I posted an entry a few weeks ago about not getting a job that I wanted, which would have allowed me to stay working at the medical center where I currently work when my one-year fellowship ends in mid-August. It’s not a job that I wanted very badly, honestly, but it seemed like a reasonable fit for my interests and skills and it would’ve kept me from having to move. Much to my surprise (and the surprise of many others, if people are being sincere), the job went to a friend of mine instead of to me. The thing that stings is that she had no experience in this particular area of psychology, and I’ve been working nearly exclusively in this area for the last year and a half. Oh, and the person who made the decision to give her the job was my clinical supervisor, who has worked closely with me for the last 10 months or so. In breaking the news to me, he told me that my not getting the job is in no way a comment on my skills, or my value to the institution, or blah blah blah…a laundry list of things that just felt condescending, insincere and as if they were meant to keep me from bursting into tears just long enough for my supervisor to get out of my office. He also promised me that he and the rest of the administration were working oh so hard to find me a position, and that they really, really wanted to keep me working for them (not enough to award me the position that was open, apparently, but I didn’t point that out). And to be fair, I have been offered a position in the system, at a small satellite clinic in a town about two hours north of here. It’s a job, and probably not a bad one.
So, in the intervening two weeks since the decision was made, all anybody at work wants to talk to me about is this situation. Some folks want to cuss out the people responsible for the decision, which makes me feel kinda good (my favorite was a co-worker who just looked at me, shook his head and said “There are some ignorant sons-of-bitches in management around here.” I wanted to hug him). Then there are the folks who are driving me nuts, the ones who so want me to believe that there’s something right around the corner for me, and I’m just a big ol’ pessimist if I can’t see that for myself. One of these people is my friend who got the job. Her having gotten the job is not putting nearly so much of a strain on our friendship as is her nearly-delusional insistence that there WILL be a job for me, and it’ll be coming through any day now, and I’m just being irrational to not hold out the cheeriest of super-cheery hope. It’s all she wants to talk about, and it kind of makes me want to strangle her.
I don’t dare hope, at this point. To continue to hold out hope is an invitation to further and bigger disappointment. Except that I can’t seem to help it, on some level. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to leave my friends, and this city I’ve come to know and like. I don’t want to leave the hospital I work in now, with the good staff, the interesting clientele and the many growth/advancement opportunities. But it hardly seems reasonable, with the days ticking away until the end of the fellowship year.
So I’m stuck between the desire to hope and the fear of getting those hopes squashed like a grape. And I’m stressed. I always tell myself that I’m doing OK, that I do have employment waiting for me, and it probably won’t be that long before I’m back down in the city amongst my friends, right where I want to be. But one thing I know about myself is that I don’t do that well with uncertainty, and the unresolved-ness of all this is making me edgy and unhappy. I’m trying hard to cling to order wherever I can find it (keeping the house neat, having healthy and tasty food available, doing laundry, etc), but I’m just not doing that great a job. And predictably, the thing that’s fallen by the wayside in the biggest way is my eating habits. But I’m here, and as promised, I’m writing about the stuff that’s giving me fits. One way or another, it’ll settle down, and I will too. In the meantime, the writing helps. I feel calmer.