not happen nearly as often as brides say it will.

        • I believe they should pay for their rooms (which is why I did), but if the bride and groom haven’t offered, then I wouldn’t expect it automatically. Again, communication is needed.

    • Nina

      Actually, the rule that the bride and groom’s families pay for the attendents accommodations still holds according to EPI, though I don’t think it’s actually observed much these days, as per the above posters:

      “Don’t forget that the bride and groom’s families are responsible for providing accommodations for the attendants. Local friends and family may be able to provide guests with rooms; otherwise, book hotel rooms early.”
      http://www.emilypost.com/weddings/planning-your-wedding/718-wedding-attendants (in section 3: Transportion)

      In the weddings I’ve been a part of, including my own, this rule has been sort of partially observed. The bridal couple hosted the attendents at their own place, or asked friends or family to do so. Some attendents will have friends or relatives of their own they want to stay with, and one of my bridesmaids swung a free hotel room with Air Miles. In our case, a few people wound up paying for a night or two in hotels but we did all we could to help, and (I think!) everyone was fine with the result. It also resulted in a fun slumber-party vibe at our place for a few nights!

      In short, no one expects you to pay for all accommodations, but anything you can contribute will help and be appreciated. As Just Laura says, it’s important to find out what people are expecting so that no one is surprised/confused/unhoused at the last minute.

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