Thursday, 8 July 2010

So What Now?

I didn't get the job.

My boss phoned me on my mobile while I was in the middle of Tescos with the youngest choosing a packed lunch box for her first ever school trip.

"I'm sorry Gappy. No-one wanted you to get the job more than me, but you just didn't give us the answers we were looking for."

A bit like a court case in which previous convictions for the same crime cannot be taken into account lest it prejudice the minds of the jury, my colleagues on the interview panel were not allowed to take into account the skills they know I have, and the good work they know I do. The interview questions were all scored - a point being awarded for various specific key words and phrases used by the interviewee - and I didn't score high enough on some of the questions; not because I don't know the answers, but because I just didn't say them right or go into enough detail.

So someone else will be starting my job after my temporary contract for it ends in two months time, and I will.... well, I'm not entirely sure what I will do. My boss was keen to point out that there was another job coming up soon and that they wanted to make sure to give me feedback from this interview so that I would be able to sail the next one if I wanted to apply for it, but I'm not sure if I do. The job will be in the information centre for one, and I much prefer refuge work. Also it will be five days a week which I just can't see myself being able to manage in the school holidays. On top of all that the working environments created by the two different teams are like night and day - the refuge team being a strong supportive group who take care of each other at work and the community/information centre being something of a snake pit in which nobody trusts each other and everybody goes about subtly undermining everybody else. I don't, in all honesty, really want to work there.

I also feel embarrassed if truth be told. I really appreciate their support in offering to try to make sure I get this next job, it's nice that my boss has specifically said that she knows I'm good and she wants me working for them, but really it's not their responsibility to try to make sure that I am gainfully employed. I feel as if they feel they owe me something because I have volunteered and covered paid posts at short notice for a long time now - but they don't really - it was my choice to do those things. One particularly helpful colleague from the community team said before my interview that she was hoping and praying I got the job because if I didn't it would just be "really awkward for you and everyone else." I refrained from laughing bitterly and saying "Yeah thanks for that," but it's true really. It is all a bit awkward.

Tomorrow night is the slightly belated leaving do of the colleague whose job it was that I had applied for. I want to go - she was a fantastic, dedicated support worker and colleague who taught me a lot - but I know that me having not got the permanent post is going to be a massive elephant in the room. I'm torn really - I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but I also think that if I don't go it will look as though I have simply spat my dummy out, which isn't the case at all. My feeling is that I should probably go and try to hold my head high. I tried my best, I didn't get it, I'm terribly disappointed, but I'll live. It's her night anyway and we should all be concentrating on being there for her.

What do you think? Any and all advice much appreciated.


  1. Firstly so sorry that you didn't get the job. It sucks that they couldn't just have given you the job in the first place on account of you being good enough to do now.

    I think you should go to the leaving party, if you feel uncomfortable you can always slip away early.


  2. Oh so sorry they made the wrong decision Gappy! As for the celebration - you go. The person would want you to & you want to say your goodbyes to her. The awkwardness will only be momentary & once they see that you are OK flok will relax. If they don't it's their consciences that are troubling them. As for the future, take some time to decide. A cliche i know but there is the perfect job out there for you - you lovely lady!

  3. Their loss. Totally, totally. They're fools is they don't throw themselves at your feet and beg you to stay.

    As for the party. No question. You have to go. But it doesn't mean you have to stay all night. I'd show my face and then bail out after an hour. Honour is met and yours is saved.

    So sorry, chuck... but all it means is that there is a much better job for you just around the corner.

  4. Oh Gappy, It sucks. Major suckage as my son would say. I know it will be hard but I would go - as you said, with your head held high. If you don't, it will be even more noticeable don't you think? Your colleague would want you to. Like Julia said, you can always slip away.

    Not sure about the other long term decision. What does your gut say? Thinking of you.

  5. It's such a horrible feeling - I know it's happened to me more then once. As has already been said it is there loss. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself down and walk out head held high!

  6. sorry you didnt get it.

    I would hold my head high and go to the party, even if you slip off after an hour.

    If you could make the job and hours work then apply for it. if you prove yourself you may at some stage be able to transfer departments.

