Job Application #1

I knew it wasn’t going to be a great day when I woke up at 7am with a hangover, and had to get my broken car to the garage across town by 8am. After sitting in the car for twenty four minutes I’d moved about a hundred metres. There was an accident ahead, and traffic was crawling.

The worst wasn’t over once I’d dropped the car off, though. Just before lunch I had my interim appraisal at work. I knew exactly how it was going to go before I’d even stepped into the room. On the only review form my performance manager cited I had been graded “exceptional”. So what would my overall grading be? Exceptional? Very good? Good? Satisfactory?

Unfortunately not. It was some way below that.

A year ago I would have bristled at the indignity, perhaps felt like crying or shown my anger by raising my voice a smidgen, questioning the rationale.

And today? The fight has gone out of me, all energy sapped. I didn’t even question the reasoning behind my overall grading, instead just nodded “as I expected”. My manager didn’t even look embarrassed about the blatantly ludicrous system.

This evening I’m shaking my head, wondering whether I should have protested even slightly, if only to make the point that (“NOT THAT I EVEN CARE, OBVIOUSLY”) the whole process was a farce, totally nonsensical and ridiculous. Why do I waste my time getting feedback forms, when they’re then completely disregarded? I find it baffling.


Back home, tired and grouchy, I felt like crawling under the covers until it was time to go to work the next day. Reasoning with my exhausted self, I decided that if I did go straight to bed that it would just be one more thing for me to moan about. Instead I decided to review my potential jobs shortlist online.

By the way, if my exam in June doesn’t go well, my employment contract will be (ex)terminated, Dalek-style. So I consider it prudent (that’s the auditor in me) to have a back up plan. I just hope my current employer can’t sue me for looking at my options. Let’s be honest, they could have smuggled anything past me in that teeny-tiny print. Signing the contract back in 2010, fresh out of university and in need of a job, I didn’t even notice that I was waiving my rights under the EU working hours directive. I was just happy to have paid employment.

I gave myself an hour. One hour to come up with a cover letter to go with my shiny new CV. I thought it would be easy-peasy. I’m a writer, after all. But it was hard just to get started; I couldn’t think what to use as my introductory line. I couldn’t think what tone to adopt: too formal wouldn’t be appropriate for the job, but too colloquial and I’d look like I wasn’t taking it seriously enough.

Hour up, I’d finished, and was pretty happy with my efforts. I clicked “Apply Now”.

For me, starting was a difficult step, so I’m proud of myself for summoning enough hatred for my job to get myself to write a job application, when I really just wanted to go to sleep.
Application number one: done. Now I wonder how many more there are to come…


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