Called My Bluff

September 1, 2010

in therapy in session


The phone rang and I noticed the number was an unfamiliar one. Even the area code was one that I did not recognize.

“Hello. Hi. Let me introduce myself. I am So and So calling from blah blah blah…”

That’s all I heard since I pegged her as one of the telemarketers. I was more than a little bit peeved and was about to tell her off: she had made a telemarketing call to my work place. Absolutely not cool.

“So we have a bunch of private investors pouring xx million dollars into this new company…”

Ok. So great. Now this is a scam. “I get to blog about it!” I thought.

“We are looking for a VP of ________ . Are you interested in the position?”

I was about to say, “You must have mistaken me for someone else.” But I stopped myself.

Career Building 101. Never ever show lack of self-confidence or self-doubt. Never.

That meant I tried hard not to burst out laughing in the first five minutes because of the sheer ridiculousness of it. “You must be kidding me!”

As I listened to her spill, it suddenly dawned on me that SHE was trying to sell the position to ME.


I was in shock. Nay. My chest was closing in on me. My heart was pounding so hard I could not hear clearly what she was saying. I began to hyperventilating while trying to carry on a conversation while puffy messy goo swirled inside my head.

Goo of terror.

I was petrified. I had a full-on panic attack because just as suddenly it also dawned on me that THIS was the moment of truth. I had been called on.

It is one thing to be stuck in a job where you feel you are not being appreciated and utilized, where you feel you are not getting the promotions you deserve, where you feel your talents are being wasted. WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE WHINE.

It is a completely different matter, I found out today, to be offered an opportunity and realize that you are not able to take it.

You are too chicken. You are not convinced that you are ready. You just want to be Grasshopper. Forever and ever. Less terrifying that way.

Who do I think I am? What do I think I will do showing up at this place trying to pretend that I can even interview for the position?

I started making up excuses that would not expose me as the fraud that I am. Hopefully.

Unrelated industry. The need to relocate. Not the 100% match of experiences.  Oh and did I mention that the industry is completely absolutely totally different from the industry I have been in?

I started to shiver. I wanted to tell her, “You’ve got to be kidding me. You must be the worst executive recruiter I have ever heard if you even called me!”

My hands were shaking so hard and really I just wanted to end the phone call so I could lie prostrate, banging my head and arms on the floor. I was utterly, desperately, disappointed by myself.

The phone call called my bluff. I showed my hand and it was empty.



p.s. I don’t want to end my post on an alarmingly low note. I have issues. I know. I need therapy. But if I see one more so-called life coach follow me on Twitter, I will go berserk!

p.p.s. On an unrelated note, I will be getting a letter tomorrow, along with everybody else in the company, telling me whether I still have a job.

p.p.p.s. I am trying not to think of this phone call as a sign. A sign for what?! anyway. Or an omen.

p.p.p.p.s. Sorry for the sad vibes. Drinks on me!

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Unknown Mami September 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I am thrilled to read that you still have a job and that the bitching will continue.
Unknown Mami´s last blog post…Fragmented Fridays


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Thank you!


Tiffany September 4, 2010 at 10:06 am

i am like this. i whine whine whine and then when someone finally wants to pull me out of the suckfest i’m in i get all ‘uuuhhhhh?????’ man, i suck sometimes.

but it’s good incentive for you to start believing in your capabilities a little more–someone else out there clearly does, might as well jump on board. 🙂
Tiffany´s last blog post…‘Chesticular’ is a word Because I said so


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

“Might as well jump on board”. So true. I read a post on Unknown Mami about accepting compliments graciously a while back ago. I need to remember this: sometimes a compliment is a compliment, take it and say thank you!


The Barreness September 4, 2010 at 7:06 am

Brilliant news on the job, babes. I know how f*cking exhausting it is to live with that fear.

As for the other opportunity (and any future phone calls you may receive of a similar nature), I can only say what the Brit said to me recently (one of the reasons why I like him so much and allow him to remain in the harem despite a rather shocking lack of sexual skill) about a very similar collapse of confidence:

“Quit being such a f*cking pansy. Failure isn’t a disaster, but fear? Fear is bullsh*t and you’re too good for it. Find your balls, B, seriously.”

I do love a man who doesn’t put up with any crap.

(Also, it was just what I needed. I did find my balls and and I haven’t failed.)

Not sure if this is the kind of “moral support” you were looking for but it always works for me.

