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I have been unemployed for 16 months.  For more than half of that time I was still getting paid, so was thoroughly enjoying my status of one out of several million unemployed people in the country.  Now - not so much!!

Each and every day I send out anywhere from five to twenty resumes, which wind up in a black hole somewhere, never to be seen or heard from again.  Occasionally I might receive a form letter or e-mail telling me that although the employer appreciates me and my experience, they have found other candidates that are more suitable for their position.  In other words....thanks but no thanks.  Or in even more other are a worthless loser who is totally insane to think you could work here.  Ha ha - joke is on the job seeker.

There has got to be some kind of cosmic joke out there and a sick group of people that get together to laugh about how they have screwed with people’s lives today.  They gather around the lunch room table and giggle hysterically about the desperate people that are dumb enough to send resumes and actually expect someone to READ it.  

But let’s just say that you actually win the resume lottery and get contacted for an interview.  “This is it” you tell yourself.  You spend hours preparing your responses to potential interview questions and researching the company. Preparing yourself to make the perfect first impression takes hours while you make sure your hair is styled just right, shoes are in good repair and polished, make up is tasteful, interview suit is clean and pressed.  After four hours of getting ready, it’s off to the interview.  You remain “cautiously optimistic” but pray all of the way to the interview that this one is the right one.  Please God let this one be IT.

The interview itself lasts for about 30 minutes.  Questions are perfunctorary and pre-determined.  You take great pains to be charming and enjoyable but professional as well.  Calm, cool and collected.  Watch the body language - don’t appear nervous or stand offish.....

And then it’s over.  You NAILED it!  How could these people possibly imagine their lives without you in it?  There is nobody more perfect than you for the position and you are certain that the employer realizes this.  You‘re practically skipping as you leave the interview and head home to draft carefully constructed thank you e-mails to be sent immediately.

Now you wait.  And wait.  They said they would let you know by the end of the week, but maybe they really meant the end of NEXT week.  Or maybe there was an emergency or the hiring manager has been out sick.  There has GOT to be a logical reason as to why this person has not called you and begged you to please come work there and accept a fabulous salary and excellent benefits.  

Finally, when you cannot wait any longer, you send an e-mail to the recruiter or hiring manager just to let them know that you are still interested.  You aren’t trying to be a bother but must have misunderstood when they said they would let you know 14 days ago..... nothing.

Picture the room full of evil interviewers and employers now.  They print your e-mail and take it to the lunch room to be posted on the bulletin board so they can all laugh about your foolishness and naivete.  These folks cannot wait to go home to their families tonight and tell their wife or husband about how they screwed with people’s lives today.  What a great day they must have had to know that you‘re desperate enough to actually try to reach them via telephone.  Ha Ha!!

The ultimate challenge for the job seeker is to not lose all hope at this point.  Anyone that has been on the hunt for any amount of time has experienced this black hole at least once.  For me, it’s been four times.  Four interviews that I had to BEG to be rejected.  I had to reach out to others and ask them to tell me that they do not want me to work for them.  Nice, huh?

So I am left to pick up the pieces of my psyche and try to maintain some semblance of self worth and hope.  I cannot let myself take it personally and must remember that it takes 10 rejections to get to 1 “yes” answer.  At least that’s what I learned in all of those countless seminars I’ve taken through the years.  

Although every instinct I have tells me to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head, I must fight that urge.  I cannot scream at my husband (much) or kick my dog or gnash my teeth to powder.  I must find a way to remember that I have 20+ years of valuable work experience and would be an asset to an employer.  I tell myself that I wouldn’t want to work for a boss that is so rude that they won’t pick up the telephone to tell you that you aren’t right for their needs.

And then open the freezer, get out the ice cream and wallow in self pity for the rest of the day.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jan 6, 2011
    • I can totally relate.  I was out of work for a year and a half before I landed a temp job that ended suddenly on Dec 18 (Merry Christmas-let me screw with your life right now.  I can imagine the witch of an ex-manager going home and laughing about it with her spouse!)  

      It sure is rough!

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