Under pressure: The Difference between saying and meaning

2014-03-07 Under pressure The dirrefence between saying and meaning © http://www.sxc.hu by gun4hire
Written by: Jehan Daal

I had a job interview at company X. on a Wednesday. I enjoyed the conversation, felt like I could tell them the things that I wanted to say. I got a tour around the company and based on what they told me and the vibe at the office, it looked like a suited place to work.

On the next Wednesday the third and final candidate would have his/her job interview and company X. would inform the three of us which one would be invited for the second interview. I drove home, feeling happy. Why? Because however this would turn out, if I would be hired or not, at least it was a fair game.

It was Monday morning and I was spending some time with my beloved MacBook. Two more day left before the “verdict”. I received an email. It was from company X. I was surprised. It stated that after careful consideration they decided that the person who was hired could not work part time at the office around the corner, but at the location where I had my job interview. So the vacancy was no longer available, they hired someone who lived only a couple of miles from this office.

“Sorry, but if you are so spoiled that you do not want to drive 50 minutes to get to the office, she is right and you should not get this job.”

I was shocked. The wonderful feeling about the job interview disappeared instantly. They were clearly suggesting that I made demands that I only wanted to work for them if I could work at the office nearby. WTF? I knew that the vacancy was for the other office and not the one nearby. Suddenly the last first round interviews and the second round interview already took place. And it was still Monday morning. I did not respond because of my rule number one. “Never respond immediately after a email that effects your emotions.” So what did I do? I sent the response to a couple of people who are not afraid to be honest with me. Perhaps I was being sensitive and thinking that she stated something she was not stating at all. In order not to influence them in any way, I only said that this was the reply I received.

It only took a couple of minutes before I received their feedback. “Sorry, but if you are so spoiled that you do not want to drive 50 minutes to get to the office, she is right and you should not get this job.” The other responses were similar to this one. I replied to them and told them that I knew right upfront that I would have to drive over there and that I never stated that. Then they got really mad and this time not at me. I knew exactly what I needed to know.

I wrote company X. an honest reply and gave them my perspective. Not because I was under the impression that they would hire me eventually. No because I felt the need to give my opinion and stand up for myself. She was not happy with my email – then again I was not happy with hers either -, but she had the guts to respond to mine. From her explanation in the next mail I could tell that she just did not say what she meant to say in the first one.

“Now what?” My sis asked me.
“Nothing. The air is cleared, time to move on.”
“Unbelievable that you can do that. Sometimes I wonder if you are not a man.” She laughed.
I looked down at my babies and my lack of penis. I laughed: “I still have to disappoint you sis!”

Some people still think that words are the biggest part of communication. Wake up, they are not. And that is the risk with communication tools like email. I looks so easy, but it can easily turn into a disaster. There is no expression, no tone of voice to rely on, and therefore the receiver cannot tell that perhaps you are saying something that you did not meant to say.

This was the last blog post from the Under pressure series. I hope you enjoyed it. I must say that I really enjoyed your sharp and funny feedback on the situations. It made me laugh and gave me some new insights. Thanks for that, very refreshing. Don’t be shy and only email me your opinion. You can share your thoughts with all of us, they are worth it. You can even use a nickname if you do not feel comfortable to use your own name. The next couple of weeks you can follow me on my road to the Muddy Mates Run. So stay tuned.

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