A Tale of Two Katies

I have two friends who both happen to have the same name.

The first Katie is moving, so yesterday I drove to her old house and helped her pack my dad's truck full of stuff.  The truck's air system is broken, so we drove to her new place with the windows down on a 100-degree day, shouting over the road noise to catch up since we hadn't talked in awhile.  She just graduated from college and is looking for a job.  Over and over, she's sent her resume with a cover letter, followed up with phone calls and e-mails.  Over and over, she's heard positive responses; her alma mater is a prestigious school and she's intelligent, articulate and hardworking, with impeccable references.  And over and over, she's heard nothing back.  Not a call, not an e-mail, not even a rejection letter.  Nothing.

"It's pretty much the norm that no one calls you back," she said.  "After dozens of interviews, I did get a letter from one company.  It said 'Thank you for your interest, but all positions have been filled at this time,' or something like that.  I'm planning to write them a thank-you note just for taking the time to get back to me."

I told her I had only interviewed for one job in the last year (a part-time position to teach music classes in schools) but had had a similar response.  Incredibly, the interviewer replied to my inquiry, which was two weeks after the interview, by saying, "I'll call you tomorrow."  Then he never called.  The funny part is that several months later, a recruiter for the company contacted me about a possible opening, and it was clear from her language that she had no idea I'd already been contacted, interviewed and ignored.

The second Katie and I talked on the phone a few days ago.  She's been dating this guy off and on for a couple of months now.  They have a connection, she says, and they always have a good time together.  The relationship seemed like it might go somewhere.  But recently, he just stopped calling.  She tried calling him, then texting, then e-mailing.  Nothing.  For several weeks now.

"I guess he's just trying to let me down easy," she said.  "But it just seems cruel."

I agreed.  Rob and I were dating just ten years ago, and although I frequently believe him to be the last gentleman alive, I think the atmosphere in general was much different then.  Something about the plugged-in, hooked-up era makes us think all we need to do is sign off to send a message.  There's no "goodbye," much less "thank you."  Just awful, deafening silence.