Thursday, December 9, 2010

I have kept a secret from you - A tale of rejection and redemption

Remember a while back when I had discussed the depression I experienced for being unemployed? Remember how I announced to you guys that I got a job?

Well all of that did happen but I left out one fact: They fired my ass! I couldn't face you guys and tell you how much of a failure I felt like so I remained silent until now. I didn't get the Donald Trump firing. The employment agency resorted to euphemisms: "You're assignment has ended."

Now the details. I had gottten a typical office job and I was excited to leave my couch and not anguish over whether Jamal is or isn't the father of Keisha's baby. I knew that it wasn't my dream job but after getting so many rejections, I felt like the ugly girl at school that finally got asked to prom. "Yes I'd love to take you up on you offer!"

The people at my new job were kinda ghetto and not that smart. True story. We were learning the software and were looking at mock files that we had access to for training purposes. Somewhat had written the following in the notes section:

"Customer appears hostel"

The girls next to me grabs my attention and points to the note and laughs. "Look that person said said the customer was hostel. She was amused. "You know it should be hostile right? spelled h-o-s-t-i-l-e" I tell her. "NO it's hostel," she argues with me. "Hostile is an adjective" I try to explain. Then she busts out with this gem: "Didn't you see the movie Hostel? I said, "exactly, hostel is a place..." A minute later she says, "I think you are right. I asked myself, "what the fuck am I doing here?

The girl that did the training had a pierced mouth. In one of our training sessions, we had to read out loud (like you did in elementary school) portions of the manual regarding our computer software. One guy encountered the difficult word "QUEUE" - pronounced "kyu". He pronounced it "Kuwi". I was entertained.

On another occassion, we had training by a gay guy that aspired to be a comedian. He was about as funny as the word "The" but had the need to seek attention in an annoying way. He was in charge of monitoring what and how we say things on the phone. We had to follow a script verbatim and we also had to access 3 computer systems based on the type of account it was.

The whole system was void of logic and was cumbersome. It was alot of data that seemed random to me. I was lost. I felt "retarded" (you know what I mean). Yet everyone got it including the cavemen and the simpletons. I wanted to yell out, "I swear I'm not an idiot. I play chess! I can play a musical instrument. I graduated from an established university. I said nothing. I sat confused with a virtual dunce hat on me.

There was another guy that I met there that was very smart. He graduated from BYU in finance. We had interesting conversations on macro-economics and other interesting topics. He spoke a little bit of Spanish and the position required that you be fluent in Spanish.

I got a message on my cell phone. "Israel please call me immediately..." It was a lady from the job agency. I called her. "You're assignment has ended.". Cisco (the gay dude whose real name is Francisco)just feels that you are not quite getting the information fast enough." I agreed with that assesment. I told her that I'm a slow learner and that I would have gotten the information in due time; once I made sense of it.

I called my girlfriend and told her that I was fired. I laughed out loud while I waited for my Vietnamese Sandwich at Lee's. "I'm retarded. I can't follow simple orders." I repeated this over and over while questioning if I had mental problems.
Deep down I know that I found the job mundane and not very dynamic.

I got a call from the BYU guy and I immediately told him that I was fired. "Yeah they got rid of me too" he tells me. He went on "I feel like a loser. You have idiots killing it there. "They said my Spanish sucked." "You were too smart for the position" I tell him.

For the next few days I pondered in amusement if anyone would ask me to prom again. Then out of nowhere I get a call from a well respected agency that works with ending homelessness in Orange County, CA. I had submitted my resume along time ago and it was forwarded by my girlfriend's ex boss who now works there. I researched the company and I loved everthing this agency stood for. I set up an interview and I met with the ladies that work the program and the contrast from my last job was vast.

The ladies were articulate, passionate, clear, and very charasmatic. I was very comfortable at the interview. I decided I was going to just be myself, win lose or draw. I filled out an application and gave my references. My references including my ex boss spoke highly of me.

"Israel we would like to offer you the position!" I was excited and a little bit emotional. I was going to the prom again! This time my date was staying with me. During my job search process I kept telling myself that I needed to see "hope" and signs of hope to help keep me motivated. This was the hope I needed.

The position is part-time but because of my association to this agency, I had another interview yesterday with another program that would also offer me another part-time position which would make me a full time worker. In a week I will know.

So far I love my new job. I help homeless people get shelter and food. In addition, I place homeless mothers with kids in temporary housing with the ultimate goal of finding them permanent housing. In this short week of training my eyes have been opened to the humanity that exists out there. I tend to be somewhat of a cynic but I'm seeing a world of charity and compassion. The homeless people that I meet are so grateful to have a meal somewhere to sleep for the night.

