September 23, 2009


Do you remember the metaphor? If you don't, don't worry. It was a long way of describing a competition in which one's success or failure isn't just determined by binary factors - yes or no, black or white, good or bad. Instead, what I was hoping to describe in my long-winded way was the fact that, as in most things, there was an element of subjectivity involved in making the decision whether I won or lost. And that subjectivity made me anxious.

I don't like to talk about work here because you can never be sure when work stuff is going to come back and bite you in the ass. But the metaphor alluded to the success or failure of the Big Work Thing described quite a while back. And that, in turn, is why I asked you guys to keep all sorts of appendages crossed. I learned yesterday that, despite my personal best effort and the karmic powers of the Internet, the Big Work Thing didn't turn out in my favor.

And I felt like I got punched in the stomach.

I feel angry and disappointed and sad. Really sad. Partially because it was a big deal, because I poured a hell of a lot of myself into it, because it wasn't just a Big Work Thing but something that I gave a damn about, something that was a little bigger than just winning or losing. And because I don't think - as objectively as I can think - that the decision that was made was ultimately the right one. It is, in short, the second largest disappointment of my professional career, coming in behind getting laid off when the tech bubble burst seven or eight years back.

Yesterday was not a good day. Today has to be better. Right?

Thanks for all the good vibes. I'm sorry it didn't pan out. But I'm sure it wasn't you. I think I'll just chalk it up to the fact that the world is occasionally unfair. Which, hello, kinda bites.

Posted by Chris at September 23, 2009 6:23 AM

Sorry to hear that having a great ass in the bike shorts wasn't enough this time (even along with the good vibes from your blog friends).

Yes, today will be better... :)

Posted by: Tricia at September 23, 2009 6:34 AM

Sorry to hear that having a great ass in the bike shorts wasn't enough this time (even along with the good vibes from your blog friends).

Yes, today will be better... :)

Posted by: Tricia at September 23, 2009 6:35 AM

Bummer. Sorry it didn't work out for you. I suspect the world would be a better place if you got to make a few more key decisions, my friend.

On the plus side you're all skilled up for a career in playground installation now, so that's something ;)

Posted by: Jo MacD at September 23, 2009 7:04 AM

Also, at the top of this page it says "My Nuts" with a little arrow, like your nuts are on the next page, and seeing it made me snort milk out my nose. Which is perhaps not very flattering, and also not the tone you were hoping to strike with this post, but brightened my evening nonetheless :)

Posted by: Jo MacD at September 23, 2009 7:13 AM

Some days you're the pidgeon, some days you're the statue.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. :(

Posted by: Hannah at September 23, 2009 7:32 AM

I'm sorry. It sucks when that happens. What's the saying - when one door closes another opens? Must be something even better (maybe not work related though) is coming your way. :)

Posted by: Theresa at September 23, 2009 7:35 AM

I'm sorry, Chris. =( Today will be a better day. Every new begining comes from some other beginings end, so just think of today as a new begining, and searching for what that begining is. =) Take a day off to relax, and cuddle up with Mia and Owen. You'll feel better. Promise

Posted by: secha at September 23, 2009 7:42 AM

Some days just suck. No way around it. Wallow in the moment, then arise. There will be more big projects to steal hours away from your family, cause you to drink copious amounts of coffee and give you headaches. No worries there.

Posted by: Debbie at September 23, 2009 7:43 AM

I know you must be hurt and disappointed. It's hard to pour yourself into something and then get kicked in the teeth.

Posted by: Ann Adams at September 23, 2009 8:07 AM

So sorry to hear this news. I had something similar happen a few years back so I know how you feel and it indeed sucks! It is brutal when the asshats upstairs make blatantly bad decisions. Lick your wounds and then start practicing not being too smug when it all blows up in their faces!

Posted by: LaineyDid at September 23, 2009 8:11 AM

I'm sorry to hear this. I know how difficult it is to have something you've worked so hard at not work out in your favor.
Today will be better.

Posted by: Kate at September 23, 2009 8:13 AM

I'm really sorry; hang in there!

Posted by: Claire at September 23, 2009 8:20 AM

Sorry...hopefully next time will be better for you.

Posted by: Dee at September 23, 2009 8:44 AM

sorry to read this.

Posted by: Katherine at September 23, 2009 8:59 AM

I really believe that saying that "everything happens for a reason", and one day, you'll be saying, "Man, I'm glad that other Big Thing didn't pan out, because this New Thing is so much better!"

