Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous

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  • au1994au1994 GAMember Posts: 2,999
    corvette said:

    @sda - sheesh, I can't imagine a water heater only lasting six years, especially when they are so expensive. I'm sure mine is on borrowed time, but I'd rather not think about it.

    Me too on both accounts!

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  • henrynhenryn Houston, TXMember Posts: 4,118
    sda said:

    Our 6yr old water heater has failed. I had it installed and some additional plumbing work done at the time with a total cost of $1500 which I thought was a bit high. Six years later the same water heater, no extra work, and getting quotes of $1800-$2100 for an entry level 50gal gas water heater. Ugh!

    I just did a very fast check at HomeDepot.com, and 50 gallon natural gas hot water heaters start at $659. Sounds like you are really being overcharged for the labor.

    Is your hot water heater perchance in the attic? That would definitely make the job harder, and increase the cost.
    2019 Chrysler Pacifica, 2013 Ford F150 XL
  • jmonroe1jmonroe1 Pittsburgh areaMember Posts: 5,562
    corvette said:

    @sda - sheesh, I can't imagine a water heater only lasting six years, especially when they are so expensive. I'm sure mine is on borrowed time, but I'd rather not think about it.

    ————————————————
    Unfortunately, by posting that, you just did and that’s enough to bring on trouble. :'(

    jmonroe
    '15 Genesis just like jmonroe, '18 Legacy Limited with 3.6R (Mrs. j's)
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 215,213
    Gee, now that I think about it, my water heater (and furnace, and AC unit) are all closing in on the 7 year mark.

    My first house, which I bought new and lived in for close to 15 years, only required that the water heater be replaced.

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  • jmonroe1jmonroe1 Pittsburgh areaMember Posts: 5,562
    stickguy said:
    ————————————————
    I noticed that you can purchase an optional rib-panel. They don’t provide the size or what it’s used for but my guess is that it’s to stiffen the garage door panels so the door doesn’t rack while in motion.

    jmonroe
    '15 Genesis just like jmonroe, '18 Legacy Limited with 3.6R (Mrs. j's)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 213,719
    henryn said:

    sda said:

    Our 6yr old water heater has failed. I had it installed and some additional plumbing work done at the time with a total cost of $1500 which I thought was a bit high. Six years later the same water heater, no extra work, and getting quotes of $1800-$2100 for an entry level 50gal gas water heater. Ugh!

    I just did a very fast check at HomeDepot.com, and 50 gallon natural gas hot water heaters start at $659. Sounds like you are really being overcharged for the labor.

    Is your hot water heater perchance in the attic? That would definitely make the job harder, and increase the cost.
    Yeah, but that's the one that just lasts six years.. :/

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  • henrynhenryn Houston, TXMember Posts: 4,118
    kyfdx said:

    henryn said:

    sda said:

    Our 6yr old water heater has failed. I had it installed and some additional plumbing work done at the time with a total cost of $1500 which I thought was a bit high. Six years later the same water heater, no extra work, and getting quotes of $1800-$2100 for an entry level 50gal gas water heater. Ugh!

    I just did a very fast check at HomeDepot.com, and 50 gallon natural gas hot water heaters start at $659. Sounds like you are really being overcharged for the labor.

    Is your hot water heater perchance in the attic? That would definitely make the job harder, and increase the cost.
    Yeah, but that's the one that just lasts six years.. :/
    Possibly, but he did state "entry level" and "$1800-$2100". I would assume the lowest price unit at Home Depot would match "entry level".
    2019 Chrysler Pacifica, 2013 Ford F150 XL
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,316
    For years we have subscribed to a well known home warranty company. They have been decent in covering repairs in the past including providing a realistic replacement check for the Samsung washer that was about 7 years old and a replacement pump was no longer available. The original 10 year warranty was worthless. For the water heater the warranty company gave a cash out value, i.e they offered a check for less than half the price of a builder grade replacement. The alternative is to go with the company they sent to replace the water heater and write a check for over $1200. Based on some calls I’ve made this is still the cheaper option but I really think I am being taken advantage of.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • corvettecorvette United StatesMember Posts: 9,582
    That doesn't sound like much of a warranty to me.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,330

