Uptight and Personal Diary Entry 21st January 2011

21 01 2011

Absolutely beautiful day and to reward myself for completion of TV pilot and treatments, decide to ignore all the indoor tasks and head with camera across the fields.  Notice that the leaves are coming out on the trees a full two months early (thank-you global warming), but am told by a gentleman washing his car on Simon’s estate that the mild weather is illusory as the water is freezing on his windscreen as he tries to wash it.

However, stress-free morning is replaced by stressed-out afternoon. First there are the usual form rejection letters in my inbox for jobs I have unsuccessfully applied for. After three years of not being able to find a halfway decent, moderately well-paid job, one can safely say I have developed an ‘attitude’ to the entire process.  Late last year this manifested itself as a somewhat Bolshi impulse to enquire as to what it is I am doing wrong exactly.  Hence, the moment I receive the rejection, I am now back at the HR department or recruiter asking exactly what was lacking in either my resume or my application that caused me to be rejected, the latest example of which I sent to Cambridge Assessment this very afternoon.

Dear Becky White,

Thank you for your email regarding my application for the Events Executive job.

As a result of spending three years in this country receiving rejection emails from HR departments and employers such as yourself,  I am now gathering information as to why I am spending the rest of what has been an extremely successful professional career to date wallpapering my lounge with them. It seems to me that it is very strange that in the space of 12,000 miles I have gone from hero to zero.

I’d like to know exactly what I did wrong with my application or where you believe my experience does not fit the role on offer perhaps to avoid further emails of this nature. Somehow I doubt this will occur, but one lives in hope of gathering the odd gem of insight which may prove useful. I would add that since embarking on this information gathering exercise, no real revelations have been forthcoming. I have however been told that I am over-qualified, too old, don’t live in the right area and in one instance, that I don’t have enough experience which clearly negates  the earlier argument that I was over-qualified.

I look forward to your response.


Helen Kaye Watts

Needless to say, I do not receive many replies to this – probably due to the fact that unlike rejection emails, the recipients don’t possess a standard response email and actually, don’t really have an excuse to hand.  It’s all very confusing. But really, I don’t know why I bother. A life of crime pays better and if one gets caught then one gets ones accomodation, meals AND one’s council tax paid for as well as the possibility of selling one’s story as a TV movie of the week.

Of course, there are the jobs I DO get interviewed for and don’t get. I’ve started asking for feedback on those as well.  At least the ones that I was moderately interested in winning. Job interviews are like dating and it’s a two-way street. You as the candidate may well decide you don’t want to work for the company just like you may well decide you are facing yet another frog. The last time I actually got the feedback it involved a lot of ‘umm-ing’ from the person on the other end of the phone when I asked why I wasn’t offered the position. In my experience ‘umm-ing’ usually means the person is frantically chasing an excuse around their frontal lobes and it is proving elusive. Sometimes it evades capture all together. As in ‘Um, um, um er – well we know you had severe concussion at the interview but we felt you didn’t make enough eye contact with the team during your Powerpoint presentation.’ Why don’t you just tell the truth? The truth is:  ‘We just liked someone else better than you’. Exactly the same as dating. You can be witty, charming, attentive, insanely cute but another candidate comes along and for some reason – they just like them better than you.

Stress level ramps itself up again immediately afterwards as am now subject to delaying and dirty tricks campaign in case against former employer who is attempting to get key evidence removed from my case. Feel horrid and have to call doctor as now need drugs again when I have been drug free since leaving Melrose – proof that even their name produces a Pavlovian response that requires Zoloft.

Am complete failure at getting new job, prescription medicine junkie and so upset I throw up my lunch thus negating all the calming benefits of the walk earlier as well as a visit to the chip shop.

It’s the futility of it all that gets to me.








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