  7. I still can't believe they let some stupid scoring system dictate whether you got the job or not when clearly they've seen your abilities because you already do that job. I really sympathise with you because I know how much you wanted it and if the other job that they have you earmarked for doesn't sound like your cup of tea then I wouldn't feel pressurised to take it because you might just find yourself resenting it. I think you need some thinking time and as Deer Baby says listen to your gut instinct. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and that there is something much, much better just around the corner.
    As for the party I think you should go, you obviously respected your colleague and I think it would draw a lot of attention if you weren't there. You go and hold your head up high x

  8. Scoring systems are just pish! If you can do the job and are the right person for the job then why shouldn't you get it! Sometimes I feel it's a bit like "if your face fits". I'm sure something better will come up for you though!

  9. As I said before, that really is the most rediculous thing! And I say go to the party. They can deny you the job you want but they can't deny you a good night out.

  10. Is everything in this world decided by numbers now a days? What ever happened to the human side of things? Really sorry for you. It seems completely unfair when they know you are capable. However, I would definitely go to the party. It's only awkward if you and they let it be. Just go and have fun and don't get involved in the politics of it all. They will respect you much more for it in the end. Hx

  11. So sorry, Gappy. What a bummer. But a lot of times I think that things happen and lead us in paths that can be very important, or at the least, interesting. I've had a wild ride with jobs in the past couple of years and when I look back (back? I'm still IN!), I think that it's been really important in seeing who I'm becoming.

  12. Pish to arbitrary points systems. They are hardly a measure of merit which clearly, by reading this wonderful blog, you have in bundles. Yes, put on your best self for the do and remember that when one door closes, another swings open and beckons with more opportunity.

  13. Sorry. That scoring system sounds ridiculous. Hugs.

  14. So sorry to hear that. I think... Go to the party. Arrive early, to seem keen, show willing and show your support for your friend. Stay sober.

    Arrange to meet a friend after an hour or so to do something nice (dinner?) so you have someone to vent to, an easy get-out, and a non-conflicted night out afterwards.

    And, when you're strong enough, take the feedback, learn about the scoring system, and start applying for similar jobs. You'll do it.

  15. That interview method stinks. If you've been doing the job that should override the scoring system. Some people interview very well and are then useless when they try to do the job, believe me I work with someone just like that.

    By now, you should have been to your colleagues night out. I hope you went if only to say thanks to her for all her help.

    I hope you're ok, but this must be hurting right now.

  16. You show a maturity in accepting disappointment and I am proud of you. Your post walks through the ins and outs of what you have been thinking and feeling. I personally hope you do attend the going away party since you like the woman and the party is really nothing to do with your applying for her position. You are an awesome woman and it sounds like your current boss and co-workers are aware of that.

  17. Thank you so much for the supportive comments everyone. I did go to the leaving do last night and it was fine - I stayed untill the end. My colleagues had lots of kind words for me and it was lovely to see my old workmate and to give her a proper goodbye aswell. Meanwhile it's back to work tomorrow... life goes on eh.

  18. I think it's great that you went to the leaving do Gappy. Glad that worked out well and there's a positive vibe between you and your workmates.

    I also think you're handling this in a really strong way.

    Of course they've made a mistake that they'll have to live with. And they will miss out too if you decide not to apply for the info role.

    For what it's worth the information you've given me through comments in the past has been very helpful to me and I've taken it on board. I hope others are able to have the benefit of your knowledge.

    Looking forward to hearing about the next job that you find.

    Flo xx

  19. Just want to say properly, on your blog, that Women's Aid South Wales need a shake up. Any system that employs staff in this way and doesn't take into account what they know about someone who has worked with them is flawed in my view. I'm gutted for you. And cross. Can you tell? Sorry, I'm doing that thing where I get angry so you don't have to. I know you value their work and could have done more great things there for women who need help, not "keywords".

    I have absolutely no doubt there is a better job waiting for you and you'll look back on this as a blessing in disguise.

    MD xxx

  20. I've only just seen this. I think from this post it sounds like you were very diplomatic about it all, especially as it IS TOTALLY ROTTEN AND UNFAIR AND UNJUST! I am a firm believe that things happen for a reason though, so no doubt there is something smashing just around the corner for you.
    much love
    The Milk