Fleeting Tale Vol XIV

Recovering from a gut punch of a rejection.

Crushing disappointment forced me to face a harsh truth

Am I really investing in myself and my own opportunities as much as I am investing in finding opportunities in places I don’t own?

I’m hurt, but my painful rejection forces a crucial course-correction for my life.

This place I wanted to be in wasn’t meant for me.

He felt like he turned a corner– as he turned a corner to enter his office building.

His stomach felt normal after days on a spin cycle. His body no longer felt heavy. He stood taller. Tears were no longer welling in his eyes as he blasted Demon Days by the Gorillaz in his headset.

He entered the elevator and pressed the second floor button.

The doors shut.

The damage from their rejection felt deep. He kept it deep so nobody could see it.

And nobody did it. He locked it away behind his Monday morning smile.

It was Tuesday.

He flashed his badge and entered the quiet office.

He received their email from them while he was away on vacation with his wife.

Congratulations! We’re looking forward to bringing you on board! Thank you for your patience!

All they needed to do was check his references, and that wouldn’t be an issue. He had the perfect people in mind. He wasn’t a liar. Everything he stated on his resume were verifiable facts. So all they needed was to schedule him for a meet and greet to have a conversation with the people he would be working with.

He sat at his desk and took a deep breath.

It took them several weeks before they got back to him. That’s when things took a bizarre turn.

He reached back to his mailbox to retrieve the mountain of files to scan and enter into the database.

He sneezed.

Bless me.

The night before the interview, the people he would be working for requested I construct an entire mock campaign for their website the night before the meet and greet, which he found odd. Multiple interviews across a whole two month interview process, and the night before they wanted him to accomplish something it would probably take several days for a person working there to accomplish?!

He removed staples from the document and fed them into the scanner bay.

He accepted the challenge. He concocted a whole marketing campaign in a single night. He -as he has had to do his entire life because of how he looked- made it his mission to prove himself. He had the experience. He had the know-how. He just had to repeatedly prove his mettle and competence. That was the game. That was always the game.

He tossed the scanned documents into the shred box.

He agreed to a phone call after normal work hours. He did what they asked. He fielded every question and scenario they threw at him. He thought the meet and greet (it was really a third interview) went well.

He sat back in his chair.

The feeling of uncertainty and inadequacy started to churn in his stomach as well as sap his energy.

They emailed him a week later to inform him, after the meet and greet, that they decided not to move forward with his application.

He sank in his chair.

He did everything right. He had everything they wanted and more. They believed he did everything right up to the so-called, fake meet-and-greet. They seemingly chose him.

What happened?

He thought back to his references.

Could one of my references said something to sabotage me? Why would they do that?

They were so eager about him in their email.

He retrieved the used filter and mug from his coffee maker before leaving his office for the kitchen.

He wasn’t perfect. That was the problem. He stuttered on their last question and they noticed he wasn’t the perfect candidate.

He stood over the dry sink.

He struggled to find the energy to even wash his coffee pot.

It was his fault for applying. For wanting that job as much as he did. For not putting as much effort into creating his own opportunities as he did seeking theirs.

People like him had to be perfect and infallible just to gain the benefit of the doubt or approval.

He opened the sink and scrubbed the gunk from the bottom of his coffee pot.

He was done applying. Done begging others to accept him.

He filled the coffee pot with fresh water before returning to his office.

He decided to build himself. It would be hard work, but he couldn’t imagine it being as time consuming as tailoring resumes, interviewing -begging- and updating your linked in profile.

From now on, I create opportunities.

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