Rejected and Dejected
After a couple of weeks, I got an e-mail telling me that I was among a select group from whom the client was requesting a made-to-order sample. So I created and submitted the made-to-order sample, confident that it would pass muster and that I’d get the project and be all set workwise through spring. I kept getting e-mails from the client, citing delay after delay in the decision/selection process. Fine with me. It gave me plenty of time to finish up the project I was currently working on. I figured that I’d finish the current project just as the prospective client made their decision, which would work out nicely. Of course, not wanting to tempt fate, I kept telling myself that there was a chance I wouldn’t be one of the candidates chosen. But I wasn’t too worried. In short, I was basically counting on that job.
This morning I opened my e-mail to find out I didn’t get chosen for the project. I was floored. This is the first time ever in nine years as an independent contractor that I haven’t gotten a job I was in contention for.
OK. So that’s a damn good record, but that e-mail left me feeling pretty deflated. I’ve worked for this client before on several occasions, and they’ve always loved my work. This project wasn’t anything out of my depth, in fact, I thought I was an excellent fit for it. What could have been wrong with my sample? Was there an egregious error in it? Did I somehow fail to follow their guidelines? Of course, I can’t interrogate them about why they don’t want to use me on the project. I just have to accept their decision gracefully, which I did with a brief e-mail this morning.
But, oh, the self-doubt and creeping panic!
I finished up the current project yesterday, and now I have no work pending. Zilch! This seldom happens to me, but I tend to have no perspective on this situation when it happens. I start thinking that, yep, this is it. It’s finally happened. I’ve lost my touch. They’ve discovered what an imposter I am. All the work has been outsourced to India. If I have to go out and find myself a mainstream office job, I’m doomed! I’m going to have to hurl myself repeatedly against the door of the Poor House sobbing, “Let me in, let me in, let me in! For god’s sake, let me in!”
Thoughts like that. This is always the way I start thinking before I even make one phone call or send one e-mail to my list of clients asking if they’ve got any work for me. And you know what? I hardly ever have to start going through the list, because almost always a client just happens to contact me, thus saving me the trouble of soliciting for work.
I mean, how great is that? I know for a fact that most independent contractors in my line of work have it much tougher, with real—not imagined—droughts occurring all too frequently.
So, today, I attempted to not let the panic demon ruin my day. I sent off the assignment I finished yesterday and asked that client if they’ve got anything else for me. They’re checking. Good enough.
Then I forced myself to turn off the computer (always a good idea) and take advantage of the fact that it had stopped raining and the Sun was out. An unexpected day off! “Get your ass out there,” I told myself, “and finish that fall garden clean-up.” And I did and—get this—I enjoyed it. Go figure. I did a bunch of errands and took a walk. The fall color is still magnificent, so I took some photos and added them to my monstrously huge fall color Flickr set to make it even more monstrously huge.
True, I somehow didn’t get around to working on the revamp of my professional Web site, which has hideously out-of-date content and a hideously dated appearance (late 90s). Vomit! I always tell myself that I’m going to update it when I’m in between jobs, but then I hardly ever am. I’ll work on it tomorrow. Really, I will.
Gosh. Does this post sound incredibly egotistical, smug, and boastful? It might. But that wasn’t my intent. Since I’m blogging every day, I figured I might as well document for my own future edification exactly where my mind goes when I hit a tiny little sticky patch in my career and remind myself that there is NO NEED TO PANIC. At least not until next week!
Today’s Random NaBloPoMo blog: Jamielynnlynn