The Janes & the Vicious Circle of Rejection

Have a seat, fair readers, and check out this strange story about two women with the same name who don't know each other and yet are tied together by multiple common threads including this narrator and the painful sting of rejection.

Take a moment to grab a tissue or a fistful of Lexipro -- whatever will fortify you as you read this sad tale riddled with disappointment and odd coincidences.

These women -- let's call them 'Jane' -- are both former colleagues of mine from my last job, but due to geography and timing, neither knows the other. It's a shame, too, because they'd be fast friends. Both are smart, funny, and exceedingly accomplished. (Plus, who doesn't like someone with the same moniker, am I right?)

To begin, let's drift back in time to autumn when a spot opened up within my current organization and I reached out to the first Jane, who was laid off with me last January, and asked if she'd like to apply for this coveted spot. Her writing skills and Bombeckian wit made her a shoo-in, I'd reasoned.

After telling her all about the position and submitting her resume, cover letter, and writing samples (and basically getting her hopes up), she got the first call from human resources. You're well on your way, I told her. Full disclosure: I believed I, too, was on my way ... to an extremely generous referral bonus that in some parts of the country could serve as a down payment on a home or at least a souped-up RV. But, that aside, I knew she'd be perfect for this gig.

Jane advanced to the next round and was then put through the same rigorous writing test I took in July. Unless she unleashed an expletive-filled tirade in a pitch about post-divorce parenting, I was sure the job was hers. And then ... nothing.

We heard nothing -- until one day a few weeks later when the editor of the team she'd have joined announced they'd hired a new writer. When she said, "Everyone, please welcome Susie!" (Susie? Again, not her real name) my heart sunk. What?? How could this be?

I haven't heard from Jane since and now I feel like I jerk for telling the single mom of 4 (!?!?!) that I was nearly certain she'd be hired. Yikes.



OK, so here's where it comes full circle. Last week, the second Jane reached out to me to ask if I'd be interested in a part-time editing job for the cooking site where she'd recently landed. I'd work remotely, at night or on weekends, writing a blog and handling social media, she said, adding that it seemed like a "perfect fit."

Initially, I was somewhere between intrigued and ambivalent. It's a start-up, so part-time is probably code for full-time with half the pay. But, as we're still experiencing a major income deficit, how could I not at least consider it, right?

So, I wrote my sample blog (a compilation of recipes to serve at your Golden Globe party) and forwarded my resume. In the hope of getting called for an interview, I did some research on the company and its CEO, and before I knew it, I was completely smitten and practically salivating for this spot. And then ... nothing. I've heard nothing. And because I know they need someone to start Monday, I think it's safe to say my proverbial goose is cooked.

Now I'm not saying I'm Julia Child reincarnated but I do have a crème brûlée torch and I'm not afraid to use it, if you know what I'm sayin'. I've written food blogs before, heck, I've even won a cook-off on a national television show! (Stay tuned for an update on my upcoming date with Carla Hall. Yes, it's been 7 months for anyone who's keeping score at home.) Where did it go wrong?

I haven't reached out to the second Jane yet, just as the first Jane and I are pretending nothing happened back in October.  Ugh. Is that throbbing in my head a result of being struck by the karmic boomerang of rejection or just another way station between the many stages of job loss?

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