Well, I didn't get the job.

I also didn't do most of the post-disappointment things I said I'd do. The apple cider went undrunk, the apartment floor unstomped, the dust bunnies escaped berating. However, I did do some job searching and wrote a bit to make myself feel better. Seems to have worked.

I was so nervous Sunday night about finding out about the job that I didn't sleep at all -- I stayed up all night doing some web work for a friend and, of course, a bit of noding for good measure. And so I called the hospital's HR department around 8:30 in the morning, and got a callback from the HR lady I'd interviewed with around 9:00.

"They've decided to go with a more qualified candidate," she told me.

Which, like most "just give them a reason and get them off the phone before they start crying or yelling or something" explanations, tells me virtually nothing. More qualified how? I had everything they asked for in their job posting. More science reporting experience? More lab experience? More corporate writing experience? Were their interview clothes more professional? Their references more enthusiastic?

Did they ask for less money?

I really wish it was acceptable to request a post-mortem in situations like this for the sake of finding out what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. But nobody has the time or the inclination to engage in conversation with a stranger whom they've just rejected, and to ask for such a conversation is to come off as some kind of a crank.

Ah well. I got farther in the process than 117 other people who also applied for the job, so I suppose I should feel somewhat good about that.

Damn but this job market is tight. Over 120 applicants for one medical writing job at a hospital deep in the heart of the ghetto -- and not a particularly well-paying one, at that.

A fellow in my local writing group just got laid off in August -- 6 months before he could get his green card. So now he and his family have to pack up move back to Canada. At least I'm not being thrown out of the country.

I did my best, and I suppose, in the end, that if I was meant to have the job, I would have gotten it. I like to think these things happen for a reason. Maybe a better job is just around the corner.

And I will be thankful for that which I do have: good friends, both here in Columbus and scattered around the world. Jobs come and go. You guys are what makes life worth living.