I got another rejection today. I keep getting rejected by potential participants for my research. And every time it happens, it’s like a blow to the chest. I get frustrated and angry and embarrassed and sad and defeated, in the span of time it takes to say, ‘Well, fuck.’
And in the thirty seconds in which I process the emailed words, reading and re-reading and re-reading again the politely worded ‘never contact us again’, in that time my thoughts go from sadness to ‘dammit’ to ‘not again’ to ‘fuck, again? Really?’ to ‘what did I do wrong?’ to ‘when will I get it right?’ to a final resting state of ‘fuck it, I hate this this, just fuck it all.’
I want to find a job that doesn’t involve people always telling me ‘no’. Or I want to find a way to make the ‘no’s a manageable occasion.
I want to re-read it now. I’m doubting what I read. Not that it said no – I’m quite positive there – but I can’t remember exactly how she phrased the ‘fuck off’ part. The part where it was clear that they thought I was an idiot, a waste of time, a waste of space, an impossible moron…if I could just decipher that ‘fuck off’ maybe I could get it right next time.
Hope springs eternally to kick my jaw out of its socket.
I feel destroyed – violated almost. I put myself on a tenuous, stringy little twig, every time I ask someone for help. And they snap it.
Of course, I don’t actually ask for help. That would be unprofessional. That would make me seem weak. Instead, I try to put something in it for them. I make it worth their while (and in all honesty, it really is – they get a better deal out of it). I phrase my request as an offer, a juicy, welcome treat they’d be fool to turn down. But the trouble with offers is that they’re easy to turn down. Requests are harder, but they make me look young, foolish, and unreliable.
Am I protecting myself from getting a rejection? Or am I setting myself up as a worthy entity that then gets passed over? Either way, do I sabotage my project?