Never Enough Energy


“They liked your background but they thought you didn’t have enough energy during the interview.”

 

You know how Thumper’s mother said, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”? That’s something I’ve built into myself over the years. Though it takes a lot to put me in a bad place, I rarely have rude or non-constructive things to say. It’s usually safer to err on the side of silence, and even when a sharp word might be warranted, people don’t always listen, or worse if you hit a nerve they lash back out at you. And over the past couple of years I’ve felt too fragile to deal with other people’s barbs. That’s something prolonged grief does to you; it simply wears down your walls and until you’re capable to rebuilding, it’s a weakness you’re terribly aware of.

Needing to be handled gently isn’t something the world at large is capable of, though, and sometimes that contrast is painfully shoved to the forefront. It constantly amazes me how powerful words are; the things we feel and the things we’re driven to sometimes hang on a single simple word. When you’re walking a path of grief, others’ words can have seriously unexpected consequences.

Over the past three months or so I’ve been working with a temp agency (not the same agency I talked about here) that has gone back and forth between being weirdly pushy and remarkably non-committal. I feel like I say the same things with every agency I cross paths with, but I hate working with these companies. This one’s headed by The Overprotective Boyfriend. Seriously, that’s what we call him, courtesy of my youngest sister who so dubbed him after I recapped by first face-to-face with him. During our “interview” he was rather forward about how quickly they moved there, and that he wasn’t shy about over-communicating. He then preceded to tell me about how he will sometimes “stalk people’s phones” when they don’t answer his calls (yes, those are his words) and that he doesn’t do email because it’s too slow.

Aside from the “Woah, buddy, slow down” factor that pervaded the beginning of the relationship, it was manageable. I fumbled my way through the first interview he set up because the interviewer threw a test at me that he hadn’t prepped me for, and was unsurprisingly turned down for that one.

Then the next interview, several weeks later on a Monday, turned out to be one of those rare times when you talk to the people, walk around the space and genuinely get excited about the possibilities. I walked about from it buzzed. They were looking to make a decision in a day or two and wanted their choice to start the following Monday. The OPB assured me that it was practically my job to decide on because I was the only candidate they’d presented and he’d gotten excellent feedback from them. He would reach back out no later than Wednesday.

So I waited. And then Wednesday came and went. So I called him Thursday morning and left a voicemail, which he didn’t return. So I called again Friday and when he didn’t answer that time, I left another voicemail, this time frustrated and reminding him that I’d told the company I was available first thing Monday, and that if they wanted me I needed to know.

He didn’t call me back until Tuesday, offered no explanation for having fallen off the wagon, and skimmed over what had become really important to me with a single sentence: “They liked your background but they thought you didn’t have enough energy during the interview.”

b64990fb55c4ca661e5a8f2715b862caI practically hung up on him I was so disappointed. I sat in the living room for nearly an hour just crying. I hadn’t quite realized how hopeful I’d gotten over that one, and knowing that I had to wade back into the often humiliating resume submission and interview process was terribly disheartening. At some point my frustration turned to anger; How dare they? If they’d interviewed someone who was a better fit, more qualified, then fine. Say that. Not having enough energy during the interview was a cop-out because I was there. I know how well each of those conversations went, and how much effort I put into each one of those six separate conversations with different people the position would interact with.

Obviously writing all of this out was part of my examine-and-let-go process, but there’s a larger lesson gleaned from the whole experience: simple perseverance. None of us ever has the energy we want or need, but we get up, get dressed, take a deep breath, square our shoulders and keep pushing forward. And sometimes realizing the strength involved with that is just enough.

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While you guys are here, if you’re not following me on Pinterest, you’re missing out on some seriously awesome material. I’ve also recently added an Instagram account and looking to grow my community there.

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5 thoughts on “Never Enough Energy

  1. Dawn Ross

    I’m about to go back into the work world as well and am considering going through temp agencies. It is rather an intimidating prospect, especially after your experience. That guy definitely seems off. I bet he just made it up about why they didn’t want you. He probably forgot to follow-up and made up some lame excuse.

    By the way, I just followed your pinterest account. I’m NatureByDawn. And I just noticed that you also like Pokemon. I love Pokemon! I’m not as into it as I used to be, but I get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I think of them.

    1. WhitneyCarter

      I still get depressed thinking about not getting that job, especially considering that the lady who orchestrated the interview gave me her card and I thought more than once about just sending her an email to tell her thank you and reaffirm my interest. Everyone keeps telling me that when I find the right one it will happen, but that’s shaky advice at best. I hope that when you start actively looking you find something manageable quickly. ❤ My advice for working with temp agencies is to take everything they say with a grain of salt, and remember they're a dime a dozen; if one doesn't work for you don't feel guilty about blocking that bridge.

      And on a totally unrelated note, we must just simply be soul sisters! Pokemon is probably one of my top 5 favorite things. Who's your favorite?

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