I didn’t get to finish my interview today.

I was almost done, but I foolishly knocked my Webcam and mic out of the USB drive while I was talking with my hands. My interviewers inquired for a little, asking if I was still there. I kept trying to get back, I said “yes, I’m here!” but the mic didn’t reconnect. They agreed to end the meeting.

I get my connection back, and I emailed them saying I’m back and we can resume the meeting. But they are interviewing someone else, one responds, thanks me for my time, and they will be in touch if they have more questions. I am bewildered that we are putting this important meeting to an abrupt halt. I am stunned and step away from my email and vent to my family about what happened.

After regaining my composure, I respond to the email, saying thank you for talking with me, I enjoyed the discussion, and I apologize for the dropped connection. I still want to finish the interview, as I may have answered their questions, but I still had my own questions. I had hoped we could speak again tomorrow or next week to finish. But the response I got was discouraging.

“Unfortunately, we are no longer interested perusing your application.” I’d only interviewed a half hour ago, and didn’t get my conclusion. I’d appreciate it if they at least pretended to consider my candidacy.

I don’t know if it had something to do with my screw-up in that moment or a poor reputation I may have with my former coworkers and managers. This was an educational nonprofit I worked at for three years while in college. I withdrew from my duties somewhat during my final year, but this was due to a physical change in my appearance that the children I tutored noticed, and I did not want it to attract more attention. My boss noticed my performance issues, but I did not have a confiding enough relationship with him to explain my insecurity that caused them. I went through the academic year without much worry about the job, only to be shocked the following fall that my boss replied to my email that he was not rehiring me that year due to my “repeated issues,” which, though I don’t defend my distance, it was never indicated to me at all that these would cost me the position. Later the student employment specialist had emailed me saying she had been trying to get in touch with my boss several times throughout the summer about the paperwork needed to hire me for the coming academic year and he had not returned any of her messages.

I wonder if this incomplete interview was connected at all to my former job at this place. Does my reputation stink that much? I had been trusted in my job there for most of my college experience. I had thought I was well-liked. Was I just interviewed today for quota purposes? Because I doubt much time had been given envisioning me in the role. Why would an employer not allow a candidate to finish an interview?

I just want people to give me the chance I deserve.

Proving myself

The reason I maintain this blog, largely, is to prove myself. In my resume, I list one of my occupations as a freelance writer, and sometimes, I feel that’s untrue. I’ve done a few paid projects here and there sporadically, and worked pro bono for a few years, sometimes consistently, but I’m not actively taking on projects. Part of that may be the fault of my dignity and uneasiness with the “gig economy” or social platforms. Years ago, I’d applied for some projects on Fiverr and Freelancer.com, but never got any attention there. Even if I could attract attention on the content mills like those, I might not want it. Folks look to pay meager wages there, and the only people that want to take that kind of work are third-worlders or, people who I alluded to earlier, those who have no dignity.

I, of course, want a full-time job. And in the meantime, I try to freelance, but I don’t have any streamlined strategy to find work. I mainly send queries and pitches, or enter contests. Sometimes editors have these freelancer rosters, where you pass your contact info to them via some form, including links to samples, and indicate what subjects you are interested in writing about. I fill those out sometimes. But “auctioning” myself for a job doesn’t seem right to me. I’m not going to devalue my services just because I want work. Unemployment checks are adequate here and often I’d rather just take them then subject myself to tomfoolery.

Maybe another aspect to my problem is it’s hard to balance out looking for full-time work and project work. Ideally, I want full-time, but sometimes I feel like I have to cycle back to going to project work because of my lack of experience in some areas. For instance, I’d love to write copy. And I’d know how to do it. Growing up, I’d pour over the catalogues from Sears, Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Sharper Image, Oriental Trading, Toys R Us, Circuit City, Best Buy, HearthSong, among others. The copy on ecommerce brands isn’t as human-centered as it is in paper catalogues. It’s mostly stuffed with keyphrases instead of anything meaningful, and I’d love to fix that. I know how I’d do it, but because I haven’t done it before I’m often passed up on offers. Thus, the way to get experience in copywriting could lie in a freelance contract.

Anyway, I want to make an impact more than anything. I want to leave a trail of beautiful prose and verse whenever someone plugs my name into a search engine. Hopefully that will happen one day, if I, and others, allow myself the opportunity.

Sometimes I do better than I think I do.

I had an interview a few weeks ago, which I felt went okay until it was time for me to ask questions. They were all about certain privileges of the job, and I got pretty much the same answer for all of them: the privilege would not be available due to the nature of the role being temporary. I felt my questions left a bad impression. I felt one may presume I am haughty or entitled in my concerns over telework, union units, or benefits packages. Of course, I never meant to imply those things are paramount to my employment. I’d worked for this company as a temporary contractor through a staffing firm, and I’d just wondered if there would be any difference between that and working as a temporary employee directly through the company, as this role was.

Anyway, I got an email back today. While I didn’t get the job, I did get feedback that I gave the most detailed responses and answered everything in full. I am so glad I still left a positive impression despite my embarrassment. As someone with NVLD it’s hard for me sometimes to meta-cognitively read how people read me, and I’m so happy when folks directly tell me their thoughts in a gentle way.