    So the M340i at my dealer sold. No biggie, as I really just wanted to drive it to verify that I really wanted something else. However, my wife is steamed; if we hadn’t waited around to see it on Saturday the Revenge of the Nerds would have failed. She is now resolutely in the AMG camp.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,316

    So the M340i at my dealer sold. No biggie, as I really just wanted to drive it to verify that I really wanted something else. However, my wife is steamed; if we hadn’t waited around to see it on Saturday the Revenge of the Nerds would have failed. She is now resolutely in the AMG camp.

    Time to bang the gavel and restore order!

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,561

    @henryn said:
    I just did a very fast check at HomeDepot.com, and 50 gallon natural gas hot water heaters start at $659. Sounds like you are really being overcharged for the labor.

    Is your hot water heater perchance in the attic? That would definitely make the job harder, and increase the cost.

    Most plumbers won’t use a HD water heater (for good reason). Also is this a direct vent (flue) or power vent. Big difference in price. A 50 gallon Bradford White power vent from a supply house is $1500. A non power vent is $1000

    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,316

    I believe a very easy installation and standard application so I am really puzzled by the high quotes for replacement.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • henrynhenryn Houston, TXMember Posts: 4,118
    edited November 2022
    Do you have a local "handyman"? I paid $100 for the install of my hot water heater 2 years ago. I purchased the new one at Lowe's, hauled it home, and paid a couple of locals for the labor. It took them about an hour and a half, and they were quite happy with making $50 each.

    There was a time when I wouldn't have dreamed of paying someone for that job, but with each passing year I get older and weaker. Getting old sucks.
    2019 Chrysler Pacifica, 2013 Ford F150 XL
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 14,561

    Took a beautiful drive today. All the way up US101 (Pacific Coast Highway) from north of LA to San Luis Obispo. Didn’t realize it was going to be such a nice drive, just followed GPS

    I wish I wasn’t driving a base model, 53K mile Kona but it did the job.

    Grabbed a few crappy pics, that don’t do it justice



    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362
    not very good shots of the kona though.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTMember Posts: 15,693

    @sda - there is a tag on your heater with a serial number. It will tell you if it is a “6 year” or “10 year” heater. You should be able to call or email AO Smith and see if your HW heater is under warranty. You might be able to get a pro rated amount refunded to you from the company. On the replacement, I’d try and stick with Bradford White, Rheem, or AO Smith. I know it’s not always possible, but if you can, get one from a plumbing supply house and not HD or Lowe’s.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 21,133
    I didn’t know you could get to the Pacific Coast Highway from Jersey. Did you take a wrong turn somewhere? :*

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTMember Posts: 15,693

    My Dad had got a message that his left rear tire was low on air. So when I went to move his 2018 Yukon, I took it to the tire shop across the street from where we work. They found a nail, plugged it, and put the

    correct amount of air in the tire. I snapped this picture while the wheel was off. Lots of corrosion on the suspension components. Look at how cracked some of that rubber is too.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362
    that is really bad for a 2018. and you don't even live in the real salt belt.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,316
    nyccarguy said:

    @sda - there is a tag on your heater with a serial number. It will tell you if it is a “6 year” or “10 year” heater. You should be able to call or email AO Smith and see if your HW heater is under warranty. You might be able to get a pro rated amount refunded to you from the company. On the replacement, I’d try and stick with Bradford White, Rheem, or AO Smith. I know it’s not always possible, but if you can, get one from a plumbing supply house and not HD or Lowe’s.

    Thanks, it had a 6 year warranty which has expired. My plumber seemed really surprised that it failed so early as he says he’s had good experience with A O Smith. It replaced a 12 year old Bradford White which was still working perfectly. That’s what I get for being proactive and replacing something before its time trying to prevent an issue before it happens. It has been a year of expensive constant home repairs though they pale to your basement disaster.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 215,213
    tjc78 said:

    Took a beautiful drive today. All the way up US101 (Pacific Coast Highway) from north of LA to San Luis Obispo. Didn’t realize it was going to be such a nice drive, just followed GPS

    I wish I wasn’t driving a base model, 53K mile Kona but it did the job.