– B x
The Barreness´s last blog post…It isnt meaningless It means sex


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Thank you so much! YES YES YES (yes, this is the kind of moral support and kick in the ass that I need!) FEAR. That’s the thing. You know what’s ridiculous? My fear of embarrassment has been, ironically, the driving force in my life. Of course, the flip side is that it has also stopped me from going after many things. The Brit is a keeper. 😉


secret agent woman September 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Not that I really know anything about this, but how do you know it’s not something you can do? New jobs can be learned, skills can be built.

But yeah, anxious time, to be sure!
secret agent woman´s last blog post…Time to go back on the run


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Because of the title, I don’t think I am able to “fake” it. All the time on the phone I was worried, wondering whether I was wasting her time!


dufmanno September 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm

That was obviously a serial killer so it’s a damn good thing you weren’t lured out of the house to your death.
On a lighter note, you are brimming with talent and much sought after expertise so never doubt that you are at least four hundred thousand times smarter and more vital to this world than most.
dufmanno´s last blog post…Moving The Goalposts


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I wondered about that too! You don’t want to see me on America’s Most Wanted’s list of victims. LOL. Thank you for the lighter note. 🙂


Technobabe September 3, 2010 at 10:07 am

You took it and ran with it, or at least wrote it. Nice post. Humor. Hope. Depression. Just normal life. Cool.
Technobabe´s last blog post…Together


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Thank you. 🙂


Naptimewriting September 3, 2010 at 1:04 am

Um, drinks are on me. There is nothing sad in the post. Only fraught and tense and tough and wow and painful and damn! Name your cocktail.
Keep us posted.
Naptimewriting´s last blog post…In which I whimper “Uncle”


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Chopin vodka with cranberry! 🙂


Falling September 3, 2010 at 12:26 am

Sorry that it had to come through a letter, but glad you still have a job. But remember, gratitude does not mean no bitching allowed! You can be grateful while still recognizing the suckitude.
Falling´s last blog post…Same Old- Same Old


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm

“You can be grateful while still recognizing the suckitude.” Tru dat!!!!


Kate September 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Okay, the letter thing, that’s just not cool. But the call, how freaky? I got the worst job ever by stammering my way through and then saying that I could do things there was no way I could do happily. Not worth it. Oh, and I am so glad you still have a job to complain about!
Kate´s last blog post…Word problems already


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Thanks! There is no perfect job like there is no perfect marriage right? … Actually, I don’t mind being the tweeting person say for Southwest Airlines… LOL


Nance September 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I WAS a therapist and gave it up for blogging. Much easier, no interview, and you can delete the people you don’t want on your couch.

Glad you’ve still got a job to bitch about. What was the offer? I hate unfinished stories, which is probably why I was a therapist for so very, very long.
Nance´s last blog post…Too Cute For Words- Beck- Palin- and Anchorage on 9-11


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm

” … you can delete the people you don’t want on your couch.” LOL. I am a bit sad about the “WAS” part since I KNOW I am a great patient!


Jennifer June September 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

You can pass them my number if they call you back.
I’m surely not qualified but I’ll pretend for just about any job that’s worh more than minimum wage these days.
“Pardon? Uh.. yeah, sure.. I’ve been delivering newspapers for years now and..what? Er.. yeah, I meant babies, why? What did I say?”
Jennifer June´s last blog post…From here to nowhere in 3 days…


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Good for you. Like Elly suggested, life is a big improv session. And you know, judging by the movies and TV shows, delivering a baby is NOT that hard. LOL


jen September 2, 2010 at 9:42 am

no, drinks are on ME!
you still have your job.
I haven’t worked in over a year 🙁 holy shit balls! and I feel like loser numero UNO, imagine me having self esteem and confidence, NOT!
but, we must find the courage, confidence and hold our heads up HIGH!


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Yes you said it m’lady! I am glad you are going to school though. I am one of those people that if I could stay in school forever, I would…


writerwoman61 September 2, 2010 at 6:00 am

Hi Lin:

Glad you still have your old job! I’m with merry and patty on the phone call…it sounds like you went with your gut…I can’t count the number of times I’ve escaped what could have been very bad situations by listening to my gut! You can have all the confidence in the world, but if you’re not qualified to do the job, it’s going to come out sooner or later (usually with disastrous results).

My last interview was for a clerk in a butcher shop…the owner must have sensed my insane fear of using the meat slicer (I am currently quite attached to all ten of my fingers!)…thank God he didn’t hire me!