Chin up. We still love you.

Posted by: Karen at September 23, 2009 9:03 AM

So sorry, dude. I hope this one was just a battle. I like to think that the "war", the results are more binary based. Sometimes hard to consider as you're being pissed on by a little foot-soldier.

I am reminded of @shitmydadsays: "Sometimes life leaves a $100 bill on your dresser, and you don't realize until later that it's because it fucked you."

I hope you at least got (or get) $100.

Posted by: harmzie at September 23, 2009 9:04 AM

Yup, that totally blows. I too am very sorry that things didn't work out for you. Here's to a better day today. Hugs.

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 23, 2009 9:14 AM

Sorry it didn't work out, definitely a bummer! On the other hand, we all know that you're level-headed enough that a Big Work Thing won't get you down in the scheme of things; you have too awesome a family and Big Life Things (ie Mia starting preschool and jumping right in!) to let that happen. Virtual hugs!

Posted by: Karen at September 23, 2009 9:37 AM

Some thing our parents or those that care about us growing up don't tell us, Life is HARD...

In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first. - Jimi Hendrix

All you can do is your personal best...that is what we are all judged have no shame...and it is human to feel disappointed...

Posted by: Gypsy at September 23, 2009 9:38 AM

Sorry things didn't go the way you'd hoped they would. Here's to today being a better day. And to this comment posting this time.

Posted by: Dreamybee at September 23, 2009 9:49 AM

The people who made the poor decision about the Big Work Thing can go such a nut! Perferably the one that was on yesterday's blog. But I'm sorry things didn't pan out for you...clearly some people don't see a good thing when it's right there in front of their face. You'll have a Bigger, Badder Work Thing that will blow them away and make them realize why didn't they listen to your idea in the first place. Chin up! You got this Mr. Cactus!! :D

Posted by: Michelle at September 23, 2009 9:51 AM

I'm so sorry. Hang in there. Disappointments loom large and seem overpowering, I know.

Posted by: k8 at September 23, 2009 9:54 AM

That sucks. And blows.

Hope today is better.

Posted by: Angella at September 23, 2009 9:58 AM

That's the worst, man. Really sorry to hear it. I do think the world is unfair. And that's hard to explain to my kids, and hard to live with as an adult.

The only bit I'll pass along is something that won't make you feel better today, or even tomorrow. Eventually, though, you may feel it's true.

Every up or down, triumph or failure that I've had in my career has led to me the happiness and success that I'm experiencing right now. If I hadn't been overworked at my first job, I wouldn't have a reference to what real HARD work is and might have balked at the second job's wonderful offer. If I hadn't gotten crappy vacation and 0 raises at the second job, I wouldn't have had the balls to accept the current job's even more wonderful offer.

Sorry for the gut punch. I hope it provides some sort of lesson or guidance in your career. Not necessarily to leave or anything, but maybe perspective.

Posted by: Brad at September 23, 2009 10:11 AM

I have been a bad commenter lately.

My parents' favorite cliches are:

Everything happens for a reason (Mom)

Every 'No" brings you closer to a 'Yes' (Dad)

They are their favorite cliches because somehow they always end up being right. Hang in.

Posted by: chatty cricket at September 23, 2009 10:13 AM

I'm sorry they didn't appreciate how awesome your metaphorical ass looked in those metaphorical bike shorts. That just sucks. But don't forget to keep perspective...I imagine Mia and Owen still think you hung the moon. :) (And Beth likes you too!)

Posted by: Heather at September 23, 2009 10:35 AM

Dude I am so sorry. I will refrain from the usual platitudes because sometimes work life just sucks hard. Hugs and I hope next week is better.

Posted by: tulip at September 23, 2009 11:02 AM

not good news :(

Posted by: kati at September 23, 2009 11:24 AM

Sorry things are so ass-tastic right now (and I don't mean that in a J-Lo sort of way, more like an Amy Winehouse sort of way.) Hope things take a turn for the better for you!

Posted by: zanie at September 23, 2009 11:38 AM

Sorry, it was me. I totally didn't keep my legs crossed. ;-)

Posted by: Mr Lady at September 23, 2009 12:01 PM

Sorry to hear that. :(

Posted by: Hope at September 23, 2009 12:46 PM

Sorry to hear that. I really thought we were keeping things crossed for the dishwasher. :)

Today will be better, especially since you made it through yesterday!

