I called the guy today and told him I was declining his offer of employment. He didn't take it like I thought he would ... he tried to lure me back in by saying he was prepared to make a counter offer, and when I faltered he asked why and said he could tell there was more to my decision than just the money. He was correct, but you don't actually tell people that you've heard unattractive things about them and their company.
So, I thought he'd let it go, but he pushed for details, and I got a bit flustered and tongue-tied trying to think of something professional to say, when all I really wanted was for him to stop trying to reel me in! At last, I gave in and admitted that I had been facing a decision between accepting a job in the field and starting my own business, and had decided to go with my own thing. He backed down a little after that, but kept hinting that he was willing to pay me more. Being the open and honest person I am, I blurted out that, prior to the weekend, if he had offered me a guaranteed hourly wage that was $1 hr. more than I currently make, I would have been tempted to reconsider. He, of course, tried to use that comment to maneuver the conversation into a bargaining table.
Finally, I collected myself back together again and politely, pleasantly, but firmly repeated my intial refusal of the offer. He accepted that, but ended the conversation with an open invitation to call him back to discuss his counter offer, should I change my mind.
If nothing else, the whole process was a bit of a confidence booster for me in regards to my talent and abilities. Obviously, he knew, as I knew, that, after a little training, I would be a tremendous asset to his team--so much so that he was pushing for me to accept his offer. I kind of liked being sought-after!
You know what this all means? I absolutely, positively MUST start my little ol' business within the next 6 months, or else I will be a liar, a sluggard, and a wimp. I have just officially made a professional decision away from seeking further employment in my field (at least here in my small town), and must find another--more entrepreneurial--way to meet my needs.
You hear that? That's the sound of the whip cracking to get me back to work.