Sunday, May 11, 2014

RANGERING: November 2005

Dear Reader: The truth is never an absolute; it is subjective and it changes over time. So I do not claim that any of what I write is the truth. It is only my perception and recollection of events as they happened many years ago. In some situations I have changed names and details to protect the privacy of people involved, but I do my best to maintain the underlying substance of events and their impact on me.

NOTE: I will never write about upsetting details without a warning.

I interviewed for the Ranger 1 opening at Cape Disappointment on the first of November.

On the 6th I was given the news that the job was offered to The Other Candidate.

To have been bested by a very young man does nothing for my self-esteem. After more than a year of fully dedicating myself (during and after work hours) to the pursuit of this job, offering significant prior work experience, and the admission that I was their clay to mold, they decided that was not enough. Or perhaps it was too much.

I am crushed. To say otherwise would be untrue, and I find myself struggling daily, hourly, with feelings of rejection and humiliation. Was I ignoring signs along the way because I so desperately wanted to believe that this was the job for me; because it made so much sense that I could be a ranger and live near Astoria? In truth I had put all of my hope into this one outcome, and now I feel completely lost. I feel that all of my time and effort this past year has been wasted.

I will have to figure out what comes next, now that this chapter that seemed “meant to be” turned out not to be. What do I do with myself now?

I am still on the list to be called for interviews at a select few other parks, but their timelines are unknown. And I have started sending out my resume to some nonprofits that have sparked my interest around Washington and Oregon. If there ever was a time for me to open up my options, this is it.

I know that I want community. I know that I’m done with big cities. I know that I want a job that excites me and challenges me. And I’ve decided given my recent experience that I want to work in an environment that recognizes and celebrates employees as whole people, where communication is clear and unambiguous, if such a thing exists.

Will I ever become a gun-toting ranger? I just don’t know.

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  1. we've had those gut wrenching pains too. Someone else got the job. It's too familiar in the Ranger world, and i don't think it ever stops stinging.

    1. It is particularly painful after investing in a park and a community but you're right - the ranger job is a transient and uncertain one.