So I wasn't going to say anything about it publicly but since I've just been passed over for the "other top candidate" I guess now it really doesn't matter: I just came thisclose to an editorial job at a well-known national website based in SF that would have paid more money than I could have ever dreamed of making as an editor, and would have allowed me to blog full-time for their website, which caters to women ages 18-34 years old. Blog posts would have included recaps of Bravo reality shows, travel tips, personal finance posts, career articles, what-to-wear-to-your-interview gems...all geared toward women in my age demographic. In short, if I had to go back to a desk job (which, believe me, I really don't want but need to do while J studies for the Bar and we figure out the next phase of our life; writing books only pays for so many bills), this would have been the dream desk job. The dream desk job that would have paid more than handsomely while still allowing me to remain a journalist (read: The Reason I Went to School And Majored in What I Did).
I'll admit, I got much closer than I expected. After applying on an absolute whim back in March, thinking they would be flooded with resumes and I'd probably hear nothing back, I not only got a call back but also got sent an editing/writing test. For the test I had to create a mock blog and write a handful of blog posts focused on topics they provided. I knew I kicked butt in creating the faux blog, but was still surprised when I got an email asking me to come in for an interview. Remember that weekend in late March when I flew out to California last-minute? Yeah, that was the reason. The interview was one of the best in interview history (I can say this with utmost assurance), and after that I heard...nothing. Nada. That whole month of April was like listening to a million crickets chirping in a symphonic hall with first-class acoustics.
Finally, though, they got back with me in early May and told me I made it to their top three. Cloud 9, people, Cloud 9. I had to speak with their managing editor in a phone interview, which I ended up conducting in the parking garage of a mall. But that, too, went well. I was told I would hear back within a week then...nothing. Again. Which I was fine with since that meant I wouldn't have to move early and would get to partake in the cross-country roadtrip J and I were excited to embark on.
Back in California I emailed them and asked what the hell was going on (okay, I didn't exactly ask that way, but had my life been a comic strip and not an actual life, herein is where they would have been illustrated as a wall-eyed, gangly chicken that I would ring the neck of and shake violently back and forth whilst demanding some sort of answer). I'm the most impatient person you will ever meet and thus have no tolerance for indecisiveness (other than when ordering off a Chinese food menu, but that's beside the point). I just wanted to know: Did I get the Godforsaken job or not? All this waiting was only building the whole thing up into a dramatic production that I was tired of having to explain to friends and family. To be honest, four weeks ago I began growing disinterested in the position since I'd already waited over two months for an answer and all that waiting had put a bad taste in my mouth. Think acrid sushi that's been left out for three days. Not good.
A week later, while I'd pretty much given up hope of ever hearing from them again, I got an another email. I was hoping it was either a "yes" or "no"; this was all getting ridiculous and what I actually wanted most was closure. But no, they were asking me to come in for a third interview. (Insert long eye rolls here.)
***BTDubs, I should probably mention that during this same week I interviewed for another editorial position for a publication in the Bay Area -- one that seemed JUST as amazing. I would have been pretty high up on the masthead leading a newsroom of designers/reporters/etc. and deciding how and when stories would be published. That interview went well and a day after I was offered the job. Squee. Though it would have been magnificent I turned it down since the pay was a little lower than what I was looking for. (I know...if the job is perfect who cares if pay isn't up to par, right? Confession: If I was single, or even in a dual-income relationship right now, I would have taken it. But right now with J not bringing in...well...any income, I can't have two people living on that kind of salary.) So I declined the offer and waited for my third interview with El Company of Indecision.***
On Monday I walked into their SF office for my third interview and it went well. Again. In fact I began to wonder why they even called me in for a third interview since I met the exact same people and they asked me the exact same questions. At this point I knew it was down to me and one other top candidate. Out of hundreds of resumes sent in it had climaxed to this. After the interview I was told I'd hear back this week. And I did. They sent a very polite, very professional email explaining that though they really liked me, they decided to go with the other candidate because she had a deeper finance background (I'm almost 100% sure she had her MBA, based on how they spoke about her.)
When I read the email, I instantly got all Regina George and this was the first thing I thought:
Then my second thought was: "Thank God. Finally. I have closure." A euphoric wave of relief crashed over me and I was okay again. No more anticipation or uncertainty. It was done; the job was off the table. Nothing about it was looming over my head like a little indecisive raincloud, following me everywhere I went for the last three months.
J actually took it harder than me. When I told him they said "no" his face immediately went white and it looked like his heart was going to fall out his butt. But I reassured him that it was all going to be fine. After all, I'd already gotten one job offer in the first two weeks of being back in the state. Plus after J's rejection from an amazing firm in Newport Beach (we found out recently they opted to go with someone who'd already passed the Bar and was out of school), I'm bulletproof when it comes to missed job offers. There was so much more on the table with that Newport job and J had gotten so far in the interview process that when we received the letter in our mailbox I felt like I'd been hit in the chest with a wrecking ball. In matters of job searches, nothing could ever top that feeling. Ever.
But you know what the worst part is about my latest job news? It isn't me not landing the job or how long they took to get back to me or the fact that in all honesty going back to a desk job -- even if it was the dream desk job -- made me a little sad since it would take time away from my writing. None of that. The worst part is having to listen to the pity I'm hearing from those close to me, telling me (repeatedly) that it's "[that employer's] loss," "they missed out on an excellent employee," etc. etc. (insert long list of cliche "well-at-least-you-got-as-far-as-you-did" phrases here.) It sickens me. I don't want to hear ANY OF IT.
I especially don't want certain people (read: my grandmother), handing me self-help books titled "Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and Life" the next morning. (Yes, this actually happened and it further made me feel like Paul Giamatti in Sideways.) All these reaffirmations of support and sympathy make me want to vomit. Seriously. Why? Because I was over it when I got the rejection (I get over things very easily), so listening to people constantly bring it up as though I'd banked my hopes and dreams on a stupid desk job makes me feel completely misunderstood. There is nothing worse than not only feeling misunderstood, but also receiving pity for said misunderstanding.
Basically right now I feel like this:
I'm all stocked up here.
Friendly stranger says I'm inspirational
18 hours ago