September 10, 2009

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

One of the first scenes in the movie "Crash" was the two black guys discussing their treatment at a diner. One guy complained how waiters see black guys and automatically assume they won't tip so they give shitty service; his example was she filled up everyone else's coffee mugs constantly but never once gave them coffee. His friend reminded him that they hadn't even ordered coffee in the first place. The first guy doesn't see that as any consolation and says that's why he didn't leave a tip.

Thereby perpetuating the stereotype and making sure that he really will get crappy service if he's ever recognized in there again, fulfilling his own prophecy.

This summer I listened to the wrong person, and didn't realize it until it was way too late. The wrong person made some sense, and I was clouded by regret over the circumstances surrounding my last job to listen much to the right person. The right person viewed the opportunity as an extended job interview for a permanent position. It worked for him. The wrong person said that if my job is only to last the summer I might as well enjoy it while I can. It worked.

I was afraid that I would regret not taking advantage of the opportunity I did have and enjoy every day. I did enjoy every day and at least don't have that to regret, but now I have no chance of doing what it is I really want to do and don't have anyone to blame but myself. And that I do very deeply regret. I do try to look at things objectively and I saw 2 employees who deserved a chance to continue their jobs; very fortunately for them those 2 got their chances. Very unfortunately for me I was not one of them.

I could justify my loss by saying I didn't have the opportunity to excel, that no one gave me the chance to show what I knew, that on the 1 day I was evaluated I was flustered by a sudden schedule change and had a notoriously hard evaluator, that my experience at shuttles taught me to be efficient rather than slow, but when it all comes down to it I just didn't try hard enough. Wanting something, no matter how bad you want it and no matter who knows how bad you want it, isn't enough to get anything. I was up against people with years and years of experience and education I simply don't have, people who had the right outlook and made every single tour every single day count, people who knew at the beginning what they wanted and how to work to get it. My evaluator wrote that I was "a very nice girl to work with and someone who obviously loves her job." Code for "she's sweet but that's about it."

It did hurt to be "just the driver" to guests, some guides, other Park employees, and my supervisors. It did hurt when the department director ignored my offers to help with things I was experienced with, when she showed no regret at my inability to apply for other Park jobs and even encouraged me to quit sooner in order to apply.

People have always said that persistence is how you get the job: call often, make your name known, really show your dedication. So why every time I did this I was not only shot down but even rudely ignored? I just seem to annoy people and missed some good opportunities in the past. Maybe it's the economical climate, but I've found if you're not good enough on paper you're not going to be considered. Period.

Which leaves me with two options: find someone who needs a writer or find someone who needs a driver. I feel like Luke Wilson in "Idiocracy": average in every way with no qualities that make me stand out, except I don't think I'm going to be selected to be cryogenically frozen and reawakened in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment