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Sweet SorrowFunny tragic story: Rejecting Rejection


A necessary survival skill in the modern world.


How Rosh learns to deal with his New Zealand job rejection letters…

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Rosh returned home after distributing his Resumes at the local Kiwi businesses and shops.

Today's mail lay on the dining table. He opened up the letters with anticipation. But as usual, they were only rejection letters.

He had expected some, as he had applied for everything under the sun. His money was running out, so he had been getting desperate.

If he could do what he was qualified to do, he'd calculated before immigrating from India, he could do almost anything else as well. You can't beat a man who has knowledge, confidence, skills and aptitude.

Further, he had arrived in New Zealand with an open mind, keen to learn, and happy to work hard while he learnt, even as an unpaid volunteer.

But prospective employers hadn't quite looked at his job applications in the same light. No one seemed interested in training people on the job, not even highly qualified unpaid volunteers.

"Too much productive time is lost in training and troubleshooting," some had told him. "Besides, you'll find something better soon. You're bound to, with your qualifications."

"The pay here is too low," said others. "You won't stay!"

"Too damaging to our reputation. We don't want to be seen as exploiting labor."

"Too distracting to other employees."

Some rejected him because his qualifications didn't meet the job specifications, some because they thought he was overqualified for the job.

"Give me a chance," he pleaded with them. "I'll do better than most!"

"No point," they responded. "You won't stay here long. You're too smart to not move up."

"It will frustrate us if you left, after we'd trained you. It will frustrate you if you didn't leave, after you'd gained local experience."

All sad, but true. The pay had to fit the job, not the person. And the person had to fit the specs, not the other way around.

Understanding the reasoning of others helped him cope with rejection, but it did nothing to alleviate his hunger or pay his rent. The volume of daily rejection letters was beginning to hurt his morale now, as well as his pocket.

"Don't despair," Isha reassured him with a confidence she didn't feel herself. "Should be any time now! With your qualifications, it is just a matter of time."

"It's not just about qualifications," he flared. "They want local experience. But my mother gave me none of that in her womb."

He was an immigrant. He had just landed. He had no local experience here. How could he?

"And I can't have local experience," he fumed, "until a local gives me a job in the first place!"

"Reject their rejection," Isha tried cheering him up. "See what I found today!"

She handed him what looked like a letter. It read:

Dear Professor Knowitall,

Thank you for your letter. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a number of varied and promising candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite your outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.


Chris L. Postdock

He smiled at the cheeky letter. Maybe he should do something similar, he thought. Reject rejections. He turned around and saw that his son was already beating him to it. Little Hosh was chewing up his rejection letters. They were wet and in tatters.

Seeing that he had his father's attention, Hosh laughed. And ripped them up some more. Then he looked up delightedly at his father, and let rip another chuckle.

Rosh laughed too, thankful for what his little boy had just taught him. For he knew now, how to deal with these letters!

"The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel." Horace Walpole had written in his letter (dated 31 December 1769) to Sir Horace Mann.

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