I am often rejected.
It comes in many forms: an unanswered email, an unreturned phone call, a polite thanks-but-no-thank letter or my favorite (I took some editorial liberties):
"Thanks for your submission. We get like a million submissions, because we are so popular. And we know everyone wants us. And we know you are probably on pins and needles waiting to hear back. The thing is, we are busy, so busy being fabulous, that we can't even bother to say hello. So if you don't hear, just assume we don't like you, because chances are, we don't."
And I also particularly love this one, which is what I woke up to this morning:
"I had a meeting with my friend last night and even though I gave you the job, well, my friend is convenient. So sorry for the short notice. I will keep you mind for when I need more writers. Have a super day."
I've often heard this:
"This is my job. And I need the money, but I cannot pay you. I know you understand. You are an artist. You write for joy; not money. So, I will pay like $5 for 1,000 words? That works, right?"
If only joy paid for dance lessons and pediatrician visits.
And a few times:
"Sorry I have not returned your call or managed to pay you for your services. I've been busy--so busy. I know you understand."
Indeed. I've been busy stalking you for my paycheck.
I've hit walls of rejection in the PR world too. Like when I was pitching a story about a doctor that raised thousands and thousands of dollars by donating eye exam fees to a charity that gave blind, impoverished children glasses, a super professional reporter at USA Today told me:
"Great story. Super Sweet. Too bad, I hate children."
That reporter covered the international parenting beat.
And of course, there is personal life rejection, like when everyone is invited to a social event and I am not. And if I even mention I felt left out, I hear something like:
"Well, you cannot be included in everything. SORRY."
Yep, I cannot be included in everything. And I don't have to be included in anything. Rejection is part of the game--it is a power move to reject. I just wish those in power would be, well, a little more human. I find the rudeness impossible to abide. But, I still find myself biting my tongue.
But no more. Here is my rejection letter to the rejection letter:
"I do think y'all are fabulous. And I want you to think I am fabulous too. And if you don't, I will be forced to poke fun at you. It is my only defense. And then I will probably invite you to dinner, because I am an old softie. So, dinner on Saturday?"