Empathy in Rejection

I hung up the phone and was devastated, embarrassed, sad… yet still smiling.

A couple months ago I had applied for a sweet job that would be a promotion and allow me to move to Houston, where my sister and two nephews live. You have to understand, job promotions like this do not come around often, much less one that I’m qualified for. So I put my name in the hat (which also meant writing a 16 page essay on why I’m qualified) and wait. Then two days ago I got an email asking me when would I be available for an interview — wahoo! I had always felt it I could make it to the interview round and last the automated computer screening process, then at least my fate would be in my own hands. Yesterday I quickly setup travel arrangement to Houston, to go be in person as a show of importance. And today I got a phone call from the hiring official that it was all a mistake, that I should not have gotten an interview. Ouch.

While on the phone and getting an explanation with authentic contrition clearly apparent in her delivery, I started to feel immediately awkward for her. Here she is with the very unpleasant duty of needing to inform me that my expectations, that me notifying my sister that I was a step closer to moving closer to the family, that it was just a simple mistake. Of course I felt disappointment. How could I not? But I also felt sad for the person who had to tell me this bad news. To me, the mistake had already occurred and is now in the past. In the here and now, and going forward, I didn’t see any point in making this more awkward than it has to be. So, I made sure to let her know it was absolutely ok.

The reason why they made the mistake or how it came about actually isn’t all that important. At the end of the day, there was no going back. So what’s the point? What is left to be truly gained here? No, the real goal is to make sure I keep a positive relationship with that hiring official, which in turn doesn’t ruin any shot for a future promotional opportunity. Besides it being the nice thing to do (which is the primary driver!), there’s absolutely no strategy that calls for making the hiring official feel horrible.
My final takeaway for you is to keep smiling. Despite the adversity and unfortunate luck, keep smiling. It can and will get better. Positive affirmation will force the universe to be positive for you too.

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the absolute worst

oh no!  it’s that precise moment when you realize that the person you’ve been fawning over doesn’t see you in that light.  and it hurts.  it turns every confident trait you thought was attractive into literally meaning nothing.  in that moment you realize what you thought was the best part of you is actually just ‘alright.’  and so it hurts.  i say dwell on it.  let that feeling just wash all over you.  and hopefully once it’s done washing over you, you’ll realize that’s just one person.  one person out of literally millions.  so, sharpen that edge and get back out there.  there are better opportunities awaiting.

that last panel was tricky.  how do you depict the friend zone visually?  i toyed around with an invisible wall that finn can’t break through.  then i thought how when you’re in the friend zone, that person can’t help but see nothing but a friend.  so, i stayed simple and just made it a shirt, as f to label or brand finn in front of the public.

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be nice

so maybe this exact situation hasn’t happened to you but i’m sure the emotion behind it has.  the feeling of some sort of rejection and all you wanna do is run away, as far and as fast as possible.  and why is that?  why is the automatic reaction is to flee instead of talking it out and just coming to an understanding.  in this case, maybe Ace can’t help it that he’s not (physically or emotionally) attracted to this girl so why does he have to feel bad about it.  just feels like it’s difficult enough trying to find that special someone that we don’t need to feel any worse than we already do sometimes.  so, do me a favor, next time you turn someone down or get turned down, do it nicely.

hmm, i’ve been feeling kinda stagnated lately in my artwork.  throughout last year, i felt like i was really raising my art game but i feel lost now, as far as what to do next to continue challenging me.  should i switch up more art styles?  maybe use different art tools, different nibs, pens, etc?  would love to hear what you all think!

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