Probably because I returned the shoes

By Mir
April 30, 2006
Category Job? Huh?

I’ve been trying to pretend it wasn’t a big deal, that I’m unbothered, and I didn’t need to talk about it. I have this misguided belief, sometimes, that the RIGHT thing should by definition be the EASY thing; discontent becomes a sign of weakness, in my system, if the choice was correct.

But then, you know, there’s the whole thing where I don’t even like porridge but you are damn well going to have to listen to me complain about it if the temperature is off. It’s part of my charm.

So. Um. It’s time to tell you the thing about the thing, I think.

There’s something kind of exciting happening in the blogosphere right now, and you’ve probably heard about it. A group of women are going to be blogging for a big corporate site for real money. It sounds like a lot of people applied and the “select group” of those offered jobs is likely to be amazing.

I applied, along with the rest of the free world (ha!) and after hearing nothing for what seemed an interminable period of time, I decided that I was not wanted, time to move on to plan B. So after stalling a second place for a while, I actually sort of pre-accepted a different gig (that would’ve been a conflict) and the very next day, I found out I was being offered a spot with the first place, the one I really wanted to work for.

So I did a little victory dance and shared the good news with my parents and let the second place know that OOPS! actually, I had this other gig, but thank you, and then I went online and bought some shoes, because that’s what I do. It was a very good day!

And then about a week later I got the paperwork for this job that I’d been dying to get, and there were some things that were problematic for me. (And by “problematic for me,” I mean “set off alarm bells and waving robot arms and declarations of DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!”) First of all, there was a week between the job offer and the paperwork, but the paperwork came with an email about how we are all under a tremendous time crunch and this all needs to be signed as soon as possible. Plus, the email continued, nothing in the contract was negotiable. Due to the time constraints, naturally.

Funny, but I was not surprised, after that intro, to discover that I had some problems with the contract.

Long story short: I ended up thanking the client for the opportunity, but not taking the job.

Long story long: I don’t have any doubt that I made the right choice for me. I did talk with a number of other people who did go on to sign up with this opportunity, because I felt that perhaps my concerns would be… more universal, I guess… than they apparently were. As far as I know, I’m the only person who turned down the contract. And I am NOT saying that anyone who signed didn’t make exactly the right decision for themselves, so please let’s not get into that.

I had a conflict of interest, given the structure of the contract, and so I couldn’t sign it. That’s all.

Except that (of course), that’s not all.

Except that I feel like I’ve somehow alienated a number of the people with whom I discussed this, because the tacit assumption seems to be that if I didn’t sign it, neither should you. Some of my concerns, I admit, go beyond my particular situation. And I did want to bring them up to other people. But if you hear all of that and still feel comfortable proceeding? Good for you. Seriously. I hope it works out for everyone who’s aboard and the whole thing is wildly successful. I hope I completely overreacted and every writer involved becomes rich and famous and is never, ever screwed over by the parent corporation.

Except that I really wanted this job, and I would’ve been great at this job, and I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed with the way it was handled by the people who made the offer and I’m disappointed with myself for thinking that it was going to work out.

Except that I realized that I also lost out on the other job, thanks to what was happening with this (both timing and some things I figured out during this process).

Except that sometimes I wish I was the sort of person who could just take today for what it is without worrying about how it affects tomorrow (or next week, or next year). I wish I could’ve just said, “Oh! Shiny, pretty money!” My life would be easier in the short-term and then I wouldn’t give a crap about the long-term. I think I’d be happier.

I know I’d be happier. But it’s not how I’m wired.

I have other work. And more work will come. I did the right thing for this point in my life.

So why am I feeling about as far from “peaceful” as it gets?


  1. Ms Sisyphus

    I think because it’s hard to watch people get what you wanted, even if you know it wasn’t exactly right for you.

    I felt like this when my best friend and I applied to grad school. I got waitlisted at our first choice; she got into her last ditch choice, which hadn’t even made it on my radar. Even though I didn’t want to go to her school and knew that it wouldn’t have been the right thing for me to do, it still left me feeling like I was missing out.

    It sounds to me like you’re feeling the grownups version of this. Even the people who choose not to sit at the cool table know it’s there, eh?

    And I think you’re pretty, and shiny, and already wearing fabulous shoes.

  2. Em

    I’m guessing because you are afraid you will regret the decision, especially since (I’m guessing), this blogging for money thing hasn’t started in full swing. That, maybe while you aren’t wishing for anything but success for those involved, you might like someone to say, you know what? You were right. I see your point. I wish I did it differently too.

