Contrary to what may seem like a regular thing to do, I hardly ever cry during break ups. I don’t know why, I really have a hard time tearing up. I react differently immediately, like I have to pull myself together stat. I just become angry, the old me would’ve smoked, I would just sit and stare in silence, but never the pillow-hugging type and breaking down in tears in the privacy of my room. My family might have thought that I dealt with High School broken heart crying, but in reality (and I’m just going to say it honestly now), I just stare off lost in space, mentally picking up the pieces and planning how am I going to survive the next day. Except when it comes to my career/job.
I am a fucking pro.
Last year, I applied for a job that, I admittedly have very little experience for. There were only two of us who applied (the other one happens to be my colleague as well). When I did not get the job, I know somehow it reflected on my face even if I said very little about it. I can still remember how it went. I was on my way to a client meeting, my friend Paully was at the office. My boss called me at past 5 in the after noon (after office hours), few minutes after I’ve packed up before going to my oter meeting. I can vividly remember how it went:
Boss: “Kaye, can I talk to you? Sit down.” I already have a feeling of what it is.
Boss: “Kaye, ano…ano… points lang talaga.” (Kaye, it’s just a few points.)
Me: “Oh, okay lang po.”
Boss: “Uy…points lang talaga. Sayang nga eh. Actually mas nagustuhan ko yung written piece mo sa ****. Naisip ko kung yun sana yung pinublish natin…” ( It’s just a few points. Actually, I like your piece better about written piece about **** , I was thinking if that was the one that was published…” (Didn’t finish).
Boss: “So…Ayun, points lang talaga.” (So, that’s it, just a few points)
I have no idea how my facial muscles went involuntary that time. I also remember her asking me for a reaction. All I could mutter was it’s okay, and at the back of my mind I was also itching to get out so I can process it. I have to train my face and mood to be pleasant because I have another client to face. Before I left the office, I sent an instant message to the colleague who got the job and congratulated him.
I remember jumping in the car with Paully in tow. Not talking, just playing loud music. She did not ask, she already felt I did not get it. I worked up my best PR face for client presentation after getting rejected for a promotion. I wasted no time. Imagine getting rejected at 5:30 and cheerfully facing a client for a service selling presentation at 6? I am a fucking pro. I treated them to a nice dinner, not hoping to get the job. Nothing, it’s just really a free meal. I already felt beat up and bruised inside, I want to fight the feeling by being nice. Never mind if I will not get anything in return.
(UPDATE: I also did not get that job, but I was not disappointed at all.)
After the presentation, there was time to kill. So Paully and I had a bottle of beer at the local pub. And I remember, in a few words exchange, that I took this photo of their wall. Notice the date it was taken, it was a year ago today.
And when I went home, I had to face my family who knew that results will be determined any day now. I only said the line that I did not get the job and that’s when I really broke down and cried. The hell I fucking did.
I’m the only one I know who throws a I-did-not-get-promoted party
The next day was a blessing in disguise. I spent the entire day off site, covering an event. I learned a lot, and sat with someone I know. We had lunch, went back to the auditorium and got inspired with all the talks.
Before the conference ended, I sent a group text to my support group (aka all guy friends) if any one is up to go the local pub. I just want some Nacho Fries. And they ordered a beer bucket. I drank a bottle and one after the other, the other guys followed. It was a good night. I wasn’t really comfortable being vulnerable, but that time I just didn’t care. That night, I went home with the most sincere-sounding advice that there is a bigger/greater opportunity that will come along. I know it’s cliche, but when someone says it sincerely and you know it, it’s different. I will be forever grateful to have these kind of friends.
I refuse to have a crab mentality.
Although I know some very private, sort of illegal, information on how the person got in our office, and luckily he got the fastest promotion ever, I refuse to have crab mentality. I’m not trying to sound sour-graping but I think he needs it more than I do. I honestly think he is doing a good job, even though sometimes I find it annoying, irritating, that he edits my work like it’s no longer mine. Or when he pin points some stuff that I overlooked like he is breathing down my neck (but not as often as before anymore these days). I refuse to argue, and just let it be. There are bigger things in life. And that is why I do not decline writing assignments that he throws my way, unless I have important work-related assignments that came in first. I just can’t work on weekends because I have other adulting things that needed to be attended to.
I was demotivated.
I did not bother to ask what was the points all about and all the details. You know, for closure. But people think that it was for the best that I followed my instinct to just accept it without questions. Plus, it was not like I was sat down to be talked about it in private. I was called to the office, minutes after I’ve shut down my computer. If my memory serves me right, it took them two months to break the bad news to me. And we are only two applicants. The hiring process only took a day. You do the math.
I was demotivated because I do not know what else to do. What areas that I need to work on. I started working like it was a hit or miss kind of thing. Maybe I was used with the private sector that the boss really schedule a meeting to talk about your strengths and weaknesses. But this working environment is different. I guess I will have to throw that expectation out the window and unlearn the things that I benchmarked.
I did not bother to ask because I don’t want to look like I was begging/contesting why I was not accepted. Data would be better but a narrative would’ve been the best. But it’s too late now, and here I am a year later, winging everything as usual.
I sometimes think it’s a blessing in disguise.
I have some work assignments that honestly that bores the hell out of me. It doesn’t mean that I will not get the job done, I will and I always do, but it’ll take me some time to work my enthusiasm. Sometimes, when I confront myself, I think it’s better that I did not get it. Maybe I will like the job because of a higher pay, but I will fucking hate coming to work. I sincerely hope he loves the job.
I threw a curve ball to one of the judges.
I wrote about my interview and one of the hiring members asked me a question about what if I did not get the job? Anyway, almost three months later after not getting the job, I found myself listening to her heavily rant about another job that she applied for. She, unfortunately, did not get it after applying for it opening after opening.
She said according to her inside source, the reason this person was picked over her was this person blah blah blah… and I can see how really upset she was. How lucky is she that she knows why she did not get picked? At least she knows. I got lost in my own thoughts and asked my self, what if I ask her about mine? I wonder how honest she’ll be?
Because when I was a supervisor and a QA Supervisor in my old job, whenever I will fire people, give a very low score or serve negative news, I back things up with data, evidences, statistics, and objective explanation. I come prepared because it is not a good thing to be served with bad news. Of course the person will have questions. And also I believe the people would understand if they are properly and fairly informed. The funny thing about last year’s application, both the two us applicants were also part of the hiring committee. We pretty much know the insides and how the hiring works. As soon as the last interviewee leaves the room, we already have a strong feeling who are we going to get.
Anyway, as she was heavily ranting, I decided to throw a curve ball: How about my application? May I ask how did I fare?
I wish I could paint with words the awkwardness that ran across her face. She uttered the same thing though: “Ang alam ko points lang, hindi ko na matandaan.” ( All I know is it’s just points, I don’t remember). Funny, because I still remember the reason for termination of a random agent I fired back in 2007. But this, it’s only been barely three months.
And of course, I expected it. It was a curve ball and we did not know each other very well to appreciate each other’s honesty. Well, not all people are prepared for honesty. I was just testing how honest she can be with me. But it’s all good. All good.
I still think about it, hence this post.
Like any regular person talking about his/her ex. Since I am confessing, I still think about that day I got my heart broken over a job. I still talk about it with my trusted friends. And they throw some brutally frank and honest feed back about it. I appreciate the variety of opinion, the radical insights, the hard realizations. I’ve had essential, first hand discoveries. I want to say that it made me a better person, but who am I to assess my self? Honestly I just think it made me more professional to the point that it taught me to detach.
I know I will still have a lot to learn. I guess I will just self-teach myself how to tread the water for the meantime.