    Grabbed a few crappy pics, that don’t do it justice



    I know exactly where that stretch of road is. Probably not more than 20-30 minutes north of where I grew up.

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  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTMember Posts: 15,693

    @sda said:
    Thanks, it had a 6 year warranty which has expired. My plumber seemed really surprised that it failed so early as he says he’s had good experience with A O Smith. It replaced a 12 year old Bradford White which was still working perfectly. That’s what I get for being proactive and replacing something before its time trying to prevent an issue before it happens. It has been a year of expensive constant home repairs though they pale to your basement disaster.

    Ugh. That stinks. You did the right thing by replacing the heater preventatively and then that one broke. I just had this conversation with my mother in law. They have been in their house 5-6 years and I’m sure their heater was replaced by the previous owner with one from Home Depot.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362
    at this point, after moving from a 30 YO place to a 2 YO one, I am going to treat houses like cars. when they get old enough to start being a little shabby around the edges and needing stuff, I will just sell it and buy a new one!

    new and modern is really nice to have if you can. in houses, and cars.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,330
    So my secretary resigned to take a job back in corrections. We found a great candidate in another elected office who was being let go by the new officeholder. I went though the usual bureaucratic morass to get her hired and she was scheduled to start on 12/1. Today she sends me an email telling me she decided to accept another job offer. Grrr...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • jmonroe1jmonroe1 Pittsburgh areaMember Posts: 5,562

    @stickguy said:
    that is really bad for a 2018. and you don't even live in the real salt belt.

    ————————————————
    I’m pretty sure @oldfarmer50 wouldn't think that is so bad and pretty soon you won’t either. :'(

    jmonroe

    '15 Genesis just like jmonroe, '18 Legacy Limited with 3.6R (Mrs. j's)
  • 28firefighter28firefighter Seattle, WAMember Posts: 8,852
    edited November 2022

    Our house was built in 2012 and the hot water heater (and furnace) is original. You all are making me nervous that I should explore replacement at least of the hot water tank…

    2022 Tesla Model Y Performance, 2022 Hyundai Elantra N
  • jmonroe1jmonroe1 Pittsburgh areaMember Posts: 5,562

    @28firefighter said:
    Our house was built in 2012 and the hot water heater (and furnace) is original. You all are making me nervous that I should explore replacement at least of the hot water tank…

    ————————————————-
    From what I just read, it doesn’t sound like @sda is going to be proactive about replacing an old but working water heater again.

    jmonroe

    '15 Genesis just like jmonroe, '18 Legacy Limited with 3.6R (Mrs. j's)
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 6,514
    We took that same stretch of road back in 1982, our first anniversary. We went from LA to San Diego to Palm Springs, back to LA and ended in San Francisco on the last day the trolleys were running before going down for service. My folks who had been there a number of times suggested we drive up the state as I'd get to see more of the ocean since I was doing the majority of the driving.
    All in all, a very fun trip for us northerners who moved south the same year.