    Its very hard, I think, to be confident in an opinion when it is different from everybody else’s.

    Plus, it sucks when timing works out so that you miss out on two opportunities. Like if the offer for #1 had come sooner or for #2 had come later, you could still have #2. Its kind of like Lets Make a Deal. You gave up the kitchen set for a donkey behind a curtain. But you aren’t any worse off right now than you were a month ago, somehow it just feels like it.

    Am I right on any point(less rambling)?

  3. Busy Mom

    I think Ms. Sisyphus is right, it’s hard to watch people get what you wanted, even if it turned out not to be the right thing for you.

    It’s also hard not to stand up and say, “You see that? I had that chance, too, and turned them down!”

    I had to choose between 2 different contracts (not these of which you speak). I turned down one that would have been a great opportunity, but, the other one felt more “right”.

    You will feel better once these projects get underway and aren’t so new that everyone’s talking about them all the time.

    It may sound trite, but, perhaps something even better will come along. Who knows?

  4. ozma

    Perhaps one reason we are not peaceful because as women we are trained to be compliant in situations like that. You did the right thing (and the fact you can do that in that situations says that in worse situations you will also do the right thing with about 1% of the population). It might be the vestiges of that training nagging at you. I actually think it’s unlikely you will regret it.

  5. Susan

    Just off the top of my head, you know that I still love you and think you’re pretty, don’t you?

    Although I’m sad about the shoes.

  6. Patricia

    Pretty, Pretty, Mir:
    Who told you doing right was easy or would make you feel good? I want to slap them around a bit. If doing right were always the thing that felt good — do you think we’d need people reminding us to perform “random acts of kindness”?
    You have three total thingies that sting. One, you turned down a job you THOUGHT you really wanted. However, no matter how good the chocolate is, there is nothing that will make me crawl through barbed wire for it. My dad tells me as a general rule never accept something that people tell you must be decided today OR that you can not amend (for things like contracts that is). Two, you are feeling foolish for letting the bird in hand go because you saw bright shiney lights. Have you called the other party and explained? Perhaps — otherwise, say, “I learned” and move along please. Finally, you are feeling a rift with your friends because you feel like that they think you think less of them because they took it. How many “thinks” can I put in that sentence? What do you really know? What do they know? I KNOW in your heart you are happy for them. I KNOW you hope the best for them and that you KNOW the RIGHT opportunity will come along that fits you. And here’s the secret — I don’t know those other bloggers, but I’m betting here — the others are hoping the RIGHT one comes along for you too and they probably understand that this isn’t it for you.
    Small sidenote (in this too long for words comment), you probably are also stinging a bit from your perceived “failure” to sway your friends by trying to point out some elephant in the room. The problem is your elephant is someone else’ dust bunny. I fight this one on a daily basis in my life — I don’t get why everyone doesn’t see it my way and realize that that “whatever” is HUGE. It makes me want to scream, then cry, then shop. (I’m ok, hold me?)
    Peace is there — and you don’t need the “plan A” thing to fail for you to find it. You need your REAL plan A to find you. Until then, you have my prayers and my love.
    And, finally, I personally promise you — since I KNOW you to be the amazing, awe inspiring, pretty woman you are — that there is success for you. I promise that the right opportunity for you will meet ALL of your needs, and you will feel great peace about accepting it.

  7. jennster

    listen.. there’s a reason that the contract set off alarm bells for you and so there’s a reason you said no. good for you. you should be happy about doing what is right for no and not ending up getting fucked. you feel shitty though BECAUSE you were the only one who had issues with the contract and you were the only one to turn it down. while you know you did the best thing for you, in your head, your heart wanted to do it really bad. like a lot of us did. well basically.. your head is smart, its’ your heart that’s dumb. lol

  8. dad

    98.44% of the time your “gut feel” is the best course of action. Don’t beat yourself up. There are lots of pretty shoes out there awaiting your Cinderella feet.

  9. margalit

    I wouldn’t assume that you were the only person to turn down the gig. You might not know if other people whom you’re not in contact with or who didn’t care to share their experience were offered a gig. Really, don’t beat yourself up over it. So far, that site hasn’t really been much of anything and I have a feeling that it was started too late in the game and will be a fairly stagnent site. I might be wrong, but I’m pretty confident that it’s not going to offer as much as it appears to, considering who is blogging for them. Like other professional mommy blogging jobs, people burn out really fast on this kind of career anyhow, and I don’t think that it will turn out to be the great job you hoped it would be.

    In other words, I think you made the right decision for your family’s needs, and hindsight isn’t always as honest as you’d like.

