Ed Hunter: Petty

I’m a fairly reasonable bloke. Most of the time I try not to be petty. I always throw the neighbour’s ball back, unless there’s sign of drizzle. And I’ve stopped kicking their cat altogether. That said, I’ve not seen him in a while. I’m assuming he got out that bin.

See, I take the high ground.

Especially in recruitment.

I learned a while ago, no one likes someone who’s petty.

Whether it’s a client, candidate or colleague, they like maturity. And honesty. Most of the time.

They want someone who does the right thing. Someone who traverses the edge of decency, with strong morals.

Sometimes however, there’s no alternative.

And on those occasions, I decide to fight fire with fire. Often, for the sole reason of proving a point. If you want to be petty on email, copying in my boss, after shirking a fee… it’s not going to end well.

Here’s an example from my past.


From: Ken H
Date: Monday 3 October 2016 09:41
To: Hunter Ed
CC: Dave L
Subject: Rebate


I’m afraid this week will be Paul’s last on site.

We had high hopes based on our interview process with Paul his skills would be satisfactory to the business and the current project. Unfortunately we feel his ability falls short of expectation.

As we’re within a 1 month period, we request a full rebate to be paid immediately.

My Accounts department will be in touch.



From: Ed Hunter
Date: Monday 3 October 2016 10:12
To: Ken H
BCC: Dave L
Subject: Re: Rebate

FAO Ken.

Hi Ken.

Been trying your phone, I’d love to chat.

In wake of a lovely winding natter, I’ll reply here. I spoke with Paul yesterday. Sounds like the funding’s fallen through for the project? He strangely didn’t mention anything about not performing.

I also spoke with Alan. Remember the candidate you labelled ‘not as good as Paul’. Just after his 6th interview stage? Seems he’s on site?

So, we’ve got a bit of a predicament. You see, as you’re technically making Paul redundant, it would appear we owe no rebate. And actually, as you’ve hired Alan behind my back, you owe us for a placement.

Please let me know what you’d like to do about this little melon scratcher.

If not, my Accounts department will be in touch.

(oh, and thanks for copying in my boss. Nice touch)

Yours, Ed.

From: Ken H
Date: Monday 3 October 2016 11:21
To: Hunter Ed
CC: Dave L, Accounts
Subject: RE: Re: Rebate


We take claims of malpractice very seriously. Alan was found to be on our records from a number of years ago. Therefore introduction by any agency wouldn’t incur a fee.

The candidates you provide have been deemed ill-fitting for purpose.

I’ve informed my Accounts department to pick this up.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Monday 3 October 2016 12:31
To: Ken H
CC: Dave L, Accounts
Subject: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

FAO Ken Jong Un

“Ill-fitting for purpose” makes you sound (ever so slightly) like a radical Robot Overlord, happily beckoning the human apocalypse. I’m not sure Paul’s entire ‘purpose’ was that job. Talking of fit for purpose though… Is it perhaps time to look at your ‘rigourous‘ interview process?

If you can’t work out someone’s ‘fit for purpose’ over 7 interviews, I’d suggest your hiring managers are more inept than your HR department.

Hard to imagine, I know. Then again it’d be hard for you to imagine Paul’s wife being happy, given your damning verdict of his existence.

And yet… I’ve met her. Lovely woman. Very happy with Paul. Maybe she uses him for a different purpose?

God knows what though!


From: Accounts
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016 11:17
To: Accounts, Ed Hunter
BCC: Dave L, Ken H
Subject: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

Dear Gill,

Please send a remittance for the rebate of Paul, placed with us last month who unfortunately we’re terminating the employment of.



From: Ed Hunter
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016 16:01
To: Accounts
CC: Dave L, Accounts, Ken H
Subject: Re: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

Hi Jon,

I’m afraid the chances of you getting that rebate are slimmer than the odds of Kong in HR becoming a reasonable bloke.

Paul was made redundant, therefore no rebate’s due. As per our terms, attached. Please send the remittance for the placement of Alan, currently employed by you, who was introduced by myself. I’ve attached the email chain confirming this.

I’ve also attached a copy of our fee structure. You’ll see in this case it’s 30%. I’ve done the maths. You owe £25,800 + VAT. Payment due in 14 days. Again, as agreed.

If Kong (copied) wouldn’t mind coming down from his ivory tower and relinquishing Alan from his totalitarian kung-fu grip, that would also suffice.

All the very best,


From: Ken H
Date: Friday 7 October 2016 08:21
To: Accounts, Ed Hunter
CC: Dave L, Accounts
Subject: RE: Re: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

Further communication on email from your business will result in escalation to authorities.

I trust the rebate will be paid immediately.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Friday 7 October 2016 09:54
To: Ken H, Accounts
CC: Dave L, Accounts
Subject: Re: RE: Re: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

Who? The email police?

I’m not sure they exist. Although, that would be a useful service.

If you mean the actual police, can you mention Alan? Seems important.

All my love,


From: Ken H
Date: Monday 10 October 2016 10:34
To: Dave L, Ed Hunter
CC: Accounts, Accounts
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

David, Edward.

Katie on reception informs we received 450g of beef mince to the office this morning addressed ‘FAO: Shylock’

There’s no sender but I assume it’s your idea of a joke?

Mark my words when I say your business will be in court if we don’t receive the full rebate for Paul’s fee.

Our next correspondence will be in the form of a legal letter.

From: Ed Hunter
Date: Monday 10 October 2016 10:48
To: Ken H
CC: Dave L, Accounts, Accounts
Subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

Precious Kong,

I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

I’m no theologist but it sounds like whoever sent that’s paying their pound of flesh? One debtor off the list eh? HAPPY MONDAY.

Did the email police get back to you? Or, perhaps, the real police? Would love that unpaid fee. I’ve promised the kids we’d eat this week and it’s looking rather unlikely I’ll live to up my promise. Although next door’s cat’s a decent backup.

Actually, what’s that mince saying?

Ed ‘Fit for Purpose’ Hunter

From: Ed Hunter
Date: Wednesday 12 October 2016 14:20
To: Ken H
CC: Dave L, Accounts, Accounts, Alan F,
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: FW: Re: RE: Re: Rebate

Hi buddy,

Got your legal letter earlier.

We all had a good laugh.

I’ve taken it home to wrap the left over cat in. No one calls me wasteful and gets away with it. I’m aware that wasn’t you, but the missus saw me posting mince last week and can’t get it out her head.

Anyway. You’ll be delighted to know Paul’s employed now, at his other choice. Think he might give Alan a call to see if he fancies it too.

You’ll notice I’ve copied him in to this thread, just in case he needs persuasion. Probably won’t even charge a fee.

Turns out she’s right, I am wasteful.

Never stop being you my love. Never stop.


Cat in Paper


It won’t surprise you to know I never got the fee.

But, Alan left pretty shortly after this email and, fairly obviously, we never paid the rebate.

Sadly I never heard from lovely Ken again. If you’re out there chap… I miss you.

And if you ever experience a Ken, know going in you probably won’t win. But you can take pride in being more petty than them.

Keep fighting.