A Lesson I’ve Learnt The Hard Way – 30 Day Writing Challenge #24

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not’ –¬†Oscar Wilde

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I’ve been trying to think all week of what I was going to write today. There are lots of lesson I’ve learnt over my 33 years on this earth but I wouldn’t necessarily say i’d learnt any of it the hard way, they’re just lessons, you learn, you move on.

One thing that Steph said the other day though really struck a chord with me and that was: Life’s not fair. She’s right it’s not, and it’s one thing I think I have probably had to learn the hard way not only through people close to me getting poorly and are sadly no longer with me (I won’t dwell on that – it’s not nice to be morbid on a Saturday) but in my professional life as well. One particular time in my career sticks vividly in my mind.

It was 2008 and I was facing redundancy in my job. It hadn’t been made official yet but I had a good friend in the HR department who gave me the nod and the wink that I probably ought to start looking for something else. So I did, and i found my dream job within the same organisation at a higher pay scale. Everything was perfect, it was like the stars had aligned and the perfect job had come along at the perfect time. I applied and was granted an interview. I did everything right, I went along to visit the department to chat to them prior to the interview and got on really well with them. I was confident (still nervous) but quietly confident. I’d never won a competition in my life was was starting to feel like my luck was starting to change. The interview day came and it couldn’t have gone better. I’d researched so much about the department there was nothing they could have asked me I couldn’t answer, i’d brought my interview A ¬†game and I could tell it had gone well. The girl showing me out after the interview even told me they really liked me in the office and that I (and i quote) ‘was the front runner’. I was walking on air.

I went back to my office and patiently awaited the phone call. It came at about 3.30 that afternoon. I answered the phone with a massive smile on my face however as soon as the lady on the other end of the phone started speaking my heart dropped. I hadn’t gotten it. It was between me and one other person and they decided to give it to them. I was devastated. When I asked where i’d done wrong she couldn’t tell me anything, she said it all came down to the way we’d answered one ‘killer question’. When I asked her what that killer question was, she didn’t answer, she couldn’t answer, she mumbled something about how great I was and how that was the hardest phone call she’d made in a long time. Eh? Hold on, something didn’t seem quite right here. So I did some investigating.

Turns out through asking friends and friends of friends at work, the person they’d given the job to, had been promised the job all along. They’d written the job description specifically for them and having other people apply and interviewed was purely a process they had to follow to make it all look legitimate and above board. What they hadn’t banked on, was someone else equally as qualified (or perhaps even more so) applying and i think that panicked them. I was again devastated. I don’t mean to seem big headed and it may come across that i’m bitter but I truly believed i was the best person for the job but I never stood a chance, I was never going to get that job and I still believe that to this day. Life, that day, wasn’t fair.

Of course I’ve moved on and I’ve gone down different avenues and I love my current job for the most part. I do sometimes wonder though where my career would have gone if i’d gotten that job. I’d have been bloody good at as well, i know that much,

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