In baseball, “going O-fer” (also spelled oh-fer, ohfer, 0-fer) is about the worst thing you can do as a hitter. It means that you failed to capitalize on every single chance you had in a game.

Well, it appears that I’ve gone O-fer today. Fifteen potential calls, and yet my phone has stayed silent and unvibrating all morning.

I think right now I’m going back and forth between being infuriated, mystified, and just plain sad.

My fury is directed mainly at the places where I really wanted to work. Those were the applications which I spent the greatest amount of time and effort on, and those were the places which I felt most confident about hearing from today. In particular, I’m angry with the two places whose OCIs I knocked out of the park. You know that feeling of coming out of an interview knowing that you nailed it? I had that with these two places. I even fist-pumped as soon as I was out of sight, such was my confidence. But no, nothing.

And then I’m mystified because of my sudden reversal in fortunes. It was only last month that I learned that I went 4/9 for OCIs – a 44% hit rate. That was an excellent result, especially considering I’d heard people talking about going 1/15 (7%) or, in the case of one particularly zealous applicant, 11/40 (28%). The eleven places who were getting back to me for the first time today received the same materials as the nine who made their decisions back in late September. Same resume (with occasional minor alterations). Identical transcripts. Identical reference letters. Different cover letters, sure, but all of those were unique to a certain extent anyhow. But somehow, despite all other factors being equal, I went from a 44% success rate to 0%. Part of me wonders whether I somehow screwed up the applications and they weren’t received somehow. But no, not possible. All of the applications are marked as having been sent, and I although I only received emails confirming receipt of my application from a handful of employers, it’s enough to disprove the theory that something went wrong with the application process itself. That means that the blame must fall squarely on my shoulders.

And that brings me to sadness. As you might be able to tell by the tone of this entry, I’m not emotionally devastated at the moment. It’s more of a dull, throbbing sadness mixed in with a feeling of resignation. As awful as this result is, it’s really just been par for the course over the last year and a half. And I know I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but this just continues the narrative which has seen me go from being in demand by every academic institution ever (except Harvard and Yale), to being virtually ignored. Just about every employer, volunteer organization, scholarship committee, and school has turned me down since 2013. I’ve lost count of the number of opportunities that I’ve been turned down for, often with no response at all. And as a result, I’ve gone from expecting to succeed in every endeavour to expecting every application to end in failure. Applying to places sometimes feels about as futile as putting my resume in a bottle and tossing it into Lake Ontario. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying, and I think that’s pretty sad in itself.

So now what?

Well, first I’ve got to survive this day. I only slept for three hours last night as nerves about today kept me awake. I’ll bet those nerves feel really stupid right about now. At some point I’ll have to do something to stop this day from being a total waste. Maybe I’ll go for a walk along the lake. Maybe I’ll do some Christmas shopping. Maybe I’ll buy myself a video game. Maybe all three. For dinner, maybe I’ll cheat on my diet and order a pizza. Or maybe just a sub. A sub would be quite nice. And then tonight I’ve got curling. I suspect I’ll suck a bit more than usual today, but maybe I can take my frustration out on some rocks. Oh yeah, and at some point I’ll have to call my parents and explain this one to them. I’m looking forward to that about as much as a turkey looks forward to Thanksgiving.

And then, once I’ve sufficiently recovered, it’ll be time to get back on the horse. Although I’m out of the running for the main wave of recruitment, other opportunities will pop up occasionally from time to time. Besides that, applications for clerkships (which would have me working as an assistant to a judge) won’t be due until January, and that’s something which I’m still very much interested in.

Time marches on.

Advertisements