The twist to my real-life reality show came when I was handed my pink slip after 25 successful years in the working world.
At age 42, married and a father of three, this was not the way the script was supposed to go.
This is my journey, bumps and all.
Thanks you for expressing an interest in the (fill-in-the-blank) position. While it is never an easy decision, we have decided to consider other candidates whose qualifications more closely matched the needs of this position.
Again, thank you for taking the time to pursue this opportunity. We encourage you to visit our website to explore additional opportunities with our company.
Best wishes in your career.
Sincerely, Company X
That was the exact letter that I received two days ago, on my daughter’s birthday, no less.
Talk about blowing out the candles.
Unfortunately that is not the first time I have received that exact letter.
This was the fifth or sixth time I have applied for a job with that massive company and the response is always the same.
A form letter paraphrasing the immortal words of the great 20th century poet Vince Neil -- “don’t go away mad, just go away.”
For whatever reason, I really thought this time was going to be different.
Not only was I over qualified for this job, but I had a professional relationship with the person doing the hiring and the person that I would be reporting to.
They told me to apply online...
... as in don’t call me, I’ll call you.
They never called.
The sad thing is that I should be celebrating the fact that I got any sort of correspondence at all.
I have applied for many-a-job since losing mine and unfortunately I have gotten used to The Sound of Silence, No Reply at All -- pick a song, any song.
Granted the letter shown above came 78 days after I applied for the job, so I had a pretty good idea what the end result was going to be.
But the fact that I got anything at all was the shocking part.
And that’s sad.
When I did my 30-Second Pitch on CNN a few weeks ago, the host said on the air that I was qualified to work there and “they have lots of opportunities. I should apply.”
In my quick whit, I told her, “I am very available.”
In hindsight, what I should’ve or at least could’ve said was, “I have applied for several jobs with CNN, but I never heard back. Not one word.”
Now the point here is not to be critical of CNN.
They are very busy filling all of those monitors behind Wolf Blitzer.
The point is that unemployed people have feelings too and we just want to feel loved.
A couple of months ago, I got an email from my state’s job hotline.
On there was the perfect job for me -- it spoke directly to my experience AND it was local.
I immediately applied online and called the contact person who was doing the hiring.
Yada yada yada. 111 days later, nothing. Not a word.
I have probably applied for at least 75 jobs in the last year, from Chicago to China, London to Los Angeles and everywhere in between.
And honestly, I would guess that I have heard back on just a handful of them.
That would be a percentage of.... crappy.
Like the way I feel about all of this.
Yes, I know there are 15 million unemployed people in this country.
And yes, I know there are about 15 available jobs in this country.
And yes, I definitely understand that its a lot more cost effective for an understaffed company to have a computer send out form letters than actually hiring a human to do it.
The computer is not my problem. It’s the humans.
In this very here blog, I documented my exciting trip to New York City where a company flew me back and I interviewed with five people in six hours, including the President of a major company and their VP of Human Resources.
And to this day -- I have not heard one word back from them.
That was 74 days ago.
That doesn’t sound very Human or Resourceful to me.
About a month ago I got a lead on a great job with another great company.
At least the display window of the company looks pretty.
I immediately put the full press on.
I applied online and contacted a friend in the company.
He gave me the email address of the person the job would report to and the name of the HR director.
He said to make sure to mention his name.
Consider it mentioned.
Within minutes, each of them had a copy of my formerly impressive resume in their inbox.
Three weeks later, nothin.
A former boss of mine contacted me about a job that was available in his company. He gave me the name and phone number of the person doing the hiring.
I’m not sure I was the right fit for this job or the job was the right fit for me, but I wouldn’t say being picky is an option at this point.
So, I called his direct number.
The voice mail came on and it was him. No room for confusion here. I left a message. Dropped a name. I’m in the door, right?
Two weeks later, nothing.
Do I need to keep going?
That's what I thought.
I hate to think that I'm an expert on unemployment now, but I can say this, there's a whole lot of optimism inside every unemployed person.
The problem is that optimism is getting covered up by a thick black cloud of broken hope.
It is VERY easy to lose your faith -- thankfully, I'm not quite there yet -- but it's getting closer every day.