A punch in the guts, that’s how it felt like after seeing the electronically generated rejection email form P&G. Let me take the liberty of elaborating the feeling for those among us who can never be punched in the guts (for obvious reasons). The pain starts at the surface and then makes it way deep down to your very core and lingers there for a time that feels like an eternity. After the ordeal, all you want to do is lie down on the floor and curl up.
But first let me fill you in on some details. P&G recently conducted a test for their summer internship program. The test is the first step of their hiring process followed by four interviews. It’s quite intriguing that after clearing these hurdles, all you get is a summer internship and a shot at becoming a permanent employee. So I passed their test (like a boss) and found myself at the top of the world, being envied by a score of fellow students. I was then called for a screening interview. The interview was to be held at Harbourfront. For those of you who aren’t from Karachi and for those who live in Karachi but are too uncool to notice such a magnificent building at the sea shore, Harbourfront is a magnificent building at the sea shore.
From the moment I stepped into the Harbourfront I felt melancholy. I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason behind feeling sad and dejected all of a sudden. I do remember these two distinct thoughts that kept swirling around in my brain. After being blown away by the interior design of the building, I started pitying all those engineers who were involved in the building’s construction but never got to work inside it. The thing is, headquarters of all the major organizations are located at these elegant places and are mostly inhabited by business graduates. Whereas technical people who, no offence, do all the real work are stowed inside the production plants with a meager salary. That’s just unfair. My second thought was “Oh boy, this S*&% is for real”. Let me be more explicit. Up until that point I never really gave much thought to the whole process of finding a job. Somehow I always felt that my employer would be waiting for me outside my university at the graduation day, with his (or HER) arms wide open. I dreaded being the typical stereotyped fresh graduate who scrambles here and there in search of employment. So finding myself waiting anxiously for my turn to get interviewed gave me Goosebumps, to say the least.
The only prominent thing I could remember of the interview was the view. Seeing those waves from the twelfth floor gently kissing the beach was more like a spiritual experience. It made me philosophical beyond what is deemed healthy. That is why after the interview, it felt as if I just had a session with my psychiatrist (which shouldn’t be the case, trust me). That is the reason I didn’t knew for sure whether my interview went well or not; until that rejection email. After the surge of suicidal feelings passed away, my mind (thanks to my right brain) got filled with all those comforting thoughts that make your stay at looserville a little more bearable. Here is the complete list:
“Lobo Lester (HR manager), what a funny name.”
“Dudes at P&G just made the biggest mistake of their life”
“My biographer would mention this that after being turned down by P&G, sarim haq went on to create his own consumer products company that eventually bought P&G”
“Hey, why am I being so emo? I didn’t even think about P&G until those guys showed up at our university. P&G was never in my grand plan of complete world domination. Phew!”
“Head Shoulder sucks!”
Now that it’s all over, now that my mental condition has returned to its pre-P&G state; I look back at my experience and notice just one thing. Possibilities. The best way to deal with failure is to look into your treasure trove of infinite possibilities. The worst we could do is to think of our future as one dimensional. Interpreting your future through shortcomings of the present is our greatest folly. Who knows, maybe I will get employed by NASA or maybe I would end up making my own organization. “Connecting the dots” as Steve Jobs once said. Although he didn’t restrict those dots to triumphs only…