So, on second thought, maybe Tom Petty was wrong. Waiting isn't the hardest part, rejection is.

Phil sent me a brief email last evening that began with "Unfortunately...," pulling the plug on my tech startup fantasies. Though I'm not devastated, I'd be lying if I didn't admit it stings a bit - kind of like getting dumped by a boyfriend you knew wasn't "the one." It shouldn't feel like a loss, and yet...

It did take all my will power not to go all Bachelor-reject weepy on him and write back "Why? Why didn't they like me? I thought it was going really well?!?" I did inquire if they offered any feedback that might be helpful as I forge ahead. (Like maybe don't lead with, "Where'd you get that sweater?" when the interviewer says, "Anything you'd like to ask me?") He politely ignored that question and told me he'll be in touch if anything else comes along.

I did have a revelation on the train home -- a NJ Transit behemoth moving so slowly I could've easily outrun it (and I'm frequently eclipsed by tortoises and octogenarians) - and it was this: "I really don't want to do this every day."

I've always thought there's something noble about commuting to Manhattan, like those travelers are tougher than other people because they're willing to brave mass transit and all its inherent delays and weird smells. But after it took two hours to get home, I just don't know if I have that in me anymore.

For a while, when I was beleaguered by calls from school nurses who were "concerned" that one of my boys might have dandruff, while another had forgotten his Gogurt (clearly a health risk), I imagined that if I worked in the city no one would dare to contact me regarding such frivolous matters. Now I guess we'll never know. Going forward, I'm restricting my job search to this side of the Hudson. So there's that take-away.

Part of me wanted this job so that I could put an end to constantly sending out resumes and then waiting for the phone to ring (it's like prom season circa 1988 all up in here!). And I'm done with the migraines caused by straining to read those blurred numbers and letters that prove I'm not a robot.

I'm also tired of answering questionnaires that go a little something like this:

If you witnessed a colleague kill a maintenance worker with a stapler, would you:
  • Do nothing. You're on a tight deadline!
  • Help him dispose of the body. You need him to get back to work asap.
  • Consider contacting HR after you finish the project your boss needed yesterday but assigned two hours ago.
  • Try to videotape a confession from your colleague using Final Cut Pro.
  • Call the authorities while recognizing this will take time away from your work, which will be reflected in your review and subsequent lack of bonus.
Stealing office supplies is ok:
  • All the time
  • Some of the time
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • When needed
  • If delivered to a local PTA to distribute to affluent but "over-extended" students
  • Never ok
The use of non-business-related social media is acceptable:
  • If a friend adopted a Labradoodle and just posted new photos
  • When you have a snarky, original insight about Pope Francis you'd like to Tweet
  • Your lunch, consisting of kale and lentil enchiladas, is, like, totally Pinterest-worthy
  • All of the above
  • None of the above
A co-worker, who may or may not be the boss's niece, takes credit for a project you've spent the last six months creating. You:
  • Congratulate her and thank her for taking an interest in your work.
  • Accept that nepotism has a viable place in Corporate America.
  • Sabotage the project by interspersing photos of SpongeBob throughout the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Contact HR for guidance.
  • Slash the tires on your co-worker's Mini Cooper on the way to happy hour
Your former teacher/manager would describe you as:
  • detail-oriented to the point of needing OCD meds
  • a Rottweiler in a St. Bernard's body
  • a team player but hopeless with Excel spreadsheets
  • someone who never replaces the empty water cooler jug
  • completely negligent

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