I got an interesting email this morning from the Alexandria City government, thanking me for applying to their Office of Communications. Unfortunately, the email read, they had decided to go in a different direction and selected another candidate.
A very considerate email to send—except for the fact that I’d applied for that position over a year ago.
There’s got to be a statute of limitations on a “thanks but no thanks” email, right? If anything, it’s fucking insulting. Like, did these people think I was sitting at my computer for 14 months, clicking refresh on my email like a POW rattling the bars of his cage? Any day now, Sandra from the Office of Communications will reach out. I can’t lose hope! And even if I was, what does that say about me? I haven’t left my desk in over a year. My muscles have atrophied, my hair to my shoulders. Of COURSE I’m not a good candidate for your job!
More importantly, though, what does this belated email say about the institution that sent it? Was this sitting in Sandra’s draft folder this whole time? Or did she JUST get around to sifting through her applications?
Here’s the thing: one of the clients I write for is a staffing expert, so I spend a lot of time looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report every month. You know how many open jobs there are in the US right now? 11.3 MILLION. You’d think from a business standpoint that employers would get it through their thick skulls that if you have a potential candidate on the line, you’d better treat them like a fucking human.
Furthermore, applying for jobs is fucking AWFUL. I spent nearly six months looking for a new position last year, and it was one of the most uncomfortable and anxious times of my life. You put yourself out there, trying to show people you’re worthy of their company, and each rejection feels like a shot to your confidence. Maybe I AM a bag of dicks, you think each time a form rejection email comes.
“You’d better light them up,” Melinda said when I read the email to her.
So I did. Here was my response:
Thanks for notifying me. I applied for this position over a year ago. If this is how your office treats potential employees, it sounds like I dodged a bullet.
Best of luck.
I’m not saying anything revolutionary here, but it’s not that people don’t want to work. It’s just that people don’t want to work for YOU. Get your shit together.