This is a story about a job interview that happened to someone I know. It’s also about friendship. It doesn’t really matter who it was, because learning from others is a good thing, I think. Sometimes a really good thing. (The photo above is just for decoration because the person who had this interview would rather not share a personal photo here in this post. Too bad I don’t know how to blur the face or make it just a profile…but I digress)
WAIT. I started this post topic because it was WordPress’s topic suggestion of the day, and this one particular interview is something that has gnawed at me for a long time and I thought that if I wrote about it because they said so, I could do so in a light manner and not keep it inside any more. But it seems that I can’t write about it yet. Maybe never, not even if I pretend it happened to someone else, which of course it didn’t (doh…I knew you wouldn’t fall for that, not really). This particular experience was the source of a painful outcome, about which I am still conflicted, even months later.
I just tried again…I guess the painful outcome part is what is the issue, not the interview. In a nutshell, I wasn’t sure I wanted the job, really wasn’t the best candidate for it and didn’t get it. Ho-hum. I applied because someone I cared for and trusted suggested I do so, and wrote me a really nice recommendation letter. I didn’t want to waste the letter, and I trusted him, so I applied. He was on the interview committee, so would know if I didn’t apply. He was also the one who called the candidates afterward, to announce the outcome. During the phone call to tell me I didn’t get the job, every answer I made during the interview was dissected for me, every weak answer duly noted. Apparently all but one was weak. That phone call is the last time we’ve spoken, and that is what is hard to let go of. Was it not worthwhile to be friends with someone who would be less than stellar in an interview? Was that friendship just done? I hadn’t thought so, but maybe it was.
I have a theory about friendship that goes kind of like this: We meet people over the course of our lives because they have something to teach us, or we have something to teach them. Or maybe it’s not about teaching, maybe it’s something else, like creating something or helping someone. Probably something I don’t even have words for. I just don’t think people enter our lives accidentally. Clearly some have a greater purpose than others. I mean, saying hello to someone in the grocery store probably doesn’t have a long range purpose, but who knows? Following this idea, we don’t continue all friendships at the same level forever. Think how crowded our lives would be by the time we got old if that were the case.
This makes me think about Facebook. A couple of days ago I was thinking about all the people who are my “friends” and decided to thin the pack a little. First, I blocked some too-young friends (I made the mistake of accepting 5 students who are no longer mine, but are not yet 18) from seeing my wall posts. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings by deleting them, so took that route. Then I went through and deleted a few people who have clearly passed through and are on the other side of our relationship. The thing that was hard about this? Deciding when a friendship has run its course. We can sort of artificially prolong friendships through digital means these days, and I was trying to decide which of my 327 friends were those. This time through I only managed to release about 15 of them. But I’ll be back. Trying to keep it relevant. One day I hope to get better at recognizing which friendships have fulfilled their purpose and can be allowed to fade gracefully and which need more time and deserve further maintenance.