Sunday, August 2, 2009

204 Days UP - "What's going on, is there where I belong tonight..."

Hey jerk - I needed that!

I received what was quite possibly the nicest rejection letter of all time last week. It was for a job I recently interviewed for, and it went a little something like this:

"Hi Matt,

Utterly fantastic photo
* and note. I'll be honest, yours was the interview we enjoyed the most and you are by far one of the most intriguing people I've met in a long time - and in my line of work, I really do get the opportunity to meet quite a lot of spectacular people.

It makes it that much harder to have to say that we won't be asking you to come and interview with [The Executive Director of the organization]. We wanted to. We really really wanted to but we knew it was because we adored you as a person and not because we were picking the best possible candidate for the job, someone who is both best qualified for the position and who probably would ultimately enjoy the role and stay with the company for the long haul...."

You can pretty much imagine the rest from the there. It was like the most earnest sounding version of every note from every cute girl I got scribbled into my high school yearbook. They all insisted they didn't know what they would do without the hilarity I brought into their lives every day. "K.I.T.!" they begged. And K.I.T. I did. But did they K.I.T. back? You're goddamn right they didn't.

As disheartening as it was to get that email, I'll admit it simultaneously made my day. I take no pleasure in my continuing unemployment, but man, that letter pretty much had the most kick-ass series of compliments ever, right?!? I went out that night with some friends - one had recently gotten a job promotion, one had put down a deposit on their first home, and one had recently lost a fair amount of weight. After all these announcements, I boldly added:

"Well, that's all well and good, but I was recently told in a post-interview rejection letter that I was: 'the most intriguing person' the interviewer had met in a while. Yup. And apparently this is coming from a woman who meets 'a lot of spectacular people'!"*

I said it in such a way that it couldn't be considered anything but a joke. But in all honesty, at that moment, I was only half kidding. Partly because of my desperate need for attention and one-upmanship, but also because there really is something very rewarding in the knowledge that I can sit down in a room with one or two strangers, talk about my life, my experiences, and my goals, and make a honest to goodness lasting impression on them. That's something I know for a fact wasn't true even as of a few years ago. And a big part of it is Paused.

It's funny, but Paused has become the story that really encapsulates who I am. I didn't come to this realization until recently, but the simple line: "I decided one day to take a year off from one of my favorite hobbies" says more about me than I'd have ever thought. It was a personal trial that I set up and overcame, and not only that, but it lead to some true moments of growth and exploration. It's a story of one passion being traded for the discovery of others. Also, it's a little bit ridiculous. Even people with zero knowledge (and possibly even disgust) of video games can appreciate the story, how difficult it was, and even little things like my crazy "To Play" list. And hey - it's just a fun story to tell!

Now I just need to find the right job. Which, in this economy, is obviously much easier said than done. Obviously the second big lesson I need to take home from that letter is that personality can only get me so far. Every job I've gone in for I've proven myself to be competent, personable, and passionate. The final part of the equation is being the elusive 'best possible candidate,' - something I know I will be when I find the job I'm looking for. That, or I find a way to make money simply being intriguing. Hey, maybe I can become the video game equivalent of that really interesting guy hocking Dos Equis right now...

"I don't always play video games, but when I do, I prefer TONY HAWK RIDE"

Stay addicted, my friends,
-Matt (Just K.I.T.-in!)

Currently Playing: Thoroughly addicted to Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and I'm stoked the sequel's just about to come out this month! Beat Prince of Persia including the epilogue, and would love to play something new, like the copies of Street Fighter IV or Devil May Cry 4 that I got new for $20(!) and $15(!), respectively, but it seems like my 360 is on it's last legs, with the video cutting off intermittently! Not a good time for this to happen!

*I sent them a 2nd silly photo of me in my thank you letter post-interview since the kind woman let me know right away the 1st one was part of the reason I was called in in the first place.
*Don't think I haven't thought of the possibility that this was simply the template for every rejection letter this company has ever sent out. In order to preserve any semblance of my ego (as well as this blog post), I need to at least plausibly deny such a scenario.

1 comment:

mjs said...

this is brilliant. i hope you told her how you rise to every job that you have had and asked for a referral.