    I KNOW you’re going to find work. I KNOW it will be work you like and will allow you the freedom to work the hours and at home without travel, etc. You’ll find the right job and you probably will never look back.

  10. David

    If the RIGHT choice was easy, what choice would there then be? Three years ago I quit the best paying, most gratifying job I’d ever had. The folks in charge had turned it into a soul-destroying meat grinder, so I left. Took a another job at a 40% lower pay rate. Was it painful? Yes. Easy? No. And I’m still adjusting to the difference. Would I do it again? Damn straight! If you felt something wasn’t right for you, it probably wasn’t. That company I left? They folded about six months ago. The truth will out in the end, as they say. Rock on, girl.

  11. SaturnCat

    It sounds like you and I are wired the same way. It would be nice if, occasionally, right=easy. And I suppose, statistically, it has to happen sometime. Right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t ever seem to boil down this way.

    Your gut tells you things for a reason. You listened, and that’s good. Don’t worry about how other people take it — that’s their issue, not yours.

  12. Jenn

    Okay, so here is where the long comment starts. First, I for one know that at least one of the bloggers you feel you alienated because of this, you did NOT. I know this because I know she loves and adores you and would never let some jackass contract or blogging gig that may or may not be worth the stress come between a friendship.

    I am so proud of you for standing up for what you saw was wrong for you AND for pointing it out to others. Many people would see that giant warning and hear those sirens and take cover for themselves rather than pointing out that “Hey, maybe you better think twice about this because I see this giant thing that might bite you in the ass.” That makes you a good person and a good friend.

    It make backfire on people who signed. It may not. Let’s all hope for the best for EVERYONE involved. Including you. Mir, you are an amazing writer and more importantly and amazing person. I am proud of you.

    I agree with margalit not to assume you were the only one who turned them down. (However I disagree that it will be less than it is offering “considering who they have blogging for them.”)

    The point is, YOU did what was right for you. Others did what was right for them. There shouldn’t be hard feelings for anyone. I know the UGH of knowing you saw something that should have had others back away, but they didn’t. I KNOW that because I have been there. If anything, you should be proud that you stuck to your guns. Regardless. Oh and by the way, you are so pretty! :-)

  13. Kristin

    Whenever I’ve lost an opportunity, a better one has come within weeks and I’ve always been all “thank PETE I didn’t take that first one”.

    Instinct’s almost always right.

    I’m sure your shoes are pretty.

  14. Brenda

    Whenever I’ve taken a job that was awesome on the surface, but I wasn’t comfortable with it, I paid for it later, mentally and physically. Don’t beat yourself up. You’ll find something else. You are incredible, and pretty, and practically perfect in every way. Especially your grasp of grammar and punctuation.

    If you’re still interested in the second gig, approach them carefully. My suggestion is, “Hello. After reviewing the offers I’ve received, I’ve realized that you are really the company for which I’d prefer to work. If you are still interested, let’s talk. If not, I’m sorry I missed this chance, and I hope you’ll keep me in mind.” Can’t hurt.

  15. Gillian

    Let’s see, you are honest and suspicious of high pressure tactics and feel obligated to point out your concerns to other people who may not have considered them. So far you are a great person to have around. My experience is that I can always find a way to beat myself up. I am very creative that way. I think you have a problem with being stuck with doing the honorable thing. Doesn’t that just bite. Except, aren’t those traits what we all hope to find in our friends. Do you have any application forms for being friend to Mir? I think I want one of those.

  16. Meg

    ‘Cos life fucking sucks, and no, I don’t know what you mean by “rhetorical question”.


    Sorry you had to go through that. You did the right thing. The grownup thing.

    Also, you’re very pretty.

    Now go have a cookie, sweetie.

  17. Theresa

    You followed your instincts, and knowing what I do about you, you’re probably right. Something else, something right for you, will come along.

  18. the Mater

    “The seat of knowledge is in the head; of wisdom, in the heart. We are sure to judge wrong if we do not feel right.” William Hazlitt

    Trust yourself and move forward. All will be well. I would have recoiled too at the “time constraints” and non-negotiable clauses.

  19. Chookooloonks

    I’m with your dad: your gut always knows.

    You did the right thing.

  20. lastewie

    Listen to your father and Jenn. It wasn’t right for you. You rock for bringing your concerns to others who might also have had the same feelings. They didn’t? Well, that doesn’t make your concerns less valid in the least. And look! The others you feel you may have alienated support you! Just as you support them. Be good to yourself.

  21. chris

    I think you should always listen to your instincts, sometimes that’s hard when money is involved.

    I keep hoping the perfect writing gig will turn up.

