As an internet comedy writer, it goes without saying that I’ve dealt with my share of rejection. Here’s where a lesser man would toss in a joke about being rejected by women but I won’t do that for two reasons. One, I already wrote a column about my sweet, sensual sexings and it’s too soon to dust that off again, and two, ladies don’t reject me, they usually cuss me out. World of difference.
Rejections are a dime a dozen in our workaday world because there’s so much to want and so little to get. Blame the economy or the Swiss or whomever you have an irrational hate on for. But also, be prepared. Too many people take rejection personally and have to resort to frantically masturbating in car or shooting up a McDonald’s to try to get over it, and that’s mostly wrong. The key to not getting bummed out by these things is understanding the nature of the beast. Once you understand why you were rejected, it’s easier to deal with and move on.
This one is easy to relate to and doesn’t separate winners from losers so much as everyone from no one. Does that sentence make sense? If not, it’s because sense rejected it. See how much fun this is?
In the working world, everyone gets rejected sometime. For instance, in my life, I have had about 19 different jobs and have been probably to 100 or more interviews. I’m so good at being rejected for jobs, it could be my job. Is it time for an anecdote? Let me check my schedule.
When I was still in highschool, I applied for a job at Taco Bell. God damn, I was ambitious. Me, a white, non-Mexican, trying to take on the challenging world of Mexican cuisine. Had I ever manned a sour cream gun? Did I have the dexterity to fold a tortilla? Could I try to upsell people to cinnamon twists with a straight face? No. A thousand times no. But I tried anyway.
Likely there’s been a time in your life when someone tried to tell you what to do and not to do in an interview. Here’s an addendum to that – when the manager of Taco Bell asks you why you want to work there, explaining how you like both money and tacos is a real shit mountain of an answer. Likely this applies to any job. Let’s see if that’s true.
· Interviewing to be a lawyer;
o Well, I like money and being crooked
· Interviewing to be a doctor
o I like money and writing my own prescriptions
· Interviewing to be a pilot
o I like money, and spending that money on bourbon
See how I avoided the jokes about teachers and priests in there? Goddamn am I taking the high road today. Anyway, point is, some things paint you in a poor light. Telling a Taco Bell manager you want to work for him because you like tacos and money makes the Taco Bell manager look you square in the eye and say “seriously?”
Now that’s a kind of funny, sarcastic response at the best of times but back then I was completely incapable of appreciating the magnitude of the question. For the day manager of a Taco Bell to take such a position of superiority, it was as though a hobo had asked me to take a bath or a whore had offered me a couple of bucks just to hang out with me. It was wrong. But I didn’t know that at the time. I just wanted some f*ckin’ tacos.
Moving On: The thing to remember about work rejection, about fast food places basically telling you that they’d rather take their chances with a leper than you, is that no one has rejected the real you, they rejected interview you, and interview you is a completely f*cktarded golem made up all the bullshit you can cram into a you-shaped sack for a half hour, held in place by a Windsor knot. If you ever act completely like yourself in an interview, then you are certifiably insane. No one does that. You dress up fancy and pretend that you feel like one of your worst qualities is that, sometimes, you just demand too much perfection. You know full well that one of your worst qualities is probably something more like your penchant for binge drinking or cooking up meth in the basement, but in an interview you’re expected to be full of shit. So if they hate full of shit you, it’s OK.
New Guy Rejection
Oh man, if I had ever been rejected by a woman, I bet this would be right up there with that in terms of discomfort. This rejection cuts far worse than a Taco Bell manager looking at you like you just squatted on the floor and wept while shitting yourself. This is the rejection when you find yourself thrust into a new group of people and for whatever reason they decide that you are like man-shaped poo and they want nothing to do with you.
It’s hard to deal with new guy rejection because you can never put your finger on what caused it. Do you smell? It’s possible. Have you ever met a smelly person? Likely yes, so you know it’s not all that rare. Are they all white supremacists and you’re a Jew? Depends, are you a Jew? That’s half the equation right there. Maybe they’re all just assholes. But like different than white supremacists. Hell, maybe you’re an asshole. Did you introduce yourself as the guy who banged all their mothers earlier in the day? That’s assholey. Try to avoid that in the future.
Most of us deal with new guy rejection at some point and there are usually a few ways to deal with it. If you’re in a teen comedy from the 80’s, you’ll probably fight back by humiliating one of the cool kids at prom. Maybe you’ll have sex with his mom for real. That’d be ironic.
Failing the 80’s movie scenario, you could go with a downbeat 90’s type movie and form your own posse of outcasts and losers. You can listen to Alice in Chains together and still maybe screw that other guy’s mom. Awesome.
If you’re in a PSA or an afterschool special of some kind, you’ll find a way to just be yourself so others can see you for the beautiful person you are and accept you because you’re wonderful. Guess who’s mom gets f*cked in this scenario. Probably yours.
I was never able to harness the power of Hollywood, or even Canal Plus out of Montreal with their saucy French self-esteem-building classics, so mostly I just thought the guys who ignored me were dickheads and moved on with my life.
Moving On: And how do you move on? Go back five paragraphs and look for the key word there. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with asshole. Yep, it’s asshole. Those guys were probably assholes. Do you smell? They’re still assholes. Not a Jew? Assholes. Point is, why do you need everyone to like you? You don’t. Here’s a list of awesome things that not everyone likes;
· Iron Chef
Can you believe it? Truly, the world is full of finicky people. Best thing to do is assume most other people were raised by monkeys (which they may not even like, because they’re weird) and worry about yourself.
Work Rejection: The Sequel
Thought I was going for something original here, huh? Pfft. Anyway, the thing about work is it has a beginning and an end, so you can be rejected coming and going. Seems like we should open the floor to another sex rejection joke now, but I’m still not doing it.
While being rejected in an interview is one thing, being rejected after you already landed the job is quite another. It’s your employer saying “we liked you enough to bring you into the fold, but once we got to know you, you absolutely disgusted us. Your continued presence here will actually harm business. You make work worse. The best solution is for you to not be here.” That’s a rough deal. That’s like going to the beach and having other bathers get out of the ocean once you get in so they can shower. As though that polluted, fish-piss saturated pool was cool until your rancid ass made it nasty. You’re like poo again. A big floater ruining everyone’s good time.
Getting fired from a job is a lot like being dumped (I assume). You’ve put yourself out there and thought you’d been accepted and then bam! Right in the grapes. That’s stone cold.
Moving On: The hardest of all rejections in this list to move past, the thing you need to keep in mind is that all work is absolute bullshit on a basic, molecular level. If you look at your job under a microscope all you’re going to see is fecal choliforms and Steven Seagal.
One way of looking at life says that all jobs are important. A garbage man keeps the streets clean. A cook ensures there are hot meals for people who want to eat. A mall security guard makes sure no one pisses at Foot Locker. The world runs smoothly and we’re all cogs in the machine. Another way says all that is asinine and that, really, would it matter if you never went to work again? Maybe it would to you, but to the world at large? F*ck no. Unless you’re Jesus or Barack Obama or Bill Compton, people will get by. Does that mean you are unimportant? No. It means the system is ridiculous and we’re living in a world where it’s a job to dress up like a cartoon mouse and hug strange children at a theme park. Do you care if you get rejected by a world in which that happens?