P.S. We probably could all use some therapy! So many bloggers, so few therapists…
writerwoman61´s last blog post…My Top Ten All-Time Favourite Songs…


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm


Thank you for believing in my gut. It was a gut reaction and the phone call did make me realize that I need to polish up my resume some. They did tell you that you need to update your resume often. Of course I never did…

Yes, I would not want to work with meat slicer either esp. since I am always distracted now! “Blogger’s Curse”

“So many bloggers, so few therapists…” LOL. Calling Nance! Nance, you could be a therapist specializing in Blogger Issues! 😉


Life with Kaishon September 2, 2010 at 4:51 am

I will be praying all day tomorrow!!
Always remember you are braver than you think
And stronger than you know.
Winnie the pooh says that. I can’t remember the last sentence.
Life with Kaishon´s last blog post…What did we do today


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Thanks! Pooh is a great philosopher. 🙂


linlah September 1, 2010 at 10:54 pm

4 years ago I accepted a position I was less than qualified for but it was with a company that was less than qualified for me, I excelled in that position and wish the company were still in business. I took the leap and I’m so glad I did.
linlah´s last blog post…strippers in the forest


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Good for you! I often get the feeling that finding a job is very similar to finding a mate…


Velva September 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Seriously, the cocktails are on me. After a few cranberry and vodkas, we are going to talk about why you did not take that interview.
Now its old news! Welcome back to your previous work world

Can someone explain to me what’s going on? ::)
Velva´s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Yeah. ONLY after you FEED me some of those scallops. 😉


Kernut the Blond September 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm

You know, those recruiters do research before they randomly call people. She picked you for a reason. I think you should call her back and say you’d like to interview for the job. Seriously, why not? You don’t need it, but it can’t hurt to practice interviewing. And besides, you never know – it might be the most awesome job with great money. (If you still don’t want the job, can I have the recruiter’s number? I’m hating the new job daily.)


Absence Alternatives September 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I am sorry you hate your new job. Ugh. I hope it improves soon! I didn’t even take down her name or her number. DOH!


Vintage Christine September 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Yeah, if it were me I’d have dropped the phone and thought, “OK, this is what an alternative universe is like. Not bad. Too bad it’s not real.” I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be retired and not have to go through that interview bullshit EVER again! Good luck, sweetie.
Vintage Christine´s last blog post…Glass- Glass- Glass


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Now you are just bragging… LOL. 😉


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Dear All,

Thank you so much for your kind words and moral support. I would have been an even bigger mess without you here with me. I just want to let you know that I got the letter and I still have a job! Yeah!

Ok. So now I will simply go back to complaining about my job. I hope that is not as annoying as it sounds to me right now. xxoo


pattypunker September 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm

those weren’t excuses, it just wasn’t the right thing for you. that was your gut talking. and it’s ok to listen to it and not beat yourself up. when the thing you want is found, you’ll step up and nail it. i believe in you and your talent, intelligence, and composure. cut yourself a break on this one. and find the thing you love and pour yourself into it. your success will know no bounds.

ps: good luck tomorrow!
pattypunker´s last blog post…happiness in a box


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for having faith in me. Thank you. I really needed to hear this. Thank you. xxoo


SisterMerryHellish September 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Did you listen to your gut? If so, you’ll be fine. I’ve gone against mine and wound up, well, here at the current job Where-Common-Sense-Goes-to-Die! Never, ever again will I ignore it. Because when Morgan Freeman punches you in the gut, you pay attention!

Hang in there!


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

“Because when Morgan Freeman punches you in the gut, you pay attention!”

Ain’t that the truth! Because I wasn’t fired, I continue on with the search for the meaning in my life. What they say about adversary in life and self-discovery is kind of true…


Miss B September 1, 2010 at 11:31 am

Perhaps your knee-jerk reaction was partly due to simply not having any overwhelming desire for that particular job? You didn’t really make clear if it was something you might actually have loved to do, in a place you would have been happy relocating to. Personally, I’d lie about a lot (ummm…one calls it “embellishing” in this case, right?) to get a job I really wanted in a place I actually liked living (as long as it all came with spectacular health insurance) even if I was only halfway convinced I could actually _do_ the job (though, as someone with no career aspirations, it would have to be one hell of a job — Professional Animal-Petter at the Zoo, for example…man, that would be a great job; I would pet the _hell_ out of all the animals…) but if it was for something I didn’t give a damn about, I’d be much less inclined to make the attempt.

