I wanted to work for this company ever since I found out about it. I thought I’d be a good fit there. I was growing tired of the company that I worked for, tired of the bullshit politics, tired of management bitching about everything, tired of one department making inane demands, tired about another bitching at my department, blaming us for their problems. This new company seemed like the perfect escape. It was the way forward for me, professionally and financially.
If I worked for them, I’d be set for life. Their brand strength was such that they were almost a Kingmaker. If they were on my resume, I could work anywhere in the business. No HR intern would ever throw my resume in the trash again. They’d actually want to read my cover letter simply because I worked at this place.
So I applied there, and I never heard back from them. A month later a new round of job openings showed up, I applied again, and was stiffed again. Undaunted, I still monitored the company’s “Careers” section daily until I saw a position there I felt I could get. I sent in my resume and cover letter.
One week later I got an email from them.
It was the second-most amazing feeling in the world. This company, the only one on earth that I legitimately wanted to work for, wanted to interview me. I hurriedly replied to their message and immediately began prepping. I already knew of the company’s history, mission statement and ethos because I had read everything I could about them since I discovered them. I also stalked out all their employees on LinkedIn.
Thus, all I needed to study for the interview were answers to those cliché questions like “Name a time where you didn’t succeed and what did you learn from it,” and other nonsense. I prepared my ass off for the interview, writing several essays worth of information in an email and then sending it to myself so I could read it on the way there.
I interviewed the next morning. When I walked into the ground floor of the company’s building I got a nervous rush of excitement—the kind you feel when your crush hugs you and kisses you for the first time. I was about to walk into the place I had looked up on google images so many times. It was actually real and I was actually going to be there!
I went up the elevator and into their offices. The word “awestruck” doesn’t quite cut it. I still can’t think of a word to summarize the joy and amazement I felt. I was more than elated, more than blissful. I had paid attention to the company for so long at this point that the employees almost seemed like gods. Gods…yet there they were right in front of me, and I could be one of them if I played my cards right during the interview. I didn’t have to wait long before I was brought to another section of the office and interviewed.
The interview went well, really well. I was able to answer every question, even the more difficult ones. The interviewer and I got a long and we talked about some TV shows that we liked. If getting an email from them was the second-best feeling in the world, having a great interview with them was the best feeling the world. I slept that night and never felt any better.
I didn’t stop smiling for days. I was going to do what so few in life ever do, I was going to accomplish my dream and work for a place that people would actually be jealous of. I tried not to get too excited but I failed. I interviewed for a position at the greatest company that ever was or will be and it went great. How could I not have been excited? Could you have contained yourself?
Shortly after the interview, I was laid off from my job due to restructuring. I didn’t care though. I was fated for better things.
I started planning outfits I might wear on my first day. I started thinking about what I’d say to some of the employees the first time I met them. I knew that it was premature to do such things, but I didn’t think denial was likely. I fit the job description perfectly, had been in the field, had success in the field and made somewhat of a name for myself, and the interview was perfect.
I received a phone call about two or three weeks after the interview. I was working so I missed it. The number had left a message. I looked at the number—it was theirs. I got a jolt of electric excitement. I listened to the message.
I aged 15 years in the few seconds it took to hear “I can’t offer you a position.”
At 25, I never thought of myself as old. After getting denied from that job, I did. I was three years removed from graduation and what did I have to show for it? Three jobs since graduating—the only two of which that were relevant to my career aspirations I was laid off from?
What full-time job would hire me now?
After getting denied, I realized that everything in my life depended on me getting that job—my financial situation, my confidence, my mental health, my well-being. Everything.
How could I ever feel good about myself if I didn’t work for the greatest company that ever was or will be? What smart, cultured girl would go out with me now that I didn’t work for such a place, now that I was just a menial worker?
How could I even justify talking to the girl I had a crush on? She had a far cooler, better job than I did. A job for a company she liked in a field she wanted to be in. It was a job that people were jealous of. I once dreamed of getting lunch with her from time to time since the company I applied to was near hers. That was just an errant fantasy now. Without employment at that company, she had no reason to even look at me.
Just so, the world had no reason to look at me. I was worthless.
How could I ever look at myself in the mirror again and be happy with what I saw? I came so close to the only thing I wanted and lost it. How could I ever live with myself? The only thing I ever wanted was taken from me.
I had lost the only two “cool” jobs I had and was now unemployed. I couldn’t use “Hey, I ALMOST got hired by a prestigious company” as a selling point when I applied to other places.
I felt nothing when I listened to the phone call again. Pure emptiness. I didn’t even care that the interviewer said to apply again one day. What did that mean? What if the next time a relevant position opened is a year from now? What if, by then, the company changes so much that I no longer fit with their criteria? And what if a thousand other likely-to-keep-me-not-hired things happen?
And these things did happen, of course. I sent my resume in and applied to jobs there time and time again, no interview. Nothing.
That was my one and only shot at true success in life, and I missed.
I wake up thinking about that phone call, and go to sleep thinking about that phone call. The phone call keeps me awake. I see the faces of the employees. I see the people who got hired instead of me.
I’ve become self-abusive since that phone call. My torso is covered with bruises and my thighs covered in scars. I can only sleep when I imagine that I’m wearing an exit bag.
I have nowhere to go now. Nothing to daydream about. Nothing to live for. My parents were abusive pieces of shit and I have no friends. I devoted my life to my career and that’s gone. The only place on earth I want to work won’t have me. How can I ever be happy knowing I was so close to bliss yet am now so far? How can I ever believe in myself knowing that the people who work there are better than me by virtue of the fact that they work there? What’s the point of even living now?
To paraphrase Erich Maria Remarque: I have become superfluous to myself and in the end, I shall fall into ruin.