‘This Isn’t the Job I Signed Up For!’

When Michelle Gamble-Risley signed up to work at a small communications firm, she thought she knew what to expect, but as soon as she showed up for work, Risley realized she had no idea what she was getting into.

“The first couple weeks of the job were very revealing to say the least,” Risley told MainStreet. “The owner lied about my benefits as my medical [coverage] was three times the cost she quoted and my pay was $5,000 less than the original offer.” According to Risley, her boss also had promised to let her work from home after she started, and even inflated the number of vacation days she would get by including holidays in the cited number. “I can’t even recall all the misleading or obvious inconsistencies. It was very discouraging.”

Risley confronted her boss after a few weeks of working on the job but her complaints were essentially ignored. “She just turned it on me and acted like I didn’t understand what she’d said [during the hiring process]. It was very manipulative.” Unsure what else she could do, Risley stuck it out for a year before she finally decided to quit the job. Still, she did get some of her frustration out. As she recalls now with a bit of pride, “I told off my boss the day I quit.”

First-Day Surprises

Risley is far from the only person to feel duped when starting a new job. Every position comes with its surprises, but sometimes you find out on day one that your new job is not quite as good as it sounded during the hiring process.

Bonnie Bevins accepted a job at a law firm shortly before graduating from paralegal school. She had initially been told that the majority of her work would be paralegal in nature, but ultimately that wasn’t the case. “I was essentially utilized as a receptionist, billing and file clerk,” she said. Similarly, Dan O’Connell landed an internship at an ad agency only to find out the agency was just his boss’s living room and his job was to be her unpaid personal assistant.

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