As for the self-doubt, self-loathing, self-everything else shitty — join the club. Except don’t. Because you are actually made of Awesome, so you aren’t even allowed a membership card. So there.
Miss B´s last blog post…Things That Stay Beneath The Surface


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Dear Miss B, thank you. I have never been so moved to be denied a membership. xxoo

Professional Animal-Petter at the Zoo is a kickass title. It should totally be on a business card somewhere…


Vanilla North September 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

Hi this is Vanilla North and I will be coaching the employees in the company!
And I agree with Elly Lou.. One has to make shit up all the time!
Vanilla North´s last blog post…cinderella- the sister and the stepsister green 31


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm

This is what we do on our blogs! And I have to say m’lady since you write fictions often on your blog you are better at this than I am! LOL. 🙂


Vanilla North September 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

he he he..
maybe, maybe…
is like, 20 % truth and 80% bullshit!
Vanilla North´s last blog post…cinderella- the sister and the stepsister green 31


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I love your so-called Bullshit. They are wonderful stories and beautiful proses.


Elly Lou September 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

You know what thought? I think everyone feels that way when they interview for a gig. I mean, we’re all just making it up as we go, right? You make shit up all the time. Ergo, you’re perfect for the gig.
Elly Lou´s last blog post…That’s Not a Snakeskin


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Yup. Life is like a big improv show. I’ve always considered taking one of those improv class for non-theatre people. It’s kind of ironic how I dabbled in theatre and yet I am petrified about ad libbing…


Wildology September 1, 2010 at 9:58 am

Perhaps this is just data. You just acquired hardcore data about yourself and your position. What you do with it is totally up to you:)

PS- We all bluff.

Wildology´s last blog post…The C &amp O Canal


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Hmmm. Data. I didn’t think of it this way. It probably just takes time for me to get used to the idea. THANK YOU!


Justine September 1, 2010 at 9:14 am

I’m available for drinks at lunch. For realz. Email me and I’ll be there.
Justine´s last blog post…Once upon a daddy


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Thank you so much for saving my sanity!!!!!!!! You still owe me drinks, you know? LOL.


Meg at the Members Lounge September 1, 2010 at 9:10 am

You could have written that FOR me! You should see me rehearse an interview, complete with back and forth Q&A. Seriously, I make my husband do that and critique me. I still need therapy.

The phone call probably came into your life as a REALLY good omen. I don’t know that your field is, but are are a great writer!
Meg at the Members Lounge´s last blog post…A Parable About Humidity


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Thank you so much for the compliment! 🙂 I run my mouth that’s what I do. In real life though I am not this “eloquent” verbally. I wonder whether that’s why many people are drawn to this blogging business.


EmKDee September 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

Holy shit balls, I have BEEN there. In fact I’m interviewing for a job on Friday and already feel like a fraud. I want to stay in the shadows protected from having to prove myself and fail. It’s paralyzing. I’m no alpha, I’m not even a go-getter. . . but I feel like I should be. So, will you go for it? Inspire all of us?


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

It’s too late, I basically stammered through the call and told them I’m not qualified in not so many words…

Thank you for visiting and commenting. Good luck on Friday!!!! Would you come back and let us know how it goes??!!

I am with you. I like to say (but have refrained to on most occasions) that not everybody can be and should want to be Number 1. What’s wrong with wanting to be Number 2? I want to be Secretary of the State more than I want to be POTUS. Actually, if I didn’t think I could be a VP of anything, I should not even mention anything else… So never mind the analogy…


TheKitchenWitch September 1, 2010 at 6:48 am

Getting a letter if you are being downsized? Assholery! No wonder you are feeling unsettled. No, no, honey–drinks on ME.


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Could I ask for one of those fancy peachy drinks you talked about on your blog? 😉



Andrea September 1, 2010 at 5:36 am

You are getting a letter telling you whether or not you will still have a job? Ok, I’m done bitching about my job. Well . . . almost done maybe.


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

M’lady, I was told that I get to keep my job. So now you and me can together bitch about our jobs. That’s like half the fun, right? 🙂


Wicked Shawn September 1, 2010 at 4:40 am

It was me. I was testing you. Okay, it wasn’t me, but I wish it had been. Seriously, you can do anything. Is that just my blind faith in you talking? Eh, maybe. But sometimes other people’s blind faith is a much better gauge of your abilities than you are, *ahem* especially when you are far too critical of yourself. Find a mirror and repeat after me…….I am worthy of what I want……I can do what I set out to do…….I deserve everything I seek in life……..

Oh yeah, did I not mention my side gig as a life coach? *giggle*
Wicked Shawn´s last blog post……and Then Pirates Boarded the Ship!


Absence Alternatives September 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Thank you! I know. I need to repeat the mantra while staring at myself in the mirror.

I can totally see you as a life coach with your killer heels on the balls: DO THIS OR ELSE! 😉


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