I realized that there is alot of good people who are in bad situations. I hope this posting serves as a reminder that things can work out for the best if you experience setbacks and also that if you are struggling, you are not alone.

Ok enough sentimental crap! I want to apologize for my lackluster posts in these last few days. I've been busy with training but I promise to read and respond to you guys. Also regarding the caption contest, the funniest caption will win a prize of a used book and some other surprise. The winner needs to give me an address to mail the prize to. I will also try my best to conjure up some jokes if time allows. You guys are awesome and I want to thank you guys for reading my blog. And to the newbies, let me know you are out there. I need to see hope for the blog as well.


  1. Israel, this post is filled with life lessons. Sometimes, when things seem hopeless, hope materializes out of the blue. Every one of us has felt like a loser from time to time and we have all experienced failure and rejection. At the same time there are countless people who have it worse than you or me. Helping those less fortunate makes us feel like a winner again and can get us on a roll. I am very much the same as you in that it takes me forever to learn a new set of skills. My brain isn't wired in such a way that it's easy for me to read and follow instructions. I learn by asking lots of questions. If I can't get my questions answered I feel lost, ashamed and incompetent. I know from experience, however, that once I learn something I usually master it. I end up doing the job better than those who picked it up in a snap. Thank you for this revealing post and best wishes for a future of prosperity, my friend.

  2. I was in a job like that once. It was so dull I simply did not want to learn. Those 'less intelligent' excelled. I just played crosswords.

    Glad you are in a better place now, buddy!

  3. super long post. but man, i laughed a few times "funny as the word -the-"

  4. There must be a reverse of the peter principle right? You know, where people rise to the level of their incompetence, but you had the reverse. It's a good thing you didn't stay there. You would have been a zombie and your humor would have died. I believe that from everything bad something good occurs and sometimes, it's just good timing and other times it's karma. Sounds like your got your karma, dude. I think everyone can certainly relate and you give a lot folks in hard times hope. Hell, my son is graduating from college with a Bachelor's degree in a couple weeks and he's going to stay working at the warehouse he's been working in because he can't find work anywhere else. I wish he could have had the experience I had in 84 and come out with too many offers to decide between. Timing, once again But, Karma will get him in the end with a blessing, just like it did you.

  5. I'm glad that you got a job that you're happy with! I'm sorry that those idiots made you feel like shit, you weren't worth their time.

    Go make a difference.

  6. Shady- Thanx for letting me know that I'm not alone in the manner of learning.

    Lost- At least your crossword puzzle skills improved!

    Poetry- I'll try editing next time.

    Mister Sharaf- Maybe you are right but I had so much to say this time. Sorry my friend.

    Ditz- The people didn't make me feel like crap. The circumstances did.

  7. cool story br...
    no really, seems like your new gig helping the homeless is waaaaay more rewarding. I know what it's like being stuck in a dead end job with brain dead co-workers who makes you wish you were dead and cause you to write the word dead three times in a run on blog post.

  8. Yay for the new gig and I'm crossing my fingers and will say a few Hail Marys for the other job as well! Wow, your post broached parts of my life! I know exactly what you mean by feeling like a loser and thinking you're "that" girl/guy that doesn't get asked the prom. And as someone else posted, had you kept on the same path emotional wise, you're humor would have died along with your soul. TRUST ME. I'm glad that was not the case with you and I wish you the best of luck and success! You're a very talented person, I've told you that before! This post is a testament to that. You turned a troubled and serious matter into funny. I know, I know, when you're down in the dumps or teetering on the verge of falling into that black hole aka known as depression, it's kind of difficult to feel good about yourself. Totally get that. But shake it off! Celebrate the good things you have to offer! I'm so glad you are in my virtual world! I can always count on you to make me laugh! Keep us posted on the other job!

  9. Getting your ideal job is just fantastic! I've been in similar situations in the past where you're at some job and wonder how the hell you ended up there and that you just don't fit in at all. It's great to find there's something better out there. I mean thank God they fired your ass, because it gave you a chance to do something you really like instead.

    Hostel indeed.

  10. Thanks for telling us about it Israel, and I am really happy for you about this new job. And what a great job it is: helping people.

  11. I'm glad you love your new job. And I'm glad you're away from those idiots. I have been working with idiots for almost 5 years and honestly, it sucks up my energy. That's why I haven't been able to write regularly. That and because I'm kinda busy these past few weeks. :)

  12. You would have HATED that job! I also lost out on a job for being 'too smart'. The interviewer told me so. 'You'll get bored' he said.

    As for being a slow learner, I've often found that slower learners are more thorough and never forget. The 'quick' ones tend to be slapdash and forget everything.

    I can almost hear the enthusiasm in your voice when you write of your new job. Its good to work at something you believe in and love doing. CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you, I mean it!