I don’t know if it’s because I have been in this exact situation before, but hand to God (I was raised Catholic, so you can trust me here), I laughed so loud and for so long after reading this.
From the latest edition of Philip Galanes’ “Social Q’s” column in the New York Times:
I am a 30-year-old white guy. For three years, I have worked for a clothing company. My credentials are great: I graduated from an Ivy League college, I’ve been in fashion for my entire career, and my reviews have been excellent. But when the time came to replace our department manager, who transferred to another group, the company promoted a woman of color with a less impressive résumé (and four fewer months at the company) instead of me. I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything, but I feel demoralized. What should I do?
Your ego is not your amigo — especially when healthy self-esteem turns to privileged self-importance. Just to be clear: What you are not accusing your company of (but sort of accusing it, anyway) is promoting a less qualified woman and racial minority over a better-qualified white man. And the evidence? Your college diploma and 120 more days on the job. Grow up, dude.
You are silent as a stone on the qualities that really matter in a manager: setting smart goals for your team, coaxing the best out of everyone (with sweet carrots or sharp sticks, as appropriate) and putting out a ton of fires. Résumés do not often speak to these skills. So, be bummed out. You’re entitled. You didn’t get a job you wanted. But don’t imply that the process was rigged.
Instead, head to your former manager or to human resources. Ask if they thought you were a good candidate, and what you can do to make yourself a better prospect the next time out. It puts them on notice that you are serious about growing, and it’s more productive than whining. Even better, you may learn about a blind spot on that 14-karat résumé of yours.
This is about as close to the Times telling someone to go fuck themselves as I have ever seen. Have a restful weekend!