Updated: Mar 24, 2021
A few years ago, I didn't get a job I would have been really good at.
A local nonprofit startup that was all about helping people find transportation options besides driving alone and thus getting stuck in Austin's awful traffic had advanced to the point of needing a part-time communications person. Being as I use bikes, buses, Twitter, my feet, Facebook, trains, emails, and carshares with equal amounts of (high) success, coupled with my already being a fan of this organization, the position seemed practically tailor-made for me. Everyone at my other part-time communications job agreed that it was a perfect fit, that I was a shoo-in, that the interview process was a mere formality.
So when I got the "we selected another candidate more suited to our needs" email, our entire office's reaction was, "What? But WHO???" I was expecting mighty things from this little nonprofit's various communication points, since they had found someone better than me. Even though I was bitterly disappointed to have missed out, I thought maybe I could watch and learn.
Alas, it was not to be. I watched for a couple years as the person they'd hired demonstrated little understanding of his subject matter and pursued terrible social media practices that still haunt their organization to this day. Despite harboring some obnoxious (but private, until now) "Serves you right for not hiring an experienced professional, [insert non-nice noun here]," thoughts, I also sometimes hoped for the guy's own sake as well as for his organization that he would get better at it in a hurry.
There are no grapes more sour than the ones we know for sure could have been so much sweeter.
Funnily enough, this org isn't sitting around waiting for my approval. They continue to churn out content with no regard for how the person they rejected feels about it. Their definition of success doesn't jibe with mine. So while I've alternated between bitterness and despair at what I perceive to be failures, they've been (presumably) rejoicing in, building upon, and continuing their successes.