Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On doing the rejecting

Last time I dropped by, I said I was going to write a bit about how being a biker was like being a writer and vice versa.
That ride will wait.
Instead, I want to talk about rejection. Rejection sucks. It sucks from the other side of the table as well. How do I know? This is how:
There's a position open at my day job. I'm the hiring manager, so I've looked over a slew of resumes. Each tells a story of a person's life as seen through the prism of employment. It doesn't take much to read between the lines. There's the shock of layoffs, the disappointments of not being promoted, the struggle to keep up with increasing demands, the late nights of small miracles pulled off at the last minute, the evenings and weekends of a degree earned while working, the hopes and dreams and aspirations, the desperation of long unemployment, the frustration of a dead-end position, the ego and self doubt.
I read resume after resume, story after story. I sorted them into piles. All were interesting, all told fascinating stories, but most of those stories either just weren't right or didn't excite me or were not what I was looking for.
In a computer program that manages these "candidates," (inhuman in itself), I had to click "not interested" on most, "schedule interview" on a few.
On Friday and Monday came the pitches--the interviews.
It's supposed to be just business. It's supposed to be about skills sets and experience. It's supposed to be about fit with company or team culture.
Bullshit. Face to face, person to person, it's an intensely personal moment.
Sometime later this week, we'll extend an offer to one of the people who sat in front of me. About the same time, others will receive not a form letter in a SASE, but a call from the HR person who does my rejecting dirty work for me.
I won't feel any better about it, but I won't feel as bad as long.
Whatever side of the table you're on, rejection still sucks.

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