Off-Topic Former Job Trauma

Apologies in advance for this one, but I’ve had a new little trauma that I’d like to work through, and I don’t really have another way to do so. Either be amused by it, or horrified by it, or be fascinated by it as a real-time view of a descent into madness.

Here’s the situation: My former employer posted a new job opportunity yesterday. This job is essentially the job that I was doing for them when I worked there. Well, actually, no. The job is essentially the parts of the job that I was doing for them when I worked there that I liked, without the shitty parts that I hated, and it pays a solid third more than I was making.

Now, I don’t like my former employer; it did a lot of harm to me when I was there both emotionally and financially. Despite that, I managed to leave on decent terms with all of my immediate co-workers, which is even more impressive because there were at least three separate factions that all pretty much hated each other. In fact, I’ve done a fair amount of freelance work for them since then.

So, I’d kind of like the job. I don’t trust the former employer, but that’s kind of okay—I would know what to expect, and more importantly what not to expect, so that I don’t think that I would hate every second I spent in the place this time. (I’ve certainly become better at depersonalizing things in my new job; even when people are being intentionally aggravating or disruptive I don’t have the incredibly familiar hate that I used to feel when that happened at the old place.) I doubt it would be my last job, but I think it would be okay for a few years.

Getting the job may well be another story, however, for many reasons. Some are legitimate, some aren’t, and I don’t think I need to go into them. What I’d like to do is get a sense from my former boss if she would want me in the job. Asking seems to be against job-hunting protocol, and I doubt she’d tell me, but I know for a fact that she would have an answer.

At this point, well-meaning individuals would encourage me to go for it, because what could I lose. They are, however, wrong. Job-hunting is a dire, wearying game that I’ve been playing nearly constantly for four years. Spending time on applications is physically painful. The interview that I would almost undoubtedly be granted as a courtesy would be torture, both in the act itself and the anxiety leading up to and following it. Moreover, there is absolutely no reason to believe that it would be fruitful, because the job interview process is designed to not hire me. I started there as a temp and only got hired because I could do far more than the other people working there. I only got promoted from a clerical to a professional position because I was already doing all the professional work and I was about to leave or maybe sabotage something if I wasn’t. I did about 10 interviews for other positions there, including one for the professional position that I was already doing, and was successful zero times. Thinking about it makes me cranky.

I have an excuse to talk to my ex-boss’s number-2 tomorrow, so I’m going to ask if there’s any information she can provide. And then, if it seems likely to be fruitful, talk to the boss herself. There are, frankly, a lot of ways that this won’t end with me getting the job. I hope that they decide to take one of the quick and non-painful ones.

That’s as close to optimism as I can manage right now. Sorry.

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