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 6,514
    It's after midnight, and woke up for some reason. Went to bed around 9:30 as I was tired but woke up a few minutes ago. Been agonizing about what to do about my work schedule. Really do think I want to cut back to 2 days a week from my present 3, but part of me wants to quit altogether. I'm just tired of working altogether for some reason. Maybe I just need a couple of weeks off as this past couple of years, have only taken off when I was ill, no taking off just to do nothing. Guess since I do have those 4 days a week fee now that it makes up for time away from work but think I'm just a bit burned out, if you will. I never thought I'd still be working at this age but what else to do. I like the job well enough, just maybe just need some time off.
    One would think I'd be pretty happy today. Spoke with the lawyers office yesterday & today just to clarify things but turns out they both said we won our class action lawsuit against the post office. The para-legal I spoke with today said that we all were "unlawfully terminated" just because we got hurt on the job & were in a "limited duty" status. This suit has been dragging through the court system for many years now & seems like the judge found in our favor.
    Not really sure what this all means yet. Doubtful that we'll get anything to be honest especially since the lawyers must get paid first. Kind of a hollow victory if you will. I always felt we were fired illegally as I had always wanted to work till I was 60, they fired me when I was about to turn 56. With 28,000 of us in this class action, the odds of getting anything are quite slim. But do feel I, we, are due some kind of compensation as we were wrongly terminated. And I was not one of the many that were offered their job back. Doubt I would've taken it, but I would've liked to have been asked. It was devastating to be fired at such a young age and I eventually went into a deep depression from it all. They even took away our health insurance for a short time until my union & local congressman got it re-instated for us. It was then that I hit rock bottom.
    I did eventually got my head straight & things did get better a couple of years later when I found employment in the rental car business. I feel vindicated in a sense as I always knew I did nothing wrong in the first place!

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • qbrozenqbrozen incurable addictMember Posts: 31,812

    We’ve mixed up our discussions, I believe. Back to business… @roadburner , when are you spilling the beans about your car candidates? AMG and what? Is it a pricier BMW? A Caddy? Dodge? Alfa Quad?

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 21,133
    stickguy said:

    that is really bad for a 2018. and you don't even live in the real salt belt.

    Yeah, I was going to say that up here that would be showroom fresh. At least it doesn’t look like there’s much corrosion on the actual structure of the vehicle. I’d hit those shock bolts with some rust inhibitor unless you like seeing the shop use a blowtorch at replacement time.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 21,133
    stickguy said:

    at this point, after moving from a 30 YO place to a 2 YO one, I am going to treat houses like cars. when they get old enough to start being a little shabby around the edges and needing stuff, I will just sell it and buy a new one!

    new and modern is really nice to have if you can. in houses, and cars.

    I like that idea, particularly if you time your purchase of the replacement house during a recession when prices are low and then wait for the recovery to sell your current one at a higher price. Kind of like buying a big gas hog SUV cheap when gas is $5 and selling it when the price goes down to $2 for a big profit.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • mjfloyd1mjfloyd1 Member Posts: 2,754

    @qbrozen said:
    We’ve mixed up our discussions, I believe. Back to business… @roadburner , when are you spilling the beans about your car candidates? AMG and what? Is it a pricier BMW? A Caddy? Dodge? Alfa Quad?

    I’m thinking a Porsche Cayman

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 21,133

    It's after midnight, and woke up for some reason. Went to bed around 9:30 as I was tired but woke up a few minutes ago. Been agonizing about what to do about my work schedule. Really do think I want to cut back to 2 days a week from my present 3, but part of me wants to quit altogether. I'm just tired of working altogether for some reason. Maybe I just need a couple of weeks off as this past couple of years, have only taken off when I was ill, no taking off just to do nothing. Guess since I do have those 4 days a week fee now that it makes up for time away from work but think I'm just a bit burned out, if you will. I never thought I'd still be working at this age but what else to do. I like the job well enough, just maybe just need some time off.
    One would think I'd be pretty happy today. Spoke with the lawyers office yesterday & today just to clarify things but turns out they both said we won our class action lawsuit against the post office. The para-legal I spoke with today said that we all were "unlawfully terminated" just because we got hurt on the job & were in a "limited duty" status. This suit has been dragging through the court system for many years now & seems like the judge found in our favor.
    Not really sure what this all means yet. Doubtful that we'll get anything to be honest especially since the lawyers must get paid first. Kind of a hollow victory if you will. I always felt we were fired illegally as I had always wanted to work till I was 60, they fired me when I was about to turn 56. With 28,000 of us in this class action, the odds of getting anything are quite slim. But do feel I, we, are due some kind of compensation as we were wrongly terminated. And I was not one of the many that were offered their job back. Doubt I would've taken it, but I would've liked to have been asked. It was devastating to be fired at such a young age and I eventually went into a deep depression from it all. They even took away our health insurance for a short time until my union & local congressman got it re-instated for us. It was then that I hit rock bottom.
    I did eventually got my head straight & things did get better a couple of years later when I found employment in the rental car business. I feel vindicated in a sense as I always knew I did nothing wrong in the first place!