Posted by: debb at September 23, 2009 12:47 PM


Posted by: Jodi at September 23, 2009 12:53 PM

So while you were working on your Big Thing, I was also cloistered away in a cube, many miles away from friends and family, grinding through my own Big Thing; reading about your trials and tribulations made me feel less alone, so for my own selfish reasons I'm glad that you did it.

My Big Thing also bellied up, so I know how much it sucks. Mine coincided with a whole bunch of other things melting down, and so it will forever in my memory be remembered as the Big Cluster Thing.

My take on your situation is that you are now in Act II; Act III will be someday you will be on the choosing side of someone else's Big Thing, and you will be presented with the choice. Hold on to this feeling of how much it sucked to be gut punched, because you will be on the other side someday. If you do end up having to sucker punch them, at least help to soften the blow ( maybe smack em with a frying pan first or something, you'll figure it out ).

And yes, you are allowed to mope and feel bad for a day. Then you gotta suck it up and push forward, so make your mopey day a good one ( on days like this, carbs, calories, diets, and gastrointestinal concerns do not exist ).


Posted by: metawizard at September 23, 2009 1:25 PM

Sorry it didn't work out for you.

Posted by: Becky at September 23, 2009 1:32 PM

You know there's almost always a John Cusack movie quote for everything . . .

"- So, what kind of pep talk do you want?
- What do you got?
- Well, I've got the inspirational "You can achieve anything you dream about." It's very popular, but not appropriate for this. Of course, there's the "Don't worry, there's more fish in the sea" pap.
- No.
- Uh, we can always fall back on the classic... "When God shuts a door,
he opens a window."
- How about telling me I did the right thing?"

So sorry it didn't work out. But as unsatisfying as it might be right now, you can feel good in knowing you did the work. And you never have to feel bad that you didn't get it because of some lack in yourself. And that's all that really matters. Yes? And Beth, Mia and Owen can't all be wrong in their assesments of you as the greastest man ever.

Posted by: Sara at September 23, 2009 1:48 PM

Hopefully it didn't turn out the way you want because something even more incredible is awaiting you around the next turn? I hope so!

Posted by: Rose Winters at September 23, 2009 1:55 PM

I'm sorry, man. It will happen for you soon.

Posted by: mingaling at September 23, 2009 2:33 PM

Yes, today is going to be better. Maybe not a ton, but incrementally. Unless you get laid off as well. (that was supposed to be a joke.)

For one thing, you've got your family to go home to. And, actually, that's as much as any of us needs.

Posted by: paul at September 23, 2009 3:46 PM

I know this sounds like a platitude, but I have truly found that when something like this happens, there is a greater/better thing at work. Sometimes we just can't know what it is at the time. But I suspect someday you might look back at this and see the upside.

Sorry to hear about the disappointment, Chris. Keep doing what you're doing and I have no doubt you will do great.

Posted by: Kris at September 23, 2009 5:57 PM

Hugs, Mr. Cactus!
Yes the world sometimes really bites.
Hugs again!!!

Posted by: Maribeth at September 23, 2009 6:19 PM

I'm sorry Chris. That sucks.

Posted by: Lisa at September 23, 2009 6:35 PM

Grrrr!!! Wish it had gone in your favor.

Posted by: coolchick at September 23, 2009 9:57 PM

I'm sorry Chris. professional rejection is something I find really really hard to deal with. So I hear on you on this one.

Tomorrow is another day.

Posted by: Nat at September 23, 2009 10:40 PM

I'm so sorry things didn't work out like you deserved. It's hard knowing you really do deserve something and still not getting it.
As Dorrie from Finding Nemo says, Keep on Swimming..."

Posted by: Diane at September 24, 2009 8:04 AM

I'm sorry Chris.
Probably doesn't make you feel any better but I'd guess there is a silver lining somewhere in that cloud.
It might just take a bit to reveal itself.

Posted by: Wack-a-do at September 24, 2009 9:39 AM

It's a BASTARD world, and I hate its ASS FACE.

In all seriousness, I'm sorry about the disappointment.

Posted by: Elise at September 24, 2009 6:56 PM

That sucks.

Was today better?

Posted by: Sarah at September 24, 2009 8:38 PM

Aw, I'm really sorry. I know with your talent and hard work you deserved to come out on top.

Posted by: Fraulein N at September 25, 2009 10:32 AM