Magic Bus

“I want it, I want it, I want it…(You can’t have it!)”

I guess Pete Townshend knows that feeling.

Why do so many of us want the things we can’t have? Or the things we can’t seem to get? Is it the desire of something forbidden? The yearning to gain something not yet conquered? Is it just being stubborn?

Any of us who have been through that gap in time between interviewing for a job and being hired might have that sense. Especially if it’s one of those jobs you just know you’re not going to get. It can also be the time between applying and being asked to interview. Time seems to slow exponentially. You can’t imagine why these people are taking so long to recognize everything you can do for them. What are they waiting for?

It’s difficult to remember that everyone else isn’t working from your timetable. They’ve already got jobs to do, and many of their goals don’t necessarily include getting back to you right away. Of course, contacting job applicants in a timely manner would be the courteous thing to do, but it seems that many companies have lost the ability to get their HR people and hiring managers to offer that courtesy.

Perhaps they don’t want to get people’s hopes up. If someone doesn’t rate a second look, maybe they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I’ve been on the hiring side, and frankly, it can be a drag. There have been situations where I’ve had resumes and cover letters from several people I’d like to have hired, but had to turn down when word from above put a position on “hold.” I hate sending boilerplate rejection letters, but sometimes, that’s easier that making the effort to let someone know personally. It’s nearly as tough emotionally to reject as it is to be rejected.

There have also been times where I’ve confused myself. That’s when I have something perfectly good, but dwell on the fact that I’m unable to have something else. And as it usually turns out, the grass only seems greener on the other side. I can look back at jobs that, at the time, seemed soul crushing, but I’d probably still have if I had just been satisfied with sitting still.

I thought of that when I ran into a photographer from the Commercial Appeal the other day. I first met him when I started working as a reporter in Memphis in 1990. He had been at the paper a while then. Here it is, 19 years later, and he’s still there. I’ve had a couple of jobs last 7 or 8 years, but have always gotten the itch to move on. My oldest brother started the job he has now in 1974 – so he’s got his 30 and then some.

Maybe with the next job I can learn to sit still.

News & Notes

Tuesday’s blog is full of grace…

Interesting statistical anomaly with the blog. The number of readers has been spiking every Tuesday for the last few weeks. It’s good Monday & Wednesday, but always higher in between. Are things slow for you guys on Tuesday?

Heading north…

I’m running an errand this week. I came up to Chicago yesterday on a quick trip and will head home tomorrow. If anything incredibly interesting happens, I’ll have a rare weekend post.


One thought on “Magic Bus

  1. Doug,

    I had a number of interviews during the two years of contract work with extended breaks in between.

    Some you thought you might have a chance, but since it was through a head hunter, they usually found someone else to avoid paying the big recruiting fee.

    Over ten years ago, I was with a large non-profit organization. Enjoyed the work, was a stable place. Management changed completely and I was offered a staff position, a demotion, since I wasn’t certified or have a Master’s degree. I moved on, with bumps along the way. Those decision makers moved on to other places. If I had stayed, I would have nearly twenty years time and a good 401k…at least better than what I have now….hey, hindsight’s always 20/20, isn’t it?

    Keep being positive and be patient….it’s tough, I know.

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