I have been looking at job openings these past few months. I am hoping to find something that would allow me to work close to at least my daughter’s school, and/or close to our home. So here comes a temporary job opening in that school, to fill in for a maternity leaver. For about 10 months.
I thought I’d give it a try and deep inside I felt I had a big chance. Why? Here are the reasons:
1. I have volunteered for 3 years in that school’s tuckshop. Yup, 3 years. Working for free. Not because I have to, but because I wanted to. I can be in the same place where my daughter is; I wanted to experience working in the canteen; and I love working in the kitchen and serving the children. I thought in this job I am now applying for, the people who would decide the outcome would hopefully think that working for free for 3 years proves I love the school, which I do.
2. After 3 years volunteering, they offered me a permanent job in the tuckshop because one of the staff resigned. During the time I was volunteering for them, I had a job somewhere else that takes me about an hour travelling to and from, via train. I grabbed the chance to work in the school and I resigned from that job to accept the offer. Unfortunately, after 6 months, the school started giving out redundance letters as a cost cutting measure and as expected, they had to let go of the new employees first — that included me, leaving the tuckshop with only 2 staff in it. The principal saw me one time before my last day and went to me and said how sorry he was about what happened and he assured me that it’s not me or how I performed — it’s just that the school is struggling financially and they had to make that difficult decision. Everybody was sad and so was I, and after a few private tears, I shrugged my shoulder and moved on. I did however, continue to work for them a couple of times when they asked me to do relief work when necessary. I thought in this job I am now applying for, the people who would decide the outcome would hopefully think that maybe they should get me as they regretfully had to cut my previous employment with them short because they had to cut cost, and hence they would consider those they have made redundant first.
3. My job before working for the school for administrative in nature and for 4 years, the same sort of line this job opening was all about. I thought in this job I am now applying for, the people who would decide the outcome would hopefully think that I am qualified because I have the experience.
4. Having worked for them, the people who could give a reference are in the school. I thought in this job I am now applying for, the people who would decide the outcome would hopefully think that it is easier to find out how I work just by asking the people I used to work with, who were just a few steps away from their own office.
And then I get THE letter. It is a rejection letter. It was disappointing and it is always hard receiving rejection letters. No explanation whatsoever; the letter says the school policy doesn’t allow them to say any reason.
Expectedly, I was disappointed. Then I felt annoyed and upset and I felt like thinking about the possible reasons why. I suppose when things like this happen, people normally would think they were not good enough, for various reasons: race? sex? age? appearance? experience? religion? Did they just not like me? I don’t think I will ever know at all.
Private tears again. And then I realize that a LOT of mothers are waiting for every school job opening that comes up for the same reasons I have. I am being self centered.
And then I think of all those people who are trying to find a job and not getting the job they want and not knowing why. I remember those times when I was a bank officer and I had to interview numerous job applicants for various positions and how hard it is to turn down some of them. And I remember also those times when I had to talk to people to tell them the bank has to let them go 😦 I never thought I’ll ever be on the other side of the fence.
It’s not easy being on either side.