Monday, July 10, 2006

Ah, rejection, I remember it well ...

I remember applying for an internship several years ago and the internship coordinator telling me I had a great application with great clips. Too bad no newspaper selected me!

The 10 or so slots were filling up and there were only two or three newspapers left, so she urged me to call up the recruiters.So, without any game plan in mind, I called them up. I have never really done this before or since.

"Hi, this is Ms. Write, I applied for XXX with your newspaper and noticed you haven't chosen anyone yet. I was wondering if you had any questions you would like answered about my work or experience?"

Oh, man, you could hear crickets on the other line. All three gave a distracted and paraphrased, "No, we haven't made a selection yet," and then proceeded to say everything by saying nothing. After 5-10 minutes of silence or better yet, the sound of shuffling papers, whatever courage I had left me and I said, "Well, thank you for your time," and hung up.

It's funny how you remember a particularly painful moment so keenly. I can still hear the eerie sound of a tapping pencil from one recruiter and the other obviously shuffling papers. The third was just the hum of the phone. No one said anything beyond an initial greeting and a single sentence. They were cold.

It felt like they had all gotten together and decided that's how they would handle it. I remember one's almost gleeful goodbye as I hung up. (I later met him in person and he was less than pleasant. He didn't remember me so I knew he was probably just a jerk to everyone.)

I felt like crap and what made me feel lower was that I called them! I know the coordinator really believed in me which was why she wanted me to call, but I kept thinking how much I wish I hadn't.

It's been several years, as I've mentioned, but the same places still have the same recruiters. I put myself in their places and tried to come up with a reason to act that way, but I couldn't. So I made a little promise to myself that I would never apply to those three places again.

And I didn't. And I never will. Somehow, though, I don't think they're crying their eyes out. One might even be in hysterics at the thought.

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