Have you ever seen that animation Rejected? Lately I’ve been thinking about that short a lot. The premise is that the animator, Don Hetzfeldt, is commissioned to creat some promotional spots for ‘The Family Learning Channel.’ The promos are progressivlely more bizarre and deranged, leaving you to wonder if the animator is losing his grasp on reality. In the end, they are all rejected and, one assumes, Hetzfeldt does not take it well.
While I admit that I am probably not losing my mind, I can certainly relate to this fictionalized Hetzfeldt’s sense of malaise as something that seems certain slowly slips from his grasp. About three months ago I applied for a job in my field at an organization that I really love. I thought it would be such a great opportunity since I had the required skill set and it would mean working for a company that I strongly support. I spent several hours tailoring a cover letter to the job and I sent it off to the hiring manager by email.
After six weeks with no contact, I figured that perhaps my efforts were in vain. Maybe my stellar cover letter was not as good as I thought, or I’d over-shot the available budget on my salary expectation. I decided to leave the application in the past and just as I was forgetting the whole thing, I received an email. They wanted me to come and interview for this amazing job! We arranged a mutually agreeable time the following week, and I took time off to go in and meet the manager and another staffer to learn more about the job. I thought our meeting went very well and I had a couple of connections to the organization, so I was hopeful that something would come of it.
Again, I heard nothing for three weeks. I gave up on myself a second time and was ready to move on when I received another email saying I had been short-listed and asking if I could come in to meet their COO! I was nervous but excited and confident that I could impress the woman in charge. After all, I believe in this organization and what it’s doing. I am an avid supporter with ties to them both in and outside of their business operations. Our meeting day arrived and I again took time off to meet people at their headquarters. I spoke to their HR person and we discovered her kids and I attended the same high school. I mean, COME ON! It seemed like fate. The COO was very nice as well and we had a good chat for about 45 minutes. We also shared some common ground and I was feeling optimistic about the impression I had left. How could they NOT want me with all these odd connections and coincidences?
When I left, I was told they would be in touch shortly. Again, I heard nothing for over a week. Finally I was asked to provide references, which I did the following business day. It sounded promising. And then they never called my references. I waited, hoping that things were just very busy, and still heard nothing. I checked in with my references and they hadn’t been contacted. My opinion (and that of the numerous business connections I spoke to) was that when you short-list a candidate and have them meet your COO, you at least let them know if they were not selected.
I waited some more. I checked their employee directory online to see if there was suddenly a new person on it – confirming my growing suspicion that they had hired someone else. Nothing. After three weeks the wait was making me crazy so I composed a brief thank you email. I mentioned that if there was ever a future opportunity I would love to be considered. I thought this would finally prompt a response. Even a ‘thank you for taking the time, but we’ve offered the job to someone else.’ Still nothing. After three months of waiting, giving up and then being given a glimmer of hope, I’ve decided it’s time to walk away. I’m giving up. Throwing in the towel. Surrendering my soul to the crushing defeat that is my current job. Okay, and being overly dramatic too.
I used to have such good ‘new job karma.’ I guess the universe got over that…