I never, ever enjoy being 'bad cop'. But I did it. I stuck to my guns, told the recruiter that I really want the job, but that I just can't drop that low. Stuck with my original 'bottom line' plus 1K per some excellent advice received, and let her go back to the decisionmaker -- who I *know* knew just how low-ball the offer was. It's a good thing I didn't have to do that in person, but over the phone. I'm shaking like a leaf, and the lunch that was sitting on my desk will now wilt into inedibility.
How on earth do we condition ourselves so very, very well to think we shouldn't be assertive? It's not like I'm some kind of shy, retiring mouse in my interpersonal relations, or in my volunteer efforts, or even with my project teams.
Sigh. 4th generation working woman and I'm reduced to a queasy tummy and the shakes at having to stand up for myself financially. Ridiculous.