Thank you for your application for the position…
Another punch in the guts.
Surprisingly, I resist the urge to throw my laptop out the window.
Another bland rejection, wrapped in painful platitudes.
We were impressed by your academic credentials and experience…
Really? Impressed, or confused? Impressed, or nervous?
We congratulate you on progressing to the final round of interviews, but regret to inform you that you have been unsuccessful …
Why the regret? You got the person you wanted. (Clearly, not me.) Do you regret the administrivia of human resources? Or just that you have the uncomfortable duty of delivering disappointment? Why bother me with your regret? I don’t feel sorry for you.
We wish you the best in your future endeavours…
Yeah, right. Why didn’t you just kick me out, slam the door, and shout ‘Good luck’ from your window? Same degree of sincerity.
I make myself a coffee and flick through Instagram in a futile attempt to distract myself.
In my mind’s eye, I see myself walk, then run, out the door, down the street, across the state, the country… Just running. Like Forest Gump. Run. Run. Run. I want to be anywhere but here.
I toss most of the coffee down the sink. My insides are churning, and the coffee's not helping.
I mentally write a truthful rejection letter:
Someone like you is very brave to apply here.
We were impressed that you finished High School, let alone University. Surely you are aware that your experience in a hick country town counts for nothing. We put you into the second round of interviews, to avoid any bad PR if you thought we were being discriminatory. However, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that you didn’t get the job.
Good luck in the future. You’re going to need it if you want to work in big city firm like this.
I refuse to embrace the stereotype, so I drown my sorrows with tap water. Four rejections in three weeks. I’m ready to break free from here, but feel encased by the preconceptions of others.
I flick on the TV.
Continuing coverage of protests. Everywhere.
I open the CV that whispered 'unworthy'.
Academic results are strong, but the University is not elite. Promotions showcase my potential, but only in rural NSW.
Success is a mirage.
I glance at the TV and see courage personified. Disappointment, injustice, rage – all fuelling this moment, propelling fairness and equality into the collective consciousness.
Inspired, I take anot44her swig of tap water and open Seek.
Courage takes guts.
swinburne microfiction challenge
Part of the Emerging Writers Festival