The Reality of Expectations

So I’m a pessimist.  I always have been, because it’s far better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.  I suppose, then, I should have seen this coming, because a part of me knew it couldn’t be that easy.

Remember that job I posted about getting?

I don’t have that job.

Through a series of unfortunate events and various peoples not being willing to let departments handle their own issues to the best of their ability, one of the offices that is part of the HR chain at the university which was set to hire me blocked my hire based on a mistake made in the process.  It was one of those technically-true-yet-superfluous-and-nitpicky arguments, from what I can tell by the secondhand information I’ve been given.  All that I know is that I got an email filled with very sincere regret and anger that the recommendation to hire me has not and will not go through, and that I am on my own.


Let me state this at the outset—I’m not angry with any specific person.  The department that had wanted to hire me is filled with amazing and fantastic people and, truly, not being able to continue working with them is in the top five things I’m sad about with this news.  And I don’t know any of the shadowy HR people who decided I wasn’t qualified enough to oust their preferred candidate(s), so I can’t substantially be angry at them.  (I can be, and am, insubstantially angry at them, though.  In spades.  With fire.)

But I am angry in general.  I’m pissed, actually, not necessarily because I was so attached to this job specifically (although I think it could have been great, once I figured it out), but because that was my one platform of certainty.  It was an incredible thing to finish graduate school and walk into a job, especially for someone like me who is in the middle of figuring out a career switch.  It meant being able to start paying my undergrad loans back, and taking guitar lessons, and having one job instead of three, and not worrying about whether I’ll be able to make rent AND electric in the same month.  It meant that I could have one part of my life nailed down so I could focus on this Call thing that keeps popping up, that I could stop having to shelve God in favor of my degree/students/grades/etc.  It meant being able to be fully present in a way I haven’t been able to since first I started this mess of the uncertainty of being employed from semester to semester some five years ago.

I recognize the platitudes that people feel they need to say in the face of news like this.  Everything happens for a reason; God has something better in mind; other graduates are facing the same kind of uncertainty; the economy is rough for everyone.


The economy is rough.  It’s been rough the entirety of the time I’ve been in the adult workforce.  Please don’t think you’re telling me anything new.  Just because other graduates are facing this doesn’t mean I want to be in that boat, because the boat pretty much sucks no matter who’s in it.

And then the God stuff.  How quickly I have to eat my own words!  “Even if I hadn’t gotten this job, I feel it would have been worth it for the veritable deluge of concern and encouragement and general awesomeness of this shockingly large mass of people who want me to succeed at things simply because they want me to live  a life that fills me.”  Yes, it’s still true, but it’s hard to read now that the experience feels a whole lot less “worth it” in general.  And I can’t believe the idea that God wanted this to happen, that God is pulling the strings of some cosmic Road Runner-esque rug-yanking of my professional life, because that kind of god is not one with whom I want to spend whole lengths of time.  That kind of god is a bit of a jerk.

Now I get back on the job search bandwagon, and I learn, and I fume, and I move on.  I trust, and in the absence of trust (because it’s wicked hard) I hope, and I pray, and I hug the friends who know not to say anything and just be with me as I figure this out.

I also ask for your prayers, Reader, and hope your end of the week is far better than mine.


“‘I, the Lord, the God of Israel, warn you not to let yourselves be deceived by the prophets who live among you or by any others who claim they can predict the future. Do not pay any attention to their dreams.  They are telling you lies in my name. I did not send them. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.'”  (Jeremiah 29:8-9, GNT)

3 thoughts on “The Reality of Expectations

  1. […] you remember that job I was so excited about getting and then so very frustrated about losing?  Through a series of ridiculous events and no small amount of prayer and perseverance, I have […]


  2. Crystal says:

    I have nothing to add, just know that I am here. And know that you are loved. And thank you for letting us know what is happening in your life.


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