Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Official

I didn't get it.

I'm a wreck, needless to say.

Damn damn damn damn damn.

I'm reminded though, of another job I didn't get.

Years and years and years ago, back when I was but a pup, not too long after I first moved to NYC. I was working in the General Counsel's Office of Ernst & Young, the largest professional services firm in the world. (Or at least it was back then.) Was anyone ever more ill-suited for a job? I didn't enjoy working at Ernst & Young. It was awful.

And life was elsewhere. I was volunteering with the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. And I was something of a star volunteer. My core function was being a hotline crisis counselor a few times a month, but beyond that, I worked the speaker's bureau, trained new volunteers, did community organizing work... If they needed it done, I did it. And a job opened up at AVP: HIV-Related Violence Project Coordinator. At that time, HIV-related violence was sort of a new thing. The best way to explain might be by way of example: HIV positive men who were visibly frail were being robbed at ATMs due to the perception that they would be unable to put up much of a fight. Working with these clients was difficult: as they were formerly robust, on top of everything else they had to deal with was the increasing liklihood that they'd be victims of violence. I interviewed, with Matt Foreman, then the Executive Director, and with the staff. And I shined. I had worked really closely with Juan, who had been doing the job, and he thought I'd be great in the position.

It just started to make sense that I would get the job. They knew me, they loved me, my commitment to the mission of AVP and my grasp of the issues at hand was evident. I became increasingly cavalier at Ernst & Young, feeling assured that soon I'd be leaving that hot mess behind.

And I didn't get the job.

It went to a woman with an MSW. She had previously worked at St. Vincent's Hospital, and not long after that there was this big article in the Times about how because St. Vincent's was a Catholic hospital, staff there had to be cautious about passing out condoms and counseling rape survivors about their family planning options. If it was discovered that they were doing anything like that, they'd lose their jobs. Many people who worked there would do it anyway behind closed doors, except with Latino/a patients, as it was thought that they might be devout Catholics and would spill the beans.

I know, right? What a sordid state of affairs! And they hired this bozo who came out of there?

Not long after MSW Woman came on board, there was a volunteer meeting to introduce her. Most of my fellow volunteers knew about my candidacy for the position. I was... let's just say Underwhelmed by her. And on top of that, I had to listen to other volunteers tell me sotto voce, "What were they thinking?"

I soldiered on, for a while.

AVP moved out of the cramped space they rented in the LGBT Community Center into new offices on Hudson Street. I, of course, helped them paint their new space. There I was, late one night, doing a good job covering freshly hung drywall with white paint in one of the offices. I asked who was going to get this office and I was informed that MSW Woman would be working in there.

I couldn't take it any more after that.

And it sure seemed like the end of the world. Things at Ernst & Young only got worse. My friend Richard left, and then, worst of all, my friend Paul left to move to San Francisco. It was pretty awful after that.

And then, I got laid off from Ernst & Young.

In the free time afforded me while I lived off my severance, I threw myself into work with ACT UP, which I turned to to fill the hole that volunteering with AVP left in my life. And my work with ACT UP garnered me the attention of a certain openly gay, openly HIV positive memeber of the New York City Council. He offered me a job, and that turned out to be the job of a lifetime. All the other places I worked while I lived in NYC stemmed from my work as a Legislative Aide. It was a job I loved. Wholeheartedly. I did great things in the three years that I worked there. I met tons of people. (That Rudy Giuliani guy? He totally knows who I am. Although he doesn't like me much.)

So I'm trying to take comfort in that. Maybe, dark and bleak as things look, something good is just around the corner.

1 comment:

MsSnS said...

I was really hoping you'd get it. Sorry it didn't work out.