Back off, lady.

Hello.
Yes, I’d like some rejection, please.
And then for dessert, I’ll just have a big fat slice of rejection.
Thanks.

I thought unemployment was the worst. Turns out, unemployment is better than rejection.

I got two emails from a publishing company looking to collect inspirational short stories for an upcoming series. They wanted stories about life-changing moments, a thousand words or less, and if they liked what they read, they would hire me on a contract basis to continue to submit stories, and then to interview others with the hopes of uncovering more life-changing moments.

I believed that inspirational life-changing chicken soup for the soul-ish moments were sort of my thing. I mean, have you seen the blog? They had. So I rewrote some old stories—ones about quitting jobs, moving to other countries, car accidents, death, birth, adoption. I sent in samples of life-changing moments in the middle of life-changing, or sometimes just ordinary, experiences. We had been emailing for days so I could get a clear understanding of what they were looking for. We seemed to be a good match.

In return, I received this:

Brooke,

I may not have been clear; the stories we accept are truly ONLY LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS – not simply nice little stories. Please let me know which of the ones you have attached would be best considered a TRULY LIFE CHANGING MOMENT. Thanks.

Were the ALL CAPS really necessary? Isn’t that sort of aggressive for an email? It’s like she’s yelling at me in type.

For normal people life-changing moments don’t happen with fireworks and a bullhorn. Usually they happen on a stoop or in the back of a pick-up truck or something. I sort of thought the decision to relocate to a developing country would make the cut, or learning how to say ‘I love you’ in French, or being run over by a semi, or a simple conversation with an 8 year-old from the B&GC. But, apparently, those are not TRULY LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS, and I guess there are people whose entire jobs are to decide which moments in a girl’s life are TRULY LIFE CHANGING or not.

On top of that, I got an email from the Parkview Housekeeping Department thanking me for my application and explaining that they had decided to go with someone more qualified. The housekeeping department.

Where do I go from here?

(Dairy Queen)
(The liquor store)
(The cookie isle)
(Pizza roles)
(Uplifting and encouraging star 88.3)
(Greys/The office/30 Rock)

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10 thoughts on “Back off, lady.”

  1. I’m almost positive that a foster park picnic, complete with bocce ball & kites & radios will be one of the next places you should go.
    Also, I got about 6 of the same e-mails from parkview a few months ago.

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  2. My vote is for Dairy Queen and Mike said try St. Joe because they have lower standards. Just kidding. Sorry about your rejection. God’s timing is perfect. Keep working hard.

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  3. Remember good is always the enemy of best. I know God has a special plan for you Brooke, HIS word says so. Keep seeking HIM and everything will fall into place, according to HIS time of course. Love ya Brooke…Jennifer P#14

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  4. aw… those stupid people don’t know anything. I think if you can write about an experience that changed your life, it is enough life-changing to be in a book. and I’m sorry about the caps. haha. that’s harsh.

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  5. The publisher must have never had a life changing moment…therefore they wouldn’t know one if it jumped out and smacked them in the face. Either that or the time they ‘thought’ they had one, it was fluffy and nice and nowhere near anything that typically happens to change someone’s life. OR they’re vultures looking for some shock story, in which case their publication could be considered a tabloid. Being an experienced publisher(a presumption) does not guarantee any real understanding of life-defining circumstances. My opnion: they, like so many others, merely exist. They do NOT know what it means to live, to be alive; not truly, anyways. I would imagine having a position such as that would come with a pretty nice comfort zone, safely protecting them from real life experiences. Forget them- head high, shoulders back and keep writing. Go for the liquor store, maybe I’ll see you there…

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  6. OR U CAN WORK @ DAiRY QUEEN WiTH ME
    =]
    BUT i WOULDNT RECOMMEND THAT…
    LOL
    FORGET THEM…U SHUD JUS WRiTE YOUR
    OWN BOOK OF "LiFE CHANGiNG" SHORT STORiES
    …PUBLiSH iT && THEN RUB iT iN THEiR FACE…LOL
    i LOVE YOUR WRiTiNG….SO KEEP DOiN WHAT U DO
    BEST =]

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  7. Holy Crap. Ouch. I think you are right, the all caps is definitely not necessary. Who are they to judge the life changing stories for you? Ridiculous. Maybe you need to get caught underneath something heavy and have to gnaw your leg off or something in order to survive. Crazy. I do enjoy the amazingly true stories of Brooke. Hope things are going well, take care.

    Oh, I’ve also had plenty of those rejection letters/e-mails explaining that they went with someone with that was more qualified. I especially like the one that I put in for something that was exactly what I was doing at the time, and had been for 2 years, but apparently I wasn’t qualified.

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  8. Brooke, Brooke, Brooke, everyone knows that only TRULY LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS arrive right when you expect them, look just like you expect them to, and are, in fact, ALWAYS accompanied by fireworks AND a bullhorn. And, I’ve heard, you will often get an e-mail confirming that you have just actually experienced YOUR life changing moment.

    And how about this, I never even got called for an interview by Starbucks, while the guy who works at our Starbucks is an absolute FREAK, and I mean FREAK. That one felt good, all warm and fuzzy.

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  9. Hey… I had the same thing happen to me with Starbucks… funny thing is, I’m in marketing for another restaurant chain, and just wanted a side job for some extra cash… I would think I have the experience to pour coffee in cups and dump chocolate or carmel in… but, i didn’t even get a call back from them… apparently they have some kind of clique going on over there and you have to be “cool” enough to get in… anyway… Brooke, I know we didn’t hang out much in school, but I’ve started reading your little musings about life since I get notified on my home page each time you write a new one, and I’m with everyone else… you’ve got a good thing going… keep it up… eventually someone will be able to appreciate it they way the rest of us do and realize it needs to be published… either that or you could just write your own book and get that published like someone else mentioned!! Keep it up!!

    Like

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