At the Job Clinic

At the Job Clinic

ANXIETY… ANGER. . . LOSS. . . DISILLUSIONMENT. . . CONFLICT. . . CONFUSION. . . . SHAME. . . . The dark words, in tall letters on a large pad mounted on an easel, were being taken down with a felt-tip marker by a
short, dapper man with an unflappable demeanor. He paused, facing his audience of thirty-five academics. “Any other words for the feelings associated with job hunting?” “Would despair be too strong?” asked a woman. Sympathetic murmurings of “no, no” ran around the room. “Terror?” inquired a man, just brightly enough to raise a small laugh. DESPAIR and TERROR joined the crowded page.

“Any positive feelings?” the dapper man asked a little pleadingly, turning over the page. Silence. “Energized?” someone ventured at last. “Anticipation,” suggested another. Another long pause. “Guarded optimism.” This from a tall Englishman in the back. ENERGIZED, wrote the man, with perceptible relief. ANTICIPATION. GUARDED OPTIMISM.

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Lima