Another Type of Rejection

My really interesting predicament was that I was offered a job yesterday. I was offered a job making twenty eight percent less than I was making at the job I just lost. It would have been a perfect fit. Personalities meshed. What I had to offer was what they needed. It would have been perfect if only I could get them to go a little bit higher. I mean… I can accept that I won’t make as much as I was working outside the city. I can accept that I might not make as much in this shitty economy. But I can’t accept twenty eight percent less. And when they wouldn’t move to where I needed them to move I had to say no. I had to reject a job offer. And that, ladies and gentleman, is not an easy thing to do.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon trying to figure out how I would ask them for money this morning. I wrote to countless friends and former associates to ask for advice. I got mostly the same thoughts all around. I didn’t have anything to lose by trying to haggle them up. I should shoot for something in the middle of what they were offering and what I was looking for.

And so this morning I got up and I showered and got dressed as if I was going to work. I wanted to feel professional for what was a very professional phonecall I had to make. I sat at my computer and I typed up some general guidelines of what I wanted to say and then I picked up the phone and I called the company.

For ten minutes I went over what was expected of me, what I was bringing to the table, and what made me unique. And then I asked for what I wanted. The person I spoke to couldn’t make any decisions without talking to her boss but she didn’t seem very optimistic that any moment on the salary would be possible. She let me go and went to talk to her superiors, promising to call me by mid-afternoon.

Within an hour or so she called me back and upped the offer by a tiny margin. It still wasn’t enough to justify my saying yes but I asked for some time to think about it. Within ten minutes I was sure of what my decision would be and within an hour I had called and rejected the offer.

It feels wrong. It feels so very fucking wrong that I gave up the chance to be employed. My wife is struggling with her job. We’re trying to get out of debt. I want to start saving for a house, for kids… Shouldn’t I take whatever comes my way? What justifies me being selective? Shouldn’t I just be happy that someone wants to pay me for my pitiful little talents at all?

I was really upset and the only thing that was able to put a smile on my face was when my career counselor sent back a revised copy of my resume. It looked amazing and for a moment I actually believed I was as cool as the guy we were presenting in that document.

I tried to do some job searching but I couldn’t concentrate. I wrote a verse for a song I’ve been working on. I did a little work on my latest music video. I watched the first half-hour of Oprah because they were featuring the cats from Project Greenlight. I engaged in some extracurricular activities with myself. I forgot to take out something for dinner.

And then I decided to watch WWF Smackdown even though it’s pretaped and I had already read all of the results on the internet. Stef came home and we got sandwiches from a sub shop down the street. I educated her about the Rock and Hollywood Hulk Hogan and then we switched channels and watched an ABC special about Rosie O’Donnell and her quest to make gay adoption legal in Florida.

And really, none of this has made me feel any better. I had to reject a job today. It was a very adult thing to do. Something a little schmuck like me should never have had to do. I feel ashamed at my selfishness and I feel ashamed that I didn’t swallow my pride and take what they offered. There are plenty of people out there who would kill for a job, any job, and I just gave one up.

Who do I think I am?