So I received a phone call that I definitely will not get the job I’ve interviewed for a couple of times. The job was to be the person who re-schedules visits to a health clinic in a community serving mostly disadvantaged clients. I was really really grateful for that call. Most people these days won’t let you know you’ve failed the process.

Typically, only e-submissions are allowed. The job announcements state: “Do not attempt to contact our office! Do not visit! Only electronic resumes are accepted!” …or some variation of that. So, you click “send” and your heart and soul gets converted into machine language and you generally get no confirmation of whether or not the company even received it. A little piece of you drifts off into the void…

In all the applications I’ve submitted since May, I’ve been called twice for an interview. The first one was scheduled the very same week I arrived in Portland – the first week of June. I had the interview and it went well. I was introduced to the whole office, given a tour, shown where my desk would be. My boss-to-be even looked up a reference of commuter-trips to find who would be coming from my direction, and promised to call him and see if we could carpool. I was told I was “reinstatable,” which in federal terms means as long as they think I can do the job, I can have it.

I walked out of there thinking I had the job. I told many people I did.

But I didn’t hear back from them for weeks. I had no start date. I called but couldn’t make contact. Finally, three weeks after the interview, and the day before I began a two-week vacation, I received a call from my boss-to-be. She said they had been doing fairly well filling the position amongst the present staff, so they decided not to fill it after all. This, in federal terms, means it’s the only legal way to not hire a reinstatable applicant. The person they were hoping to avoid could have been me; it could have been another federal person who also applied for the job; they aren’t allowed to say.

What that meant for me in practical terms is that during the first five weeks of summer, I was so certain I had a job that I wasn’t looking for another. Whoops!

Since then, I’ve applied a lot and received one additional request for an interview. They were so impressed they brought me back for a second interview. Talk about getting a girl’s hopes up.

Thing is, I didn’t really want the job. It was for very little pay…not that I need tons of money, but that I have a mortgage and a daughter, and heaps of school loans to pay off. I’d like to eat, too, ya know?!

Also, I’m just not that excited about the health care industry. I am SO SO glad there are so many wonderful giving people who want to care for others. Health care gives me the willies. Sick people totally creep me out. I’m sorry. I feel so guilty about it, but I just can’t help it. Sick people make me uneasy. Perhaps that’s why I fight so hard to ever admit that I get sick. Which I don’t, btw.

I was very excited at the possibility of working with that community though. The staff spoke 21 different languages and the clients spoke mainly Spanish and Russian. I couldn’t wait to begin working in a field of conflicts among those of different backgrounds.

And… I rationalized that even very little pay for doing a job that would most likely bore my pants off (and creep me out) was still a good investment. 1) Some money is better than no money, 2) I’m a freshly graduated college student – what can I expect, and 3) once this company sees what a good worker I am, perhaps they’ll consider me for a different job.

Funny how a person can get invested in a job she doesn’t want, and take it as a personal blow when she doesn’t get it. I was really disappointed. My partner pointed out that the lack of control is part of it, “You may not have wanted the job, but you wanted the option to make that choice,” he said.

Anyway, so I’m hitting the streets again. And a few days after the call, I am relieved! Whew! I didn’t want that job. I would prefer a government job, where I can continue to work toward a government retirement (I’ve got 15 years in already). And, even if I can’t make any more money at a federal job, I can at least work toward a decent retirement.

OK, so the Universe is still looking out for me.  It’s worth a smile.

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