    Also, you’re pretty.

  22. Zuska

    Given what little I know about the real specifics of this deal, it certainly sounds like you did the right thing for you. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier. You’ll find peace with this, it’ll just take longer than you want it to. I’m sorry!

  23. Angel

    Women should learn to trust their gut more often….good for you.

    You’re such a talented writer, better things are ahead for you!

  24. Steff

    All that *really* matters is that your decision suits you…bottom line.
    With your talent, something bigger and better and more suitable to your needs, is likely on the horizon.

    Afte the last post…I worry about my grammar and punctuation here!

  25. Aimee

    Pretty Mir, you were right to trust your gut. We have instincts for a reason, and yours did exactly what they were supposed to do. Nice, pretty instincts! There is unquestionably something better out there for you. I just know it.

  26. Marti

    Go with your gut, girl. You’ve got talent oozing out of your pores LOL The right job that FEELS right, pays well, and involves great satisfaction is out there, shivering with anticipation..waiting for you.

  27. Bob

    Of course it is disappointing to loose a great job. The fact that it turned out not to be so great doesn’t help now, but it will later. That others think it is still a great gig makes it tough though.

    Conflict sucks. You not only did the right thing for you, but you made others aware of your concerns. I would hope that these others are adults too and realize that friendship isn’t merely sycophantic behaviour. They will get over it if they are really your friends.

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for you, but I – like everyone else here – know you are a terrificly talented person and will have continued success. Better gigs than this will come your way. Then you can buy yourself a closet full of shoes, Imelda. (oops, I meant Mir).

  28. Shash

    I agree with dad and all who said go with your gut. Only you know what is best for you and your family. I also know what it’;s like to second guess yourself, I am the master at that little maneuever. The work will come, the next job even better, and you’ll change this post to “it’s not a regret, it’s an “experience”” soon enough.

    Now, tell me where you get your best shoe finds. I’m in the market for some sandals.

    Have a great day!


  29. Lesley

    I don’t know nuthin’ about no gut. I say you make a decision then you MAKE it the right decision. That means, you guessed it, no regrets. You had your reasons, you shared your reasons, now move on, Sister!

  30. bella

    Hi Mir. I also think you did the right thing. I’m hoping that the coming days bring you the peace you’re looking for. If it’s any consolation, I applied for a blogging job – and received a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ letter a few weeks later!

  31. Sheryl

    I think Brenda and Ms. Sisyphus got it right. I truly wouldn’t worry about alienating those other bloggers, I would hope they would be mature enough to know that just because you turned down the job you weren’t implying that they should have done the same.

  32. gretchen

    I have turned jobs that I know others in my industry would have keeled over and died for. The point being that although at first it seems like a really desirable position I was convinced I wanted, (i.e. who WOULDN”T want to work for blankety blank) the more I learned, the more I realized that it wouldn’t fit in with the way my life was set up; and it was not worth changing that setup for a job. I hate to talk in oblique terms, but I feel you understand, and just need a little internet support to solidify your decision. Go Mir!

  33. Jenny

    You didn’t alienate me! I’m proud of you for following your gut, and I’m super confident that there are great contracts just around the corner that will leave your intergrity intact.


  34. Stephanie Chance

    I interviewed for a promotion in a different department, and there were many things that tipped me off that this would not be the best place for me to work, including she wanted me to start the next day and didn’t care whether I wanted to give a notice to my current supervisor. I took the job anyway because of the extra money, but it ended up not working out at all. So something that I thought I really wanted was not right for me, and I should have listened to my instincts. You did the right thing!

  35. Liz

    Yep, life if a bowl full of shiny-pretty-money…just, beware of zits!

    Or…um…something like that!

    (Guess that’s why I got the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” letter…huh!?!)

  36. Shelley

    Honey bunch, you did the right thing for YOU. Your concern for others is kind, and generous, and I’m almost positive it is seen as such by them, but in the end, only you can determine the right path for YOUR career. You made a tough choice, but if it feels right for you, then it IS right for you.
    And hey, two doors closing? Means two more are just waiting to be opened up. Time to move on to the next right step for you.

  37. obdr

    Hey, you did the “write” thing. (I can’t take credit for that, it was a typo.)

    I have no idea where you applied.

    But having just been hugely distressed by seeing some new words turned into same-old, same-old over at, I’m glad you’re here. We just have to get you paid. This blogging business is really just only beginning, eh?

    Hang in there.

  38. obdr

    And if you are writing for… I’m sure you will manage to bring light to the place.

    Maybe I should just eat _my_ shoes now. :)

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