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Grr and Ugh

I think I am a pretty nice person overall. I don't say that in a full-of-myself sort of way, but more that I just try to be nice to people, even when they are not to me. I do not like to hurt other people's feelings. And rejecting people makes me feel uneasy. That is why I have medical records at approximately seven eye doctors, three dentists, three ob-gyns, and two family practices. I never had the heart to tell any of them that I did not like something about them and was moving on (part of the reason is the Seinfeld syndrome). Even on the few occasions when I was leaving because I or my work location moved, I could not make the call.

Recently we "interviewed" two window people, and I liked both of them and their offerings. Since their prices are less than 50 bucks apart, it makes it hard to choose. The second one did show up late for the appointment, but he was very apologetic (and he did have to go through two tunnels). I wanted to get a third quote, but I dread the thought of telling even one of them we chose another; I don't think I can make two phone calls like that. And, unfortunately, I don't think I have the personality to play them against each other, to try to get one of them to come down a little or throw something extra in. Can't wait until we start talking to roofers!

The job search is even worse. I have tried since early December to get on a sub list at another Catholic school by dropping my resume off, making about four phone calls, and sending several emails, most of which were ignored. I decided last week to make one final attempt by directly saying in an email that if they did not need any additional subs, could they please let me know. Magically, I received a response that said the school had subs they have been using for years, but if the opportunity arises, they will contact me. Why couldn't someone have told me that the day I dropped my resume off, you know, instead of saying that is was great that I wanted to sub and saying that someone would be in touch? If only I could say what I really wanted to.

A friend told me about a proofreader's job at a small company where she knew a person. After sending my resume and cover letter, I and this person exchanged some emails. A week later, a higher up sent me an email asking about my availability and my rate. This took me by surprise, since I thought this was a "regular" job (not freelance) and this person had never even talked to me. I emailed back, asking if we could talk since I was unsure about the position. Three days later, no response, probably because I did not answer the questiosn. But wouldn't it be better to discuss rather than sending emails back and forth, trying to figure things out?

The daughter of someone I know suggested I contact the HR person at her company to see if they could use my skills. I left a message for this person, and it was never returned. Unfortunately, the day I made the call, the company advertised an opening on Craig's List and requested no phone calls. For that reason, I have not called back. I just don't know what to say at this point, though I will probably share this with the daughter, who, it is worth noting, did not respond to an email I sent.

I recently emailed a somewhat connected former client from my last job. We had been keeping in touch for the first few months I was out of work, but when she had not responded to two emails, I stopped contacting her. This time, she seemed glad to hear from me and said she would call in a few days to get together. One week later, still no phone call. As with most everything else, I am trying to figure out the difference between being persistent/enthusiast and being just plain annoying. I may hate rejecting people, but I am also not a fan of being rejected!

I have many more examples, but frankly I am getting bored writing about them, so I can only imagine how the rest of you are staying awake. It also does not help that those little cherubs at school are probably responsible for this cold I have.

I don't want to be handed anything. I just wish this whole process was less challenging (job search and life).


chris h. said…
I think a big problem is that too many professional people (in education, in business, wherever) don't know how to act professional. Even the little things like returning calls and giving helpful information (instead of keeping people hanging) escapes them. Or they're afraid to say, "I'm sorry, we just don't have anything right now."

I always choose contractors by my impression of them -- even more so than price. Do they show up on time, act polite, get back to me in a timely way? That you found 2 contractors like this is amazing -- and I'm sorry you have to make that tough decision. I'd struggle over it too. I'd be honest with them though -- if you had to toss a coin, tell them that rather than have one of them think they weren't in the running at all.
Sherri said…
Big lack of professional courtesy these days.... I've noticed it - I know may others who notice it too. People used to always respond to inquiries - now, not so much. On the bright side, I had people not get back to me - only to contact me months later with intense interest (???). So... believe me - it's not you. Not boring - good to hear stories from the trenches when some of us find ourselves in the same trenches (sounds like you and I work in the same areas :-).
Facie said…
And here I am, several days later, still dreading making the window call. Not just b/c of the rejection, but also b/c I wonder if I am making the best decision. Should I get more quotes? Is there a better price out there?

Even worse, I still have not heard back from the guy about the proofreader's job. A friend suggested I call him directly, but having never spoken to him before, that seems, well, too direct for me. I will try to screw up the courage to at least email him back.


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