    How about taking a short vacation? You know Enterprise is very accommodating in that respect. Heck, we’ve got a bunch of guys who at this time of year just say “see you in the Spring” and take off to Florida.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 213,719
    mjfloyd1 said:

    @qbrozen said:

    We’ve mixed up our discussions, I believe. Back to business… @roadburner , when are you spilling the beans about your car candidates? AMG and what? Is it a pricier BMW? A Caddy? Dodge? Alfa Quad?

    I’m thinking a Porsche Cayman


    No, that's my next purchase...

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362

    RB, you know you must be a lousy boss when employees would rather go to prison than work for you!

    I’m not a lawyer, but I assume that Sandy’s claim is not. Normal class action where lawyers get most of a settlement pool. The workers should get whatever they were screwed out off (back pay, etc) and the lawyers will get paid on top of that. Maybe a resident lawyer can confirm.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362

    Farmer, I’m really considering going the winter beater route. A sacrificial lamb with the good cars spending a lot of time in hibernation until roads are clear and dry! Or just don’t leave the house.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTMember Posts: 15,693
    edited November 2022

    Our house was built in 2012 and the hot water heater (and furnace) is original. You all are making me nervous that I should explore replacement at least of the hot water tank…

    Your city most likely treats the water with certain chemicals which over time will eat away at the insides of your tank. It just takes something tiny to nick the liner of your tank. Think of how a chip in your clearcoat can get a piece of road salt lodged into it which will eventually cause a small rust hole that will eat through your paint.

    Signature line updated as I am down to 3 vehicles in the fleet.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362
    Sandy, take a vacation for a couple of weeks. Rest and recharge, and decide if not working is what your body, mind and spirit really needs. Can always go back the 2 days/week.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • mjfloyd1mjfloyd1 Member Posts: 2,754

    @kyfdx said:
    No, that's my next purchase...

    My bad 😂

  • pensfan83pensfan83 PennsylvaniaMember Posts: 2,344

    So my secretary resigned to take a job back in corrections. We found a great candidate in another elected office who was being let go by the new officeholder. I went though the usual bureaucratic morass to get her hired and she was scheduled to start on 12/1. Today she sends me an email telling me she decided to accept another job offer. Grrr...

    My experience with individuals who agree to employment but resign before or soon after onboarding is that they had something else in the hopper they were angling for and the job with my company was what they settled for, only to find their desired opportunity become available.
    1997 Honda Prelude Base - 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD - 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road DC - 2006 BMW 330Ci ZHP
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 47,362
    If so, better off they never showed up.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 18,052
    Sometimes the job isn't as described.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 215,213
    I recently saw a post on LinkedIn that was just the opposite - person accepted a job offer, only to get an email the day before they were scheduled to start indicating that the company was going through a "restructuring" and the offer was being rescinded.

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  • corvettecorvette United StatesMember Posts: 9,582
    @Michaell - stories like that are one of the reasons I don't really shop in the job market... although we did just rehire someone who left for greener pastures a couple of years ago.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,782
    pensfan83 said:

    So my secretary resigned to take a job back in corrections. We found a great candidate in another elected office who was being let go by the new officeholder. I went though the usual bureaucratic morass to get her hired and she was scheduled to start on 12/1. Today she sends me an email telling me she decided to accept another job offer. Grrr...

    My experience with individuals who agree to employment but resign before or soon after onboarding is that they had something else in the hopper they were angling for and the job with my company was what they settled for, only to find their desired opportunity become available.
    Several years ago at my old employer, we had a new hire who freely admitted he was there just to bide time before a position elsewhere opened up. Unfortunately, the senior leader in my group didn't care - he and this guy had a couple things in common, and while not a complete crony, it was close enough. This didn't exactly boost morale (new guy quickly moved on, and the "leader" eventually got the boot).
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