Skip to main content

FIELD NOTES: Rejected!

In his song “Too Soon To Tell,” Todd Snyder sings, “I can still take rejection, but it does get harder to do.” Whether it’s a job interview, choosing sides for kickball, or that cute girl at the school dance, we’ve all experienced rejection, but I have to agree with Todd; it seems like it digs a little deeper and is a little more challenging as we collect miles on the odometer.  

I suspect that has to do with opportunity cost. As mentioned in my “Hall of Fame” column a couple of weeks ago, job-seeking, when I was 25, was a game of numbers. I applied for every job I was vaguely qualified for, and whatever rose to the surface stuck. If I interviewed with J. Crew, Graybar Electric or Abacus II (all of which I did, by the way) and struck out, well,  that was fine because I knew eventually I’d find something. These days, I have traveled so far down a relatively narrow path that only a handful of jobs open up each year, so each one is exponentially more important. 

The same goes for personal relationships. That cute girl saying “no, thank you” at the junior high dance stings a little, but there are a lot of fish in the sea. A school in Ogden, Utah, made headlines a couple of years ago because it required boys and girls who attended their Valentine’s Day soiree to say “yes” if they were asked to dance. Some parents were disturbed by this, saying it removed their children’s “agency.” As someone who didn’t get picked for kickball much and knew better than to ask a cute girl to dance, I’m not sure how to feel about that. There’s a part of me that always believed if I could just get a chance to show how charming and witty I am … But there’s also a part of me that wonders if it wouldn’t just engender false hope and make the ultimate disappointment even harder to take.  

When you become a writer, your life turns into one big junior high dance, except that you are required to ask every single cute girl to dance until one finally says “yes.” When I write an article, I generally have a publication or two in mind and a list of three or four less likely but still viable candidates. An article titled “A Homesteader’s Guide to Pocket Knives,” for instance would likely be written with “Backwoods Home” or “Mother Earth News” in mind, but with a bit of doctoring could also be pitched to “Men’s Journal” (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Pocket Knives”) or “Popular Mechanics” (“A Handyman’s Guide to Pocket Knives”).

Complicating matters, each publication has its own way of handling solicitations. “Backwoods Home” wants to see the whole article upfront, while “Mother Earth News” prefers a letter outlining the piece in two or three sentences. It’s a lot to go through for the opportunity to have your work dissected and your dreams crushed.  

The next line of that Todd Snyder song is, “I wish I could show you how you hurt me in a way that wouldn’t hurt you, too.” And that’s really the tricky part, isn’t it? We walk away from the dance, or the interview, or the mailbox with a hard little lump in our hearts, and if we cannot find a way to remove it, eventually, the whole heart goes hard.


Popular posts from this blog

Economic Development in Anson County Just Took a Huge Step Forward

Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper signed the North Carolina budget into law. This was important for every resident of the state, as we have been operating without a budget since 2018. Teachers and government employees will receive much-needed raises, the personal income tax rate will drop, and a slew of necessary infrastructure projects will finally be funded. A strong argument can be made, however, that no county benefitted more, in relative terms, from the signing of this budget than Anson.  As noted in our post last week, AnsonEDP worked with Representative Brody and Senator McInnis to include two critical line items in the budget. One provides $4 million toward the construction of a sewer line extension connecting the new Atlantic Gateway Logistics Park to the existing pump station at Hailey's Ferry Road and making upgrades to that station to handle the increased flow. This sewer line, which we anticipate will be finished by the end of 2022, will allow for a more diverse mix of te

FIELD NOTES: Pro hockey coming to Wadesboro

Woody Sports Entertainment announced today that Wadesboro, N.C., has been approved as the newest franchise in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The team, which will be known as the Anson Loggers – a nod to the region’s forestry and wood products industry – will begin play for the 2022-23 season at the new Peaches ’n Cream Ice Arena in Wadesboro. The SPHL currently has teams in 11 cities across the South and Midwest, including the Marksmen in nearby Fayetteville. “We’re especially excited to see how that rivalry develops, seeing that the cities are less than two hours apart,” said Loggers General Manager Bulge Davenport.  The Anson County team will play at Peaches ’n Cream Ice Arena, formerly the Wadesboro Walmart Supercenter. “When the building became available last year, we thought, hey, that’s about the size of an ice rink, and the rest was history,” said Davenport. The arena is named for the nearby roadside attraction which signed a multi-year naming rights deal report


Ford Motor Company recently announced they are suspending orders for their Maverick (A) compact truck because they have outsold the company's capacity to manufacture them. The Maverick is an anomaly in today's pickup truck market, where bigger is better, and even bigger is even better. My "midsize" Toyota Tacoma is as large as many full-size pickups from the early 2000s. A new full-size F-150 or Silverado wouldn't have looked out of place at a monster truck show in the '70s.  The major truck manufacturers justify their increasingly enormous vehicles by claiming "no market" for smaller trucks. The success of the Maverick, however, would seem to contradict that.  The Maverick is based on the Ford Escape compact SUV, and while it is slightly longer than the Escape, it is significantly smaller than any other pickup currently sold in the U.S. It does not have the towing capacity or off-road capabilities of larger trucks, but it should work just fine for t