It was a year ago today, and at the literal last possible moment, that I was told that I would not be coming back to Charter High School for the next year. I had absolutely no warning or indication that it was coming and, in fact, had been explicitly and repeatedly told that it wasn’t by people I foolishly trusted; I have copies of emails and instant messages to prove it.
A lot has changed in that year, but what really hits me is what hasn’t changed. I still, to this day, have not any reliable explanation; no one has bothered to give me the decency of telling me exactly what happened to me or why it happened. I’ve heard different stories from different people, each told to me in almost embarrassed tones, like the speaker didn’t really believe what they were saying. None of the principle players involved in this little drama has ever reached out to me, either to explain or to apologize.
For a year now, I’ve held doors open; I’ve been available and accessible in the hopes that someone would grow a conscience and send me a message, to offer me some kind of explanation, to tell me the truth. No more of that, though; I’m done. I’m not accepting the apology I never got, but I’m not going to leave myself open anymore, either. I’m too hurt – and too angry – to keep hoping that they’re going to suddenly become decent or ethical. I need to move on, and in order to do that, I need to lay this baggage down.
Filed under compassion and cooperation, critical thinking, dumbassery, ethics, failure, frustrations, General Griping, history, Mrs. Chili as Student, really?!, self-analysis, That's your EXCUSE?!, Yikes!, You're kidding...right?
SO, you know how I’ve been pissed for a while now that I’ll send personal emails to the people who make decisions about the jobs I’m applying for, but no one – NOT ONE OF THEM – had responded?
Look what I got in my inbox today!
Dear Ms. Chili,
Thank you very much for your interest in the the Lecturer position. I look forward to reviewing your materials and sharing with the search committee.
That wasn’t so hard, was it?!
I can’t even VOLUNTEER to teach! I just got this from the summer camp I contacted in JANUARY (and again in April, and again in May, and again on Friday).
WHAT do I have to DO?!
Our summer filled up quickly with the curriculum we wanted to structure for the teens, so there was not the writing opportunity I thought there may be, and I do apologize for this. We often have so many generous and talented folks who want to offer their services to us, but it is often more the timing and program structure that will determine when or how we can use them. I am sorry if this is a disappointment. For volunteers who will be with us day in and day out, I feel it is important to give them the workshop opportunities, which can also take up more time. For instance, we had a poet willing to visit with us 2-3 days a week, so I had to jump on that and offer her the “writing blocks.” That and our Americorps VISTA has a degree in writing, so I wanted to give her an opportunity as well.
Ugh. I should be used to this by now, but I’m just not. Every one of these feels like a sock in the gut.
“Thank you for your interest in Local U. I’ve placed your CV in our files. Unfortunately, we did not have as many adjunct sections available for the Fall. I will keep your information on file, in case there are any changes.“
I was expecting a phone call.
Instead, I got a letter that reads, in part, “We experienced a very competitive field, with many qualified candidates interviewing for the position. While the interview committees have selected another candidate for the position, your expertise was both valued and appreciated.”
I have it on good authority that the candidate they chose is a brand-new graduate (who, it turns out, is the roommate of the intern my former mentor had in her classroom this semester. My mentor called me to give me the news yesterday morning, when her intern told her that the roommate had been offered – and had accepted – the job).
That makes twice I’ve been passed over for someone fresh out of college. I doubt this will be the last time, either; schools would much rather pay the scale for an inexperienced teacher than for one who’s been in the classroom.
I’m trying very hard not to take this personally. Looked at from the big-picture angle, there’s nothing exceptional about this experience; when a single open position can consistently generate 70+ applications, landing a position becomes more a matter of luck than of qualifications.
I’m looking down the barrel of a full year’s worth of unemployment in my field, though, and trying to come to terms that, during that span (and of having sent resumes to literally every high school and college within my commuting distance), this is only the second time I’ve even been contacted (to be fair, Quaint Coastal City School District did send me a “we got your resume” postcard; beyond that, I’ve gotten literally no response from any of the schools, up to and including those to whose principals I’ve sent personal emails). It’s really hard not to get discouraged.