Our Business

Small JusticesA job test. Passed. A job interview. Seemed to go well.

“We’ll let you know in six weeks or less.”

Six weeks later the hopeful applicant sends a carefully worded “checking on the status of my application” email.

“We should decide no later than the end of next week,” is the response.

End of next week. No word. Then, on Saturday, a form letter: “We have filled all available positions.”

The sad thing about this story is that I don’t need to convince most readers this actually happened to someone. The scenario is far too familiar: someone with a job, attendant paycheck, and the ability to buy groceries treats job seekers like lower forms of life. Why? Does trodding on the downtrodden feed a sick sense of power? Does such behavior stem from a lack of imagination: the inability to stand in another’s shoes? Or is it cowardice: hiding behind protocols to shield oneself from legal ramifications or simply from an uncomfortable interchange?

Whatever the cause, such treatment is unjust. A job seeker  left in limbo for weeks on end deserves a phone call or, at the very least, a personal email. Whatever discomfort the bearer of the bad news feels is nothing compared to what is experienced by the receiver. Especially when the receiver is treated like just one more mundane task to check off a to-do list.

Everyone of us gets rejected. The how of that rejection can make the difference between temporary bewilderment and permanent self destruction. If we must reject, let us do so with humanity.

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

Business!’ cried the Ghost, writing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forebearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

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