A few months ago I applied for a job and got a call back. It was an okay job. Not perfect, not great – but 2012 had really punched me in the nads and I desperately needed the work, so in true Beej fashion I overlooked every possible negative, convinced myself this was the ABSOLUTE BEST JOB EVER CREATED IN THE HISTORY OF JOBS — and went about the business of making it mine.
As it turned out, “making it mine” involved navigating through an unreasonably long and complicated interview process. Phone interviews, in-person meetings, extensive email exchanges, really REALLY stupid personality assessments, complex written assignments… each step was like some kind of death challenge I could survive only through the cunning use of my skills, wit and charm.
You know, like Skyrim or something.
But, whatever. Fuck it! This was, after all, THE ABSOLUTE BEST JOB EVER and I AM BEEJ! I can do anything! This is nothing, a mere bump in the road. I shall win. Win. Win at all costs.
So I unrolled my pack of weapons and magic and went at it. I jumped through the fiery hoops and slayed the scary monsters and juggled the knives and danced the jigs and the whole time I just smiled, smiled, smiled — like my fucking teeth were on fire.
And it was working, y’all! They loved me! They said so! And I loved them, too, I swear I did – even if they didn’t offer dental.
In every interview, every email, they begged me for more. They showered me with attention and love and glowing praise for my amazing talent and mind-bending smarts and incredible beauty and keen fashion sense and it all felt a lot like this:
This job was mine. In my head I was already at my new desk, chewing on a pencil as I came up with yet another brilliantly conceived piece of work. I went on a mental shopping spree with all my extra scratch. I planned trips to the doctor, since I’d finally have health insurance again, and worked out my entire first-week wardrobe.
All I had to do now was sit back and wait for the call. Which was just about to come in. Any minute now.
Three days after the day they’d said they’d let me know, I called. No one called me back. I waited another day (didn’t want to seem too desperate) (and you’ll appreciate the irony of that in just a minute), then emailed. No one responded. I called again.
To an outsider it would’ve seemed obvious that they’d chosen to “go a different route” — but to me? NOPE. Nothing “obvious” about it. As far as I was concerned, until I heard it from their lips or saw it in black and white, hope was still alive. Seriously! There were a million other possible explanations!
Perhaps a large bookcase has fallen on top of the Hiring Manager and he’s trapped. Or maybe he’s contracted a burning case of explosive diarrhea and can’t get to the phone. Should I call someone to check? Ebola could be eating his face, for chrissake! Who KNOWS what tragedy has befallen this poor man??
The silence was deafening. I mean really, COME ON. It’s so douchey to leave me hanging like that. At least have the balls to give me the “It’s not you, it’s ME” speech or something! (Although in hindsight, I’m not so sure that would’ve made a dent. At this point, I was pretty much set to lose my shit no matter what.)
And so the email blitz began.
“Hey, there! Just checking in! Any decisions about that job yet?”
“Hey, again! Haven’t heard from you, hope everything’s okay…?”
“Hey, you. Sorry to bother you again, but I’m really starting to get worried over here, sure hope you’re all right!”
“Listen, if I’m not hired for the job that’s fine, but I just really need to know one way or the other. Could you please get back with me?”
“Hey, I’ve had another opportunity come along [lie] and just really need to know what to tell them. If you could let me know whether I’m still being considered for the position, I’d sure appreciate it…”
“You know, it’s really rude for you not to respond. I’ve had lots of other offers [lie] and unless I hear from you soon, I’m going to have to start exploring other options [empty threat].”
“(tap-tap-tap) Is this thing on?”
“Okay, I’m starting to get a little angry over here, mister. I poured my heart and soul into that interview process, and all I’m asking is for you to just tell me one way or the other.”
“FUCK YOU, HIRING MANAGER! Just FUCK YOU! I hope ebola IS eating your face right now! I HATE YOU!”
“Listen, I’m sorry. I might have gone a little overboard just then. It’s just that I really need to know, you know? So could you please? Let me know, I mean?”
I couldn’t let it go. I KNEW I was acting like a total nut job… I even had the sense to be embarrassed about it. But I just couldn’t stop until I had my answer.
Now, if this had happened five or ten years ago I would’ve been over it within a day or two. I would have puffed my chest up — Oh yeah? Well, I didn’t want your shitty job anyway! YOUR LOSS, muthafucka – and bounced right back to find something even better without so much as a wince. But my bravado’s been slipping over the past few years. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or a woman thing, or just a Beej thing – maybe it’s just one unfair, totally by surprise, we-fucking-love-you-no-wait-who-are-you-again? rejection too many — but whatever it is I just can’t seem to take the hard knocks like I used to. Even when they come from a job that, in all honesty, really wasn’t that great to begin with.
Anyway. The whole story ends exactly how you’d expect it to. I did finally get my response, and it was… well… let’s just say no restraining orders have been filed and I’m really glad about that.
But I do hope they’ll still consider me for any future positions that might come up.Stumble it!