While reading another post I was reminded of perhaps the cruelest rejection letter I have ever received and to this day it still bothers me. The reason it bothers me was because it was exceptionally cruel and evil.
I have years of writing experience. I wrote for the school paper in high school, college and graduate school. Besides that I have written various other papers and other writing jobs. I mention this because right after graduate school I saw a paper 20 minutes away or so was hiring. I was going to mention the particular newspaper along with the town, but may later on. The city has a population of over 25,000 which isn’t that much but more than where I currently live. The paper there was hiring for a features writer and I fit all of the requirements so I sent in my samples. A couple of weeks passed and I received a rejection letter. Usually I get rejection letters like “thank you and while you are qualified we don’t see a perfect fit”. Oh no, this one said something like this “we looked at your samples and you are not a good writer. We will not call for an interview and don’t bother trying again”. I can’t remember the exact wording but this was close to the words. I am a strong person but this rejection made me extremely depressed and hopeless. I cried that whole night.
Why did they send such a mean letter? I honestly don’t know but while researching the paper I found out a former boss was an editor there. The former boss was my boss at a radio station and he basically jerked me around at the station for months. I was hired with the idea that even though I was starting Sundays eventually I would move to full time on air. I know this is how radio is so I accepted being a producer for religious programming on Sundays from 6am-11am and doing one hour of on air broadcasting from 11am-12pm. I hated the hours but was happy to have a radio job. However while I was there I kept hearing that I was just this one guy’s replacement and that once he came back I was out of a job. I asked him and he never gave me a legit answer so I never brought it up again. Weeks passed and next thing you know I see my one hour of on air broadcasting cut and I was told I was only going to be the producer for the religious shows. Meanwhile they did hire a man who got the on air job that was originally mine. Long story short I got tired of it so I sent an email to the boss telling him I quit. Maybe I should have given two weeks but I was so disgusted. I can’t prove this guy is the reason I got that letter but suspect so.
This letter was in 2004 but it did affect me a lot. After that I quit doing a lot of writing because I was so depressed and felt if they said I was bad, then maybe I was. I did apply at another newspaper since then and never got hired because they only hire relatives (this told to me). I also made sure never to subscribe to the paper and when they have called asking me to I always mention the newspaper and the rejection.
If they weren’t interested I could handle that, but being exceptionally mean was immature. Sadly after this I never got neither a radio nor newspaper job again but was offered a job teaching journalism at a nearby good college. I turned it down to take the last job I had, which I hated. I wish I hadn’t turned this down but too late now.