Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rejection Letter

Is there any good way to be rejected? Whether in love or school or career, I think there is no good way, and that is a simple, hard, painful truth, as none of us likes being rejected, told that we are not " the one". But there are better and worse ways, and I remain dumbfounded that mature adults often do not have the courage nor the courtesy to handle doling out rejection with respect, with the silent treatment getting the prize for worst form.

Some of the greatest offenders are potential employers, and even worse, recruiters. While I have had the luxury and good fortune in my career to have been steadily employed, I have watched with horror as friends who are seeking positions have to endure the agony of the no-news rejection, the cowardly and inconsiderate practice of delaying rejection through dropping contact, compounding the ultimate rejection with the anxiety of waiting, waiting, waiting to hear.

I was once scolded for breaking off a relationship by email, rather than in person or at least over the phone, and in retrospect, I think I deserved that scolding. It seems to me that anyone for whom one has cared enough about to spend large amounts of time with, to say nothing of becoming intimate with, deserves some face time or voice time, no matter how uncomfortable that encounter may be. The person being rejected deserves that, and although it doesn't eliminate the searing pain of rejection, it helps preserve dignity at a most vulnerable time.

Schools, colleges, and competitions may do it best. They are direct, have prescribed dates and procedures, and one knows when one applies that the chances of being rejected are high. Perhaps if we walked into interviews and relationships with this recognition from the get-go, the roads of relationships and job seeking would be smoother. But with so much on the line, whether it is the hope for love or the hope for a salary, it is hard to keep that in perspective.

In my year of dating (which sometimes feels like my year of living dangerously), I have been both rejector and rejectee, and sometimes my skin has been rubbed raw from licking my wounds. But I hold firm that a rejection letter is an inferior